Marketing executive and business coach Michael O’Brien is here today, to talk about his last bad day, and how he was able to make a shift to making life about helping other people and not focusing on himself.
Michael is an author, entrepreneur, and business coach. Michael shares what it means to slay your internal feelings of worry and doubt, so that you can create the success you want in both your life and your business.
Michael is the founder of Peloton Consulting, which provides business leadership coaching as well as the author of the bestselling memoir Shift: Creating Better Tomorrows: Winning at Work and in Life. On July 11th, 2001, Michael was struck head on by an SUV, while out on a bike ride.
Now he considers that his last bad day, and he channels his energy into helping others realize their potential. He shares his amazing story along with advice for life and business that we can all use to push through our fears and face up to our full potential.
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[04:53] Michael O’Brien lives in New Jersey. He is an executive coach, speaker, and author. Before that, he spent 22 years in Corporate America. When he was 33 years old, he had one big moment that shifted everything.
[05:25] He calls that day his last bad day. Prior to that, he thought he was doing everything he was supposed to do.
[06:24] In spite of being successful, he had repressed stress.
[06:42] On July 11th, 2001 Michael went on a bike ride before an off-site meeting in New Mexico. He was hit head-on by an SUV going 40 miles per hour.
[08:16] He was in the worst pain of his life. He even tried to make a joke and ask how his bike was, but he was mostly trying to maintain control and not fall asleep.
[08:53] As he was boarding the helicopter, he said to himself, “If I live, I’ve got to live my life differently and stop chasing happiness.”
[12:10] This entire incident was like a traumatic pause button to discover the life that he wanted to live.
[12:48] As he came out of ICU, the doctors began to create a grim picture of his future life.
[14:07] After his third hospital stay, he realized that if he wanted to become the person he wanted to become he had to have a big mindset shift.
[15:21] There were little moments that made it possible for him to realize that he had to make a shift. Awareness, acceptance, then action or desire to create a new life.
[17:37] He followed his instinct and decided to find a quiet place and sit with his breath. He realized that he legitimately needed to make his life better for other people.
[19:21] He realized the first thing he needed to do was get back on his feet.
[20:01] He decided to go back to his job with his own sense of purpose and his own intentionality.
[21:08] It’s important that we take care of ourselves. We can’t take care of other people if we don’t take care of ourselves.
[23:26] We need to be better at managing our energy as a society. Don’t give scraps to your family and nothing to yourself.
[26:30] He added in rituals in the morning of hydration and mindfulness, and he made it a point to take breaks throughout the day during work.
[28:19] Michael chooses not to label his days as bad days.
[29:05] At Ruth’s house, they play high, low and interesting where you share your high for the day your low for the day and what was interesting for the day.
[30:37] Michael also got more comfortable with leading with love.
[32:22] In 2014, Michael became a business coach. In the ICU, a seed was planted that he would become a business coach one day.
[33:55] He used the next 13 years to prepare to become the executive coach that he always wanted to be.
[34:28] When he started his own firm, he eventually wrote his book Shift: Creating Better Tomorrows: Winning at Work and in Life and all of the proceeds go to World Bicycle Relief.
[37:29] The fear of failure and the fear of success holds people back. Getting to new levels and performing and at those levels scare people.
[40:11] Peloton is Michael’s metaphor for tribes or networks of communities. He believes we should have a lot of thought about who’s in our Peloton.
[40:45] Have the right people in your life who can counsel you when you feel stuck and take the time to determine what you want.
[43:59] Sometimes we have to make tough calls about our relationships. Healthy conversations can help build better relationships and better pelotons.
[46:30] A big fear for Michael was when he first started his business. He was afraid to charge a high price for his work. He put out the proposal anyway, and it was accepted. Then he thought he should have charged more.
[49:35] Sometimes we have to move forward in spite of fear.
[50:02] Try not to make your business all about yourself. When you make your product about you, your clients don’t feel seen or heard and, they won’t buy.
[51:31] Get really clear about who you want to help.
[53:15] Making it about other people and what you’re putting out into the world also helps to increase your confidence.
[55:28] Michael has a morning ritual where he drinks 20 oz of water and then spends a few minutes thinking about what he has going on for the day. Then he does some stretches and meditation before checking his phone.
[56:27] He wants to build up the mind body connection before he begins his work.
[57:14] Michael has a goal to help a million people have their last bad day.
[59:55] Go where your eyes go. We can shift our perspective to where we want to go and keep pedaling.