Mindset Matters In Sales With Neal Phalora
Mindset matters in sales. If you have a mindset warrior in your corner, you’re already set up for success in selling, period. In this episode, Chad Burmeister talks with one such person – Neal Phalora. Known as The Brain Warrior, Neal takes his experience of using mindset to hack his way through weight loss and uses it to help hundreds of entrepreneurs change their lives for the better. In this conversation, Chad and Neal cover a lot of interesting topics, including: the challenges associated with working from home; how most communication is missed communication; and how we make most of our decisions through emotions. It does take a lot of mindset work to navigate these things, so you best listen in!
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Mindset Matters In Sales With Neal Phalora
I'm here with The Mindset Warrior. In sales in 2020, you have to have someone like The Mindset Warrior in your corner, or you're not going to be successful in the sales bottom line, end of the story. I met Neal in Denver, Colorado up in Winter Park. We did a three-day intensive where we peel back the onion, we got to know people and we got to understand some of the mind hacks that Neal has figured out over the years, starting with going from, I don't know how many pounds in weight Neal used to carry around to what he carries around now. He's been able to hack through weight loss and he helps hundreds of entrepreneurs change their lives and live a better life. I call it frictionless living. Neal, welcome to the show. I’m glad to have you here.
I’m excited to be here, Chad. Thank you.
I know you're not from Winter Park. Which part of the country are you living in?
I live in Indianapolis, Indiana. For the readers, if they know Carmel, Indiana, if that means anything to them, it's a suburb that my wife and I lived for many years now.
That's two people in the Indianapolis area that I've talked to. A gentleman is the Senior Partner Marketing Manager at ActiveCampaign. He was hired by a CMO at his prior company many years ago. She joined ActiveCampaign and called them up, “Eric, could you come work for me?” It's a good area and that's interesting that I've talked to two people in the same area on the same day. Let's dive in. It seems to me that if you have a challenge in your home life, then when you go to your work life, you're going to have a challenge there too because these two things, especially in 2020, have overlap like never before.
People may think, “I'm in an office right here and I'm down the street from my house 10 miles drive-in.” It's not the case. If I walk out the door, my family is on the other side. I have a feeling that a lot of people are living in that similar environment. I don't have a feeling I know for a fact. It's caused this conversation to come to the surface more than ever before. What are you seeing when you're working with entrepreneurs, VPs and executives now that the home and work are not two separate things? They've come and, in many crises, have crashed together. What's going on in the world?
So much is going on here. This is a beautiful question because previous to COVID when there was more separation of work and life, people naturally assume that these are different places in my world and they only come in contact when I'm in one place or I go to another. My dad would say to me, even when I was young, “Wherever you go, there you are.” That's what people are experiencing now is that what COVID has done. It provided a zero-margin event where now we have to choose a new reality and a reaction. We don't have the buffer and the walls up that we did between our home life and our work life.
It has caused substantially more friction in households, in the work environment because those things that weren't resolved at home that felt like they were resolved at work were only resolved at work because we were ignoring that part of ourselves. If you ask those people on their teams and the people around them, those same things are still showing up. Whenever we get in a place where more emotion and more friction come in, whatever we need to work on is magnified. It's been highly magnified in those people's lives.
That's the business problem. It's interesting when you shared that with me, I was thinking about Winter Park because my people own a place and a condo there. Two, three weeks into COVID, I had to get out of the house. I was like, “What's going on?” Thinking back, it's because usually about every 2 to 3 weeks, I'm on a plane and I'm staying at a nice hotel, eating a nice meal and drinking a glass of scotch. I come back, I'm decompressed and life's good again. I found three weeks in, I had to get out of the house. I went up to the Winter Park condo for a week. Those two were physical separation. Now, I've gotten to a point where we've figured out a way to peacefully coexist as a family while the business is working out of the house. Some of that was done through mindset. Some of it, you shared something that I thought was fabulous. The four questions that you could ask at dinner of your significant other, what are those questions?
We claim to make business decisions completely logically, but the truth is that we make all our decisions emotionally.
We ask each other, “What are you grateful for? What are you excited about? What are you up against and what do you need?”
Most people don't have anything like those four questions. What's interesting that I've been hearing from these conversations is for every emotion, there's a need that's attached to that emotion. It feels to me that by asking, “What are you excited about? What are you grateful for? What are you up against? What do you need?” Those three questions get you thinking like, “Here's the emotion that I'm feeling on this day and here's the need I have attached to that emotion.”
There are few things that are operating here within the framework of these questions that when I started this with my wife, I wanted to bring up. Number one is that we're much too focused on political correctness and not emotional correctness. In an emotionally corrected world, we can have disparate views on many things, but we can still be connected because you say to yourself, “Neal may not agree with me on this, but he gets and understands me.” As a result of that, we can have a conversation that isn't from our reptilian brain, but then is more intellectual and we can understand one another.
The other thing that's operating here is that we want to understand that in most communication, it's not that it is miscommunication. It's missed communication. So much of what is expressed is not about what we're saying, but it's about all the underlying currents that are there. It's the iceberg that's underneath the water. We look at the tip and we go, “This person is irritated.” We react based on that rather than understanding what lies much beneath that and getting underneath that. There's so much more missed communication. I see it in business and in personal life. These questions are meant to help expose that.
The first night I did this with my wife, “What are you excited about?” She said something about work that had happened that day. “What are you grateful for?” She said, “You.” I was like, “That's a good one. What are you up against?” It was something work-related. “What do you need?” What was interesting about the need part was she brood on it for a bit. There was no need at the moment. What it caused me to do is go, “I know your need. It's changing the fan upstairs where the cats live in the laundry room because when you turn it on at night, it makes it a loud noise. I'll turn it off at night. Tracy will turn it on.” It's like a back and forth. It causes friction in the life of both of us. Friction for her because the fan's not running, friction for me because at 2:00 AM, it's making a loud noise. By finding that conversation and being in tune with it, this set of questions helps you go through and find the gold. It self-reinforces this pattern of trust because it's like, “You're finally in tune with me.”
It focuses on something that gets lost in longer-term relationships. Even in business or at home, they're both the same that, “How can I serve?” We might serve our customers, but we don't think about our internal customers and our colleagues. The other end of that is, “How can I receive?” Try giving another adult a compliment and it is nearly impossible. I always say it's shunned in three phases: deflection rejection or qualification. We as adults don't even know how to receive. That “what do you need?” question is a dynamic where one person can give and one person can receive and be consciously aware of what is happening at both ends of that question. That's where you can get some amazing intimacy regardless of where you're operating.
Now that work and life have collided and we're living both under one roof, let's think about some of the other repercussions of that equation. Peloton has grown sales like crazy. I have mine coming on the way. These meetings are becoming more and more prevalent, which means I'm sitting in the same chair all day with little stretching and activity. I've don't know if I've invented this term or somebody else, but I call it the COVID-19 because we've gained 19 pounds on average. It sounded to me that you'd gone through that many years ago in a weight loss transition. I'm 220 pounds now and ideally I’m 190 pounds, 5’10”. That's a 30-pound variation.
That's like when I'm training for a half marathon, I'm at 190 pounds. Anything from 200 to 205 pounds is ideal for me. That means I'm 15 pounds over and I can feel it in my face, I see it on my face. I feel it in my energy that I bring to work right by the afternoon. What's the mindset hack for connecting with the need to lose weight? At the moment, if I go ski, I need to do it. I'm going to go on a ski trip in February 2021 to Canada, and that got canceled. My reason for getting in shape so that I can crush it on the mountain with 48 guys over a course of five days, poof gone. I'm like, “Do I need to find another thing that causes me for the weight loss?” How do you figure out what that is? When should you decide that it's important to be in line with that or how do you discover it is important to you or not?
One of the things that I'm clear on, and anybody can choose to disagree with me and that's fine, but I know that this is one of the immutable truths of being human and being on this planet is that all of our decisions and the way our cryptocurrency of our body and our brain is emotions. We sell through emotion, we market through emotion, yet we claim we make business decisions or completely logically, which is funny to me. When we think about food, it is one of the most emotional things that we have we possess. Seventy percent of the neuropeptides are not in the brain, they're produced in the gut. The body becomes the unconscious mind. As we eat, we're fulfilling certain things emotionally, but we also get addicted to certain things.
Think about the first three weeks of any diet. They're all the same. Week 1 and 2, you're going okay. The third week is a train wreck usually. That's where things break down. Your arm hurts, you're having this weird headache, your heart's racing and your nose is running. Do you know what all of that is? That's your body unseating you. Literally, going like a druggie go, “At 2:30 every day, we walked down to the candy machine.” You get a bag of Doritos and the Snickers. All of a sudden, instead of operating on guilt and shame like you usually do when you eat this, you want to be happy? “No, I need my thing.” It’s because the body adapts to whatever set point we give it. As a result of that, we mistake familiarity or comfort with health. Those two things are not the same things. In a COVID situation where there's a lot more stress, people have put on weight simply because their cortisol is up and that puts on weight. As a result of that, they're eating to satisfy emotional needs, but cortisol is putting it on as fat.
For someone like me who doesn't have a desire to go chase the 15 pounds, it seems to me that you have to have that desire before you're going to go accomplish it. When you lost weight, what was the mindset where you said, “I want to live seven years longer on the back end of my life. I want to show up for my family.” If you take us through your pattern, disruption, and the why behind the what, that might help land with some readers.
My story is that I pushed myself hard. I'm an action taker. I was in a six-figure job with a six-figure bonus and have a sales team. I ran a multimillion-dollar territory underneath that. My body was breaking down and it was happening over time. I got to a place where I was in bed 3 to 5 hours a day. I had 120 symptoms. I had brain fog so thick. I went to the end of my block and I didn't know where I was. I felt like I was entering the early onset of dementia. Nothing traditional medicine was working for me. Being this relentless guy and I couldn't sleep at night, I started finding out that all of these people were using their own brain chemistry and the levels of mind and the body to rewire, to bring your body back into health.
Having 95 more pounds on me, I have small kids at that time and I was like, “This is not the way that I want to live. This is not the way I want to end my life. I have so much more to do.” I feel horrible every day, “Nothing is wrong with me.” This is the challenge that I'm speaking directly to people here is like, just because nothing is wrong with you and you feel okay, doesn't mean that you have a state of health that is going to sustain your dreams, hopes and your family long-term. It's waking up to that idea of ownership of personal health that it needs to be shepherded throughout your whole life.
Not to a point where you need a pillar procedure and it's too late. Our present health system is a sickness health system, not a wellness system. For me, I was like, “I have got to change this because my quality of life is too important to me and I want to be like my next-door neighbor who had one hip go bad, but two weeks after that, he's out riding 20 miles a day again. That's a quality of life that I want.” Most people's challenges are short-sighted on their quarter, on their earnings. If you have all that, it’s great, but if you don't have long-term health, you have nothing.
I saw the video that Neil Cavuto filmed and part of it was at the fire pit in our backyard. I was sitting down and I was like, “That's me?” I've got this little extra bump down there. You don't realize it when you're waking up every day especially during COVID. At 3:30 to 5:30, I start to get a feeling like, “What is this? Do I have COVID because I'm a little more tired than I usually am?” It's like, “No, that's not it. It's, you're carrying around an extra 10 or 20 pounds. That causes you to not show up in all of your life. All I can know is that it's going to progressively get worse over time if you don't do something about it now.”
Every pound of fat is an extra many feet of blood vessels that your heart has to pump through and all of that. More belly fat means more insulin resistance. We can go through all the whys, but the personal why that people want to think about, at least in my standpoint is that, “What quality of life that you have? Do you want to have things in your life that are familiar or comfortable or do you want to be operating in a place where things are amazing and cutting-edge in your personal and professional life?” Having a helpful approach to your body and your weight, there's no substitute for that. You cannot be as innovative and nimble when your body is out of whack.
Let's talk about coaches and mentors. I think up until 2019, I never truly seek out a coach or a mentor. They were there naturally because maybe it was a boss or a VP that I worked with. What changed for me is I went to a Mindset Retreat with Gerhard from Selling Power. He puts on these mindset retreats. We went to a track in Los Angeles to race Ferraris and Porsches and other high exotic cars around a track. You're the driver and in the passenger seat, there's an expert who wears a mic and has another helmet on. I found out later, it has a break in case you're doing something dangerous to yourself or others. They teach you, “Go around the track, floor it.”
As a natural driver, you're going to start to let off a little. On corner number one, I'm like, “Letting off.” He coached, “No, Chad, on the next time around, I need you to floor it all the way to the orange button and then I need you to break as if your life depended on it, that you're going to hit the wall because don't worry, it's not going to slide out. It's built differently.” I had to rewire my brain for that experience. By round six, I'm super fast. Now, I realize he's got a break. He's not going to let me. He goes, “Act like you crash the wall. Go for it. Pass the orange cones.” He's giving me permission in these areas.
We're not conscious beings at will. Learning how to separate yourself of your subconscious routines is your key to success.
I tell that story because coming out of that event, I had challenges with cashflow for my personal life, and therefore my business life. I had challenges with marketing and I found Neil Cavuto. Now, I have nine people on my board of advisors who are all people that are like the guy sitting in the front seat. Mindset warrior is your nickname and I love it. You're there to help people. How do I know if I'm an executive? How do I know that The Mindset Warrior and coaching in general is important and that I should be trying to ask more about it and get involved in mindset coach?
I love to tell this story. I'll tell you the short version of it. Walt Disney had this idea for the park and he, unfortunately, died before the whole park was completed and his brother gave the opening address. Many people asked them, “Isn't it sad that he didn't get to see this?” He said, “No, not at all. It’s because he saw it, this is why it's here. He already saw all of this.” Every company that's been built, big or small or whatever you want to call it or from Apple to SpaceX, to all of these things that we know, they were an idea in our heads and we live in the cursive house.
We need to manage all the house in the exterior, but anybody who's built something amazing understands that they need to stop trying to squirrel away external resources to survive, but thrive from the bounty of within. That's where the creative space is where people are motivated from, where ideas come from, where you get up every morning and you see something strategic and you want to be innovative. That's the mindset spaces where all of that stuff comes from. Most entrepreneurs come to a place where they have a why, but they come up against things and all they're coming up against are their limiting beliefs. Think about this, this brain right here processes about 40,000 neurons a second.
This brain in the back where 95% of how you're going to operate in any situation is already pre-programmed in the subconscious. We're not conscious beings at will. We're on autopilot. Like the cell phone apps in your background that run in the background, we can't swipe all these sub-routines in our subconscious closed. Becoming aware and learning how to separate yourself from those subconscious routines is the success factor for anybody who's in business, who wants to have a business that satisfies them both monetarily, spiritually and personally. There is no other path other than the mindset route.
I'll give some kudos to your talk with you, Katie and Jason. I think we're the three people sitting on the fire pit and I'm sitting on the couch. As a result of that talk, my mind went to space where, “I've got to do two things. One is to write a new book called God-Centered Selling. I knew I needed something and I've been trying to land on this for many years. It's what's over the hill. I know it's for the glory of God, but what for the glory of God? We came out as a result of that talk, God-Centered Selling, God-Centered Leadership, God-Centered Company, we’ll write the book.
I've got Rich Blakeman who was the former head of Sales for Miller Heiman, the number one company in the world for selling and he is co-writing the book. You attach it to the experience that we went through in Winter Park and said, “Now that we're going to do that, what would it take to go buy a $5 million to $10 million houses in Beaver Creek so that we can have 10 to 20 executives come in every single week and experience those kinds of thought-provoking, mind hack changes.” In the past, because of my financial gap, I'd been like, “That's impossible.” Now I'm looking at it going, “There are many angles to getting there.”
Maybe the owner of the house says, “I'm a Christian.” I saw one of the pictures and they have 25 crosses all over the wall. If I approached them and said, “I don't have $2 million for a down payment, but I want to make your house the most amazing change agent in the history of the world for the glory of God. Would you mind contributing your house to this effort and we'll pay you, but it'll be as the operating expenses come in to cover the cost of the house?” That's one angle and then you could go do a capital raise. There are dozens of different ways to achieve it if you can only dream it. That's what the beauty of these events are, one-on-one sessions with people like yourself. High five to everything that you do for the world.
It's completely blown up by spending a weekend with you and your energy is infectious. You have a zest for people in life and possibility. Those are the things that I've been visualizing, that I've been asking the universe and God for. It shows up. Where you place your awareness is where your energy, options and things materialize. I appreciate you.
Like when you're looking for a new car, everybody all of a sudden has that same car you're looking for.
You're going to the brain warrior territory. I give a whole segment about that because that shows how much we're tuning out and we were tuning out possibilities. How do you become more aware of the possibility? Your brain is purposely limiting stimulus based on previous thoughts that you have. That phenomenon that you're talking about, there's a thing in your brain called the reticular activating system that actively filters out stuff until you place your awareness on it.
Katie mentioned the idea of an offer. I've now been dropping an offer in podcasts that I do. Some people might look at, “This mindset concept, what's that going to cost me, $2,000 or $10,000 a month?” What I've seen from working with mindset professionals is, “Let's have a conversation for 30 minutes and explore what possibilities there are.” Is that how you typically operate? For the readers, how would they get in touch with you and what would you recommend as a next step?
I’m @TheBrainWarrior on Instagram or it's Neal@TheBrainWarrior.com. That’s the same as my web address. Any of those routes, you can get ahold of me. My ask is simple. As I get people on a call, I sit and listen to what it is that they want. We need some actionable goals about what it is that they want to accomplish. Is that something that's in my skillset that I feel like I can effectuate and help open up a possibility for them? There are three basic principles. One is most people say they want change, but I'm being frank here, they're not conscious or willing to do the work. I don't do anything.
Any coach that tells you that I changed someone, that's completely incorrect. All I do is I provide openness possibility. I teach people how to think, and I hold a space for them so that they can produce the results themselves. The second is that I'm going to love on you, speak to you and ask you to do things that you haven't done before and you need to be open to do those things. The third thing that is my thing is I am not a coach that’s going to sit and listen to about what happened in the past. Everything that we need to work on is happening to us at this moment. I'm going to build you a new frame of reference, a new center of positivity, where you can see where the magic and the miracles happen for you here and now. If you want somebody to baby you through all the things that have happened and talk through those things, that's not how I work. That's a long road and that's not me.
That sounds like a psychologist or a shrink. That's not what we're here to do. We're here to transform the mind from the here and now to the future.
I'm here to take people out of anxiety, into the flow and teach them to master their internal world so that the external world is simple.
Neal, The Brain Warrior, it’s great to have you here. You've changed my life in many ways. My conversation with my wife at the dinner table every night, that's going to pull the alignment in never before. I'm going to a bar with a bunch of people to help support a high school friend who owns the bar. Before the alignment questions started at the table, we were like, “It's a guys thing.” A couple of people started saying, “Can I bring my wife?” I was like, “Why didn't I invite Tracy tonight?” It starts with the simplest of intentions and you can make massive changes in your life with a little bit of help from someone like the mindset warrior.
It’s great to have somebody who is open and leaves themselves open to suggestions. That's one of the things that I admire about you. Kudos to you.
Thanks, everybody, for joining. Remember, your work and your house have now become the same thing, so this is more important than ever. Even when we go back to the physical world, I have a feeling that 70% or 90% or 50%, some level of your work is going to be done at home into the future. This is something that's important. If you haven't talked to a mindset expert before, talk to Neal. I guarantee you, you will enjoy the conversation. I will catch you on the next one. Thank you for your time. We are out.