Tommy Breedlove is the Wall Street Journal and USA Today Best Selling Author of the Book, “Legendary” and the founder of the Legendary Life Movement.… A movement that empowers driven people to be Pros in Leadership, Business, Mindset, & their Relationships. Tommy challenges high achievers to stop chasing the Ghost of “More” & “When” and lean-in to the Legendary leaders, spouses, and humans they were born to be.
As a Premiere Leadership, business, relationship, and mindset coach who is a regular featured keynote speaker at global events, Tommy started his 20-year corporate career at one of the largest financial consulting firms in the world, and eventually became a shareholder, the International Practice Leader, and a member of the board of directors for one of the largest public accounting and financial firms in the southeast U.S.
At the top of his career, Tommy experienced a transformational moment inspiring him to walk away from the corporate world to change his life and follow his true calling.
Tommy now serves clients and audiences everywhere by empowering them to build and live Legendary Lives. He guides people to discover a life of significance without compromising their drive or ambition.
The simple tools he shares shows them how to work in their zone of brilliance, obtain financial confidence, and live with meaning and balance. The goal is to help everybody to become the person they’ve always wanted to be.
When Tommy isn’t speaking or serving his clients, he enjoys traveling the world, hiking, and spending quality time with his wife and two dogs.
Connect with Tommy on LinkedIn.
This transcript is machine transcribed by Sonix
Intro: Broadcasting live from the Business RadioX studios in Atlanta, Georgia. It’s time for High Velocity Radio.
Stone Payton: Welcome to the High Velocity Radio show, where we celebrate top performers producing better results in less time. Stone Payton here with you this afternoon, and today’s episode is brought to you in part by the Business RadioX Main Street Warriors program Defending Capitalism, promoting Small Business and Supporting our local community. For more information, go to Main Street Warriors dot org. You guys are in for such a real treat this afternoon. Please join me in welcoming to the broadcast leadership business relationship and mindset Coach, professional speaker, bestselling author and founder of the Legendary Life Movement, Mr. Tommy Breedlove. Good afternoon, sir.
Tommy Breedlove: Good afternoon. Stone my brother, I am so excited to be here. I’m ready to lean in, ready to do this and ready talk all things being better than we were yesterday, my friend.
Stone Payton: What a delight to have you in the studio. I think a great place to start is probably if you could articulate for me and our listeners mission purpose. What are you and your team really out there trying to do for folks?
Tommy Breedlove: Man? So we want people not only to be elite and business elite with their money elite and their success, but we also want them to be elite in their relationships, mindset, courage, respect, communication, friendships and really build and live legendary lives. And what I love about the word legendary is it’s aspirational and it’s given to us by our communities, others, the people we serve. And for me, my hope is that all humans, I want them to all be successful in business. I want them to all make as much money as our hearts desire. But don’t compromise their families, their selves, and everything that they stand for in the pursuit of more and win. And one of our core values is we’ve got a whole bunch of core values and non-negotiables, but we believe that we can’t build and live legendary lives alone. You have to have a community around you, a tribe that is walking in the same direction and the paddling the same direction that you are. Number two is we have to start prioritizing ourselves. And I’m talking about leading, loving and respecting ourselves for standing with courage, standing with confidence, standing with a strong mindset, being patient, being fulfilled. So prioritizing ourselves first and third when we do one and two. Success in life and success in our relationships comes naturally. And so that’s that’s who we are and what we stand for. My friend.
Stone Payton: I feel like maybe you fielded that question before incredibly articulate and eloquent, noble purpose. It’s got to be an amazingly rewarding pursuit. What is the back story? How in the world did you find yourself in this line of work?
Tommy Breedlove: Man A lot of pain, my brother. And so that’s the truth is at 36 years old, I come let me let me start from the beginning. I come from real humble beginnings. South side of Atlanta, good blue collar, hardworking part of the world. I was supposed to be the first person to go to college in my family. No one had ever attended college nor graduated. And unfortunately, I grew up in and around a lot of violence and abuse. And at 18 years old, I had a full ride to the University of Georgia, half a ride at the University of Miami. And unfortunately, I became what I hated. I became that violence and abuse and at 18 years old, committed a violent crime. And it was looking at seven years in prison. I had a full ride to University of Georgia, full ride to all these colleges, and I was looking at seven years and thought my life was over. Luckily, through a whole lot of luck and God and other stuff, it was dropped to two heavy misdemeanors. But I was sentenced to two years. I spent my 19th birthday incarcerated in a cage. Really cool thing happened to me there. And my friend is African American gentleman in his forties. You gotta remember I was 18 years old in a South Atlanta correctional facility. Not the not the nicest place supposed to be in college. Not the nicest place to be. And by the way, I needed to be there because it was one of the best things that ever happened to me.
Tommy Breedlove: But an African American gentleman decided to cross racial boundaries and he called me Youngblood. He said, Youngblood, you’re not going to become part of this revolving door system. And it’s unusual for people to cross racial lines, and it’s unusual for you to find wisdom, guidance and love in that place. But he said, Youngblood, you’re not going to become part of this revolving door system. We are going to do this together. And he truthfully, he. Stone He was the first true male mentor that ever appeared in my life and showed me what being a man was all about. And being a good human was all about in his life, in his opinion, was pretty much ruined. But he didn’t want me to ruin my life. So with his help and guidance, I’m going to get to how I got here to writing this book and building the legendary life movement with his help and guidance. When I got out, I dusted myself off, put myself in community college at night, worked in a nuclear waste container factory for $6 an hour during the day. It was brutal work, man. It cost me a hernia. It cost me a back surgery. It was it was tough work. But did end up at the University of Georgia, by the way. Go dogs. And in three years, I literally went from a cage, a jail cell to a company called Deloitte in three years.
Tommy Breedlove: So I really I really was world class at school and really leaned in because I didn’t think I was going to get a second opportunity. Fast forward. So I was in the financial consulting, public accounting, mergers and acquisitions business for almost about 16 years. Fast forward to 36 years old. I’m in the corner office, got the fancy suit, the nice car, all the shiny things, and people would have looked at me and said, Hey, that guy is going somewhere. But the truth is, I still felt alone. The truth is, I was still angry. The truth is I was still insecure. And how that came out was in arrogance. I look like the have it all guy, the arrogant guy, by the way, arrogance. I like to say this is just insecurity on steroids. But I was the tough guy, funny guy, life of the party guy bought all the drinks guy and really never figured out who Tommy was. And when the money, the power, the fame, the status, the respect and success didn’t like me up, I turned to what a lot of ambitious, driven men and women turn to is all the darkness think, Wolf, of Wall Street type lifestyle. And at 36 years old, I woke up in a ditch in downtown Atlanta looking at the blue sky, half dressed, didn’t know where I was and how I got there. And I knew if I continued down this path and everything around me was crumbling, my marriage was crumbling.
Tommy Breedlove: I was a partner in a firm. My business was crumbling and I was crumbling inside. And at that moment, when I looked at the blue sky, I said, No more. I’m not. I’m going to figure out who Tommy is. I’m going to figure out what I stand for, where I’m going and who’s coming with me. And at that moment, at that moment, I decided to make me my full time job, my courage, my self-confidence, my self-love, my self-respect, and really just figure out who Tommy was. And through a lot of great therapy, a lot of great coaches and a lot of great mentorship, just really transform my life in three years. And this is get to how I got here. And I never planned on leaving the financial consulting industry, but let me tell you, the tangible results of making me my full time job is like really working on mental, emotional, spiritual and physical strength. Is my money doubled in three years. I went from junior partner to senior partner to international practice leader to elected to the board of directors at 39 of a large financial firm. Most of the people were in their sixties. My network ten and I got rid of all the vampires, the energy drains in my network, and really started surrounding myself with loving, abundant, truly successful people inside and out. But most importantly, the intangible results of I went from being one of the most feared and despised people in the firm to one of the most beloved.
Tommy Breedlove: My marriage went from life support to the strongest it’s ever been, and most importantly, I found peace, joy, happiness, courage and fulfillment in life. And I never planned on leaving. So here I am, a senior partner and member of the board, board and all these all these ambitious entrepreneurs, executives, bankers, lawyers, men and women started reaching out to me and asking me to go get a beer or go grab a cup of coffee. And I thought, Hey, we’re going to go make millions together. And they’re like, No, man, I want to know what you did and how you did it. And I want some of that. And eventually, with support from my wife, support from my network, I decided to sell my equity the firm, walk away and build the legendary life movement. We wrote a book. I’m just super thankful it’s become a USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestseller, but it really is a book on self leadership. You really can’t have it all purpose more time, more significant. It’s a big network. You can make all their money, but most importantly, you can live the good life, have great relationships, and do life the right way. And so I’m just so happy to be where I’m at now and so grateful to be able to pay some of this forward. But that’s how I got to where I am now. That’s the back story.
Stone Payton: Well, you’re clearly finding the work very rewarding. What are you enjoying the most at this point? What’s the most fun for.
Tommy Breedlove: You watching others become who they were born to be? Just watching them. We all one thing we all need to hear is there’s an area in all of our lives that we could we probably want to be going a little bit better. It could be our relationship with our spouse, it could be our courage. It could be making more money, it could be success. It could be just finding happiness. It could be letting go of something. And when people come to us, you know, we want we want to be the movement that people do live and business with. And when people come to us and whatever hole they’re trying to fill, I want them to know that they’re not alone. I want them to know, no matter what story they’re telling themselves or what they’ve been through or what mistake they’ve made, they can truly overcome anything and can become the people that they were born to be. And I’m no guru, I’m no psychologist, I’m no sage on the stage. I’m just a guy getting up every day and walking the walk with them, walking side by side. But I want people to know they’re not alone. I want people know that they can overcome anything. And when you see people truly and here’s what I like to say is we take people from ignorance to awareness, to transformation, to mastery, ignorance, awareness. Transformation, then you come into mastery and leadership. And to me, leadership is teaching it and paying it forward. And our movement is based on that. So we take people from ignorance to awareness to transformation. It could be business, it could be money, it could be success, it could be in the relationships, it could be in their family, it could be in their friendships, it could be in their happiness. And when we at the end of the day, what lights me up is when people look in the mirror and they start seeing an ally and a friend and not an enemy. That’s what lights me up, brother.
Stone Payton: So making the transition from sounds like what was a really great life in.
Tommy Breedlove: Rewarding financially for.
Stone Payton: Sure. In phase two, it had to be a little bit daunting, wasn’t it scary? Speak to that a little bit and how you made it to.
Tommy Breedlove: Which my wife was here first. Think through it, man. Are you talking about when I walked away and sold my equity in the firm? Yes. Yeah. So one of the first things I did was cut our cable. This is back showing my age. That’s when we had cable TV and finally, you know, sold my wife’s car, didn’t sell my car. Sold her car. Finally, she’s like, Hey, man, I got to remind you of something. I have a job. I have a job. You might be broke. I’m not broke. And so, honestly, there was a lot of fear. There was a lot of insecurity. And, you know, the book and the movement didn’t just appear. It took me wiggling and waggling and failing and giving up and having the efforts and all these things. And but what never faded was her belief in me. What never faded was the people who I surrounded myself believing in what we were going to do. And then when the moment the aha struck me is to go out there and build a retreat experience mastermind company to help ambitious driven. I loved what you guys said for at the beginning is if you love capitalism, if you love being a great leader, you love being a great human, you love what everything this country stands for is. I want you know, we’re not for everybody. We the truth is, I was scared to death. But when we found our calling, when we found our purpose and we found what we were put here on this earth for, it all just started happening. It just all started flowing. It’s like we got in the zone. And again, I want I want to finish my sentences.
Tommy Breedlove: We’re not for everybody. And you can ask, there’s team members sitting all around us is we’re allergic to laziness, we’re allergic to apathy, we’re allergic to entitlement and we’re allergic to victimhood. And so we want everybody to know that they’re the captain of their ship. We want them to be the puppeteer and not the puppet and the lion and not the sheep. And so we’re not for everybody, but the people we are for seem to love us. And it’s just flowing, brother. It’s just flowing. So it took me a little while to figure it out. It took me about six years and luckily I had the unconditional support of, you know, I believe if you wake up in this country and that’s you’ve got to be grateful for that. You’re on this side of the tree. And if you have at least one person who loves you, you’re winning and that’s all you really need. And so I had that person and I had an unbelievable network of friends, mentors, coaches. You know, I’m in the coaching business. I have two coaches. I run masterminds, I’m into masterminds. So I practice what I preach every day. And, you know, I don’t have it all figured out, man. But but yeah, I was really scared. And some days I wake up and ask, Can I do it? You got it in you today. You got one more day in you can you do this? And when you look in the mirror, you just say, Hell yeah, I can do it. Let’s go, let’s go get it done. So, yeah, so we still have those moments every now and then too.
Stone Payton: Well, it’s one thing for you to reach that point and for you to be that resilient and for you to be able to dig down and keep persevering, it is yet still another to build a team around you that can help you live into that mission. Speak a little bit, if you would, to what it takes, how you crack the code, recruiting, developing, cultivating that culture so that you can work through other people to help you get there. Man.
Tommy Breedlove: So we’re to me, I’ll answer the question of how you do anything is how you do everything. And so for me, we’re we’re about to have 13 people across three brands and two companies. We’re small but mighty. And so you can you can ask the people here, we’re really, really selective. We have a very thorough hiring process. We are able to weed out at the very, very end. They talk to just about all of our team members, every person sitting in here, the two that are in here with me, they have to be a hell yes across the board for every single person involved. And at the very, very end, we send them this document and Brooke can attest to this. He’s sitting to my left and it says who we are and who we’re not, what we stand for and what we do not stand for. And so everybody is on the same page. They’ve been vetted. And for me, leadership is about you were asking, how do you recruit, retain and attract the best? You’ve got to walk the walk. You’ve got to do what you say you’re going to do. You’ve got to show up every day and communicate, be authentic, be who you are, and empower and challenge people to be better than they were yesterday. So we practice what we preach. We walk the walk. And to me, the biggest failure in leadership is self awareness. And one thing that we. We stand for is authenticity. I don’t have all the answers. I need to surround myself with the best and brightest. And if you want to recruit a player, you know what a player talent wants.
Tommy Breedlove: I just pointed it to people. You know what they want? They want to be around other players. Yeah, they want opportunity, They want challenge, and they want you to give a damn about them. As humans, we invest in every single person that we have their personal development, their personal growth, their marriages, their friendships. We don’t want just to make them world class and bad ass in business. We want them to be that in life. And the last thing they care about is money. And for me, leadership is all about self-awareness. Knowing your strengths, knowing your weaknesses, staying in your zone and empowering great people around you to be in their zone and challenge them every day and empower them and ask for their help. Number two, it’s about confidence. You’ve got to be confident in your craft. I’m not talking about just confidence in doing your craft at confidence inside self esteem. You’ve got to be optimistic. You’ve got to be authentic and you’ve got to be consistent. Walk the walk every single day to be a little bit better than you were yesterday. And that’s how you recruit and retain talent. Culture is just about building the cult brother, and it’s about being around people who believe to their core and what you do, how you do it. And we’re not the Tommy Breedlove Show. We’re the legendary life movement. The mountaintop lodge. Shine your bright. That’s the show that we are. And we want people to embody that. And we think we do a good job of attracting. You’re looking at them right next to me. So here we have it.
Stone Payton: Job well done. Well, I absolutely love the notion of coupling with what we are, what we stand for, with what we’re not.
Tommy Breedlove: What we’re not.
Stone Payton: I speak to that a little bit more because you obviously put some real time and energy into into this piece of it.
Tommy Breedlove: We’re not we we have an anti exclusion policy. We’re not we don’t exclude anybody. We we also have a no politics, no religion policy because that tends to exclude and divide and scare. We’re allergic to fear. You know, we’re not mob think we’re not groupthink. We want to think for ourselves. When we see the mob going that way, we want to go the other direction. We want to speak for ourselves. We want to think for ourselves. We don’t believe in victimhood. And we’ve talked about that earlier. Like, no matter where you’ve been or what’s happened to you or what mistakes you’ve made, look in the mirror. And no, that’s the problem, the solution. And there is an answer to every problem. We’re against laziness, we’re against apathy. And at the end of the day, we’re we’re allergic to entitlement as well. And we have principles not only within our team, but principles with our movement. And number one is we lead with love. So that’s who we are. Number two is we want to be curious first and critical second. We want to be learners and not growers. We want to be fully present and at the end of the day, we want to take action on everything we do. We’re good at setting goals, we’re good at doing strategy, we’re good at moving forward. But if you have the best intentions and you don’t take action, intention without action and action without intention is nonsense. And so we want to set goals and strategies and empower the people around us to grow.
Tommy Breedlove: And by the way, we’re very giving people we also one of our core principles is we’re net givers. We’re not takers. I’m not here to take from these people. I’m here to give as much as I can. And so at the end of the day, if we’re fully immersed, we’re fully present. We’re taking action. If you take action without intention, you go a long way, but you go the wrong way. And so for me, it’s about embodying who you are and what you. And I’ve got to be honest. Stone We don’t always win, but we’re nine steps forward, one step back. And I was getting an earful on the way here, saying, Hey, you’ve got to communicate a little better. You got to you got to help me a little bit more. I was getting an earful. She got me 50 minutes in the car and I was getting my ass kicked, my butt kicks. All right, we can edit that out. I was getting my butt kicked for all that time. And so, you know, it’s just about working hard at being a better leader, working hard at being better human, a better man, a better husband and a better friend. And if we do that, if we take nine steps forward and one back, we’re winning. In a former life pre 36, I was taking two, four, two and eight back and it feels a whole lot better. And you sleep a whole lot better when you live your core values and principles.
Stone Payton: Yeah. All right. Let’s talk about the work when when you begin to work with a client, an organization, what are some things that you do, especially in the early stages of that relationship?
Tommy Breedlove: Yeah. So there’s there’s a lot of different ways to work with us. At the end of the day, we’re an experience based business, and so the most powerful thing that we do, so we have corporate work as well and we work. I’ll do that really quickly. When we work with a corporation, we want them, their leadership, their teams to build trust, to connect, to be able to have conversations, to grow, learn leadership, but also to solve a problem and an opportunity within a company. So we run internal masterminds, internal consulting groups for teams and team leaders, and it’s one of the most rewarding things we do. But on the individual side, most of the people who come to us are ambitious, driven. They don’t have to be successful. They just got to want to be successful. And the most powerful thing we do is called the Legendary Life Foundation retreat. And it’s for ambitious, driven men and ambitious, driven women. And we bring them to a beautiful facility in the north Georgia mountains, the Appalachian Mountains, called the Mountaintop Lodge, which is also part of our brand and part of our company. And it’s a boutique, beautiful hotel, 16 bedroom, 17 baths, 15 acres, but in a beautiful spot. And it’s so warm and giving. And we bring these people there to give them clarity who they are, where they’re going. And who’s coming with them, both professionally and personally. We also give them the tools and skills to be world class in their relationships, world class and their leadership, but most importantly, world class and self love, self respect, self confidence, courage and leaving stronger than when they arrived so that they can go lead others better.
Tommy Breedlove: And the last thing we do at that retreat is connect them to other world class humans who believe in the same thing. And when we bring people into our retreat, we just don’t want it to be one and done like, Hey, I came there, I got these tools we want. We want them to do family and life and business with us. So we have a community and mastermind. We run experiences throughout the year. We do fun stuff together, outdoor stuff, sports stuff, but it always has a component of leadership, business and life mastery to it. So we do. We have fun, but we also run masterminds and communities that we meet twice to four times a month together to be better in business, to make more money, but to also be better in life and to hold each other accountable. So it’s an entire ethos from the book to the retreat to the experiences, to the community, to the mastermind. It’s all about we want to be again the group that you do business in life with and ultimately to achieve success. And God willing, when our preciously short time on this earth is over, that we can say, Hell, we built and live legendary lives. We left this world, our fellow humans in the communities we serve better than we found them. And that’s what we want. Rather, that’s the end goal.
Stone Payton: So there’s the mindset, there’s the self-awareness, there’s the desire to want to move in this direction. But I’m also operating under the impression that you have very likely landed on some discipline, some rigor, some methodology, some structure that makes a mastermind these experiences far more productive, far faster. Is that accurate?
Tommy Breedlove: Super fast. And success is the one thing that we want. I want everyone to hear is the only power that you have is your choice. That’s the only thing you’re in control of is your choices. You are in control of nothing else. I mean, nothing. We like to think that we’re in control. I mean, we can inspire, we can lead, we can grow, we can power. But the only thing we truly as human beings are in control of is our choices. And to me, success. Success in life, success and love and success in business is all about your habits. I mean, your habits. You’ve got to lead yourself first. You have to participate in your own rescue. And it’s the most selfless thing that you can do. And when you wake up every day and you have a world class routine to be physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally successful, you do the reps every day. It’s like going to the gym every single day. You’re lifting the weights, but you’ve got to do it with your heart muscles. You’ve got to do it with your mind muscles. If it’s important to your soul muscles and you’ve got to do it with your physical muscles, because if you’re not growing, you’re dying. And so we give people systems and routines based on what they love to do, what they don’t love to do, to make them mentally, emotionally, spiritually strong, physically strong, so that they can go lead themselves first, so that they can lead others.
Tommy Breedlove: And that’s everything that we talk about is being elite, not only in business, not only in their systems, not only in their companies, but elite in life. And so a major portion of what we do, again, is you can’t do it alone. You got to have a community around you that’s net givers that lift you up and make you better. You’ve got to have the daily disciplines every day to get up and be a little bit better than you were yesterday. And when you do one in two, success in life, success and love and success in business so that your habit, your habits dictate everything. It’s people say you’re lucky. No, you’re not lucky, man. You create your own luck Where talent makes habits meets grit, that’s success. That’s what that’s everything we say. So there is systems that we build. When people leave my retreat, they literally have a toolbox on how to do leadership in life. It is a and they can go back to it. It’s literally like going back to scripture, man. You can go back to it and lead it and say, Oh, I’m struggling here in this friendship or I’m struggling in business or I’m struggling with leadership. Let’s go back to this toolkit. Oh, and let’s remind ourselves this is the habits that we’ve got to create to be better than we were yesterday.
Stone Payton: So how does the whole sales and marketing thing work for a guy like you, a firm like yours? How do you get the new business? How do you get a chance to even have a conversation like this with the leader of an organization or an individual?
Tommy Breedlove: So we have we’re I used to think we’re a leadership, content and community first. That’s really not true. Like we’re elite in our content and our retreats, our experiences, our mastermind. We’re a sales and marketing company first, because if nobody knows about you, what good are you doing? And so we’ve shifted our mindset to sales and marketing from speaking on stages. It doesn’t hurt that we’ve written a Wall Street Journal in USA Today bestseller. And by the way, if you’re not a reader, I will read it to you. So there’s no excuse not to listen to it. And it’s fun. It’s short and it’s actionable. And that’s what people want, right? But you’ve got to choose to do the work. So from being on stages to being on podcast like this, to constantly being out there evangelizing and championing the movement to systems and processes on our marketing and sales side, you know, we’re always out there championing what we do and who we are and we’re proud of it. And it’s not just me, it just doesn’t fall on my shoulders. Everybody that we have talks about what we do. And honestly, brother, and I hope this comes, you know, arrogance is the enemy. You know, humility is the ally. But we deliver on what we do. We walk the walk. And when people come through our doors, they want to go tell ten other people.
Tommy Breedlove: So you’ve got to create a world class experience, a world class mastermind, a world class retreat in a world class community, because that will they’ll go out there and champion your we have we have a whole list of champions that we’re constantly loving on. Not all clients are created equal. And honestly, we fire clients rapidly if they’re not who they say they are and they’re just there to make money, you know, money. I’m I’m a big fan of whatever Harvick says is he says, if you say money’s not important, run from them because they’re broke. So money is important, but it is a magnifying glass. If you’re a terrible person, it’s going to magnify that. If you’re a great person, it’s going to magnify that. And so at the end of the day, you’ve got to do what you do and do it as good or better than anybody else. And you’ve got to constantly be promoting yourself and everything you stand for. And we start with promoting who we are and who we’re not. And I think people buy into that. So we are a sales and marketing company. If I said that and we have an entire strategy for 2023, they’re going to have an entire strategy for 2024. But, you know, we we are a systems and processes and habits based company, so we have to practice what we preach.
Stone Payton: And doing good work. It seems to be an incredibly effective sales tool. Does.
Tommy Breedlove: It does. And what it’s doing good work is an incredibly effective sales strategy for sure. But I think what people appreciate about us as well is we don’t have all the answers, but we do our best to honor our core values every single day. And I think that is addictive, is being around people who are like you, attracting and retaining the best and the brightest. All of my clients have become my friends. That certainly doesn’t. These are the people I want to do business in life with. These are the people I want to refer business to. These are the people I want to travel with. I’m literally getting ready to go to Mexico to spend three days, three days with one client and five days with two other clients. That’s how much I love these people. So yeah, that helps as well.
Stone Payton: So I have in my hot little hands an autographed copy of this USA Today in Wall Street Journal bestseller called Legendary. Tell me a little bit about the experience of writing the book. Did some pieces of the book, some parts of it come together much easier than others? Was it a struggle all the way through? Awful.
Tommy Breedlove: Awful. It was a three year fist fight with myself. Who cares? Who’s going to listen to it? Nobody wants to hear what you got to say. Imposter syndrome. Fraud syndrome. I’ll tell you the true story it was. And everybody was telling me to write a book. I’m from the South side of Atlanta, man. English is like my third language. And so them telling me to write a book, I’m like, I don’t know how to write a book and who’s going to care about what I say anyway. And literally, this is true story. After three years into this, I had a terrible title. It was a crappy book and it wasn’t. We had publishers and editors and consultants and teams and all, and we had spent a bloody fortune on this thing. And I was like, It’s just complete crap. And I wrote, I don’t know who seen Jerry Maguire, you know, he writes that email. Yeah, yeah. I wrote a Jerry Maguire email to the publisher, the editor. And these people are all over the country Boston, Colorado, New York, you name it. And I wrote him. I said, like, the book stinks. I stink. I’m sorry for wasting your time, Keep my money, blah, blah, blah. And my wife was out of town in Chicago, and I’m a social person, so I rarely ever have a cocktail alone. But I decided to have some whiskey that night. I’m not kidding. And I’m just all up in the Tommy go round all up in my head. We like to call my alter ego Ike. And Ike was just screaming at me, You stink. You’re you’re fraud, blah, blah, blah. And literally about the second. Glass of whiskey. I’m not kidding. The chapters appeared.
Tommy Breedlove: And don’t write a book about you. Write a book that people need. Write a book that you needed at 36. Write that book. And there’s only about seven pages in that book about me of 140. And the rest is about the work. And the chapters appeared literally appeared in My Woe is Me self nonsense moment. And I sent a second email after I’d already told him how I stink and the book stinks and I’ve wasted their time. I write him a second email and I was like. Forgive me. May we jump on a zoom tomorrow? Because these people are all over the country. And I thought they were going to tell me to take a hike. And they’re like, okay, man, this has been a three year process. You’ve earned this. And literally they’re all sitting there silent. They’re like, I don’t know what this guy is going to come in and say. And I just put this put the chapters up and said, Will you give me three months to write it? And they said, Absolutely. And we wrote the final book in three months, and here’s how I wrote it is a team member would press record and type and I would literally walk in nature. And just she would spur me with questions and I just pounded it out. And then we got with the editors and people in the team who were so much better at English, so much better at putting it together, so much better organizing than I was. And that’s what you have in your hand today. So it was a three year fistfight. And finally the good the good in me won over the devil. So here we are. Here we are today. So.
Stone Payton: So the structure of the book, let’s talk about how to get the most out of it as an individual. But also this strikes me as something that may be a team could use. Read it, come back together. Yes. Talk to that a little bit.
Tommy Breedlove: What we recommend people do is read or listen to the book thoroughly once. And the book really takes a dramatic journey about halfway. The beginning part of the book is about building people’s trust and giving them what they want. People want more a bigger network, more friendships, they want more time, they want more money, they want more success. The whole part of the book, the first part of the book, is building that trust and giving them the tools and systems of what they want. About halfway through the book, we take a turn and then we give them what they need a stronger mindset, more confidence, a better relationship with themselves, a better relationship with their friends, a better relationship with their significant other living the good life and really speaking to their heart, mind and soul. The first part is external, and the second part is internal. But what we recommend people is read or listen to the book first. Go back with your team. It is a leadership book. It is a it is a it’s a leadership book. It’s all based on leadership and go back and work the section that you need the most right now, but go back and work in the whole first chapter is getting people in the arena, taking action, taking intentional action on their life, and knowing that nobody who is successful, even people who are born with money, doesn’t mean they’re successful at all usually. But success is earned. Take intentional action and go back and work the part of the book or come do it with us. That’s what we hope. Either go work the part of the book that you need the most and go take intentional action. And over time it’s just like compounding interest. You will become stronger with a better mindset and ultimately more successful in whatever part of your business or life that you want. That’s what we recommend people do.
Stone Payton: You got to tell me, man. What is it like to be a professional speaker? That’s got to be a real charge to be on stage and sharing some of these ideas with a whole bunch of folks.
Tommy Breedlove: It I still get the heebie jeebies and I still want to throw up about 80% of the time. And so that means I’m doing something right. It means I care. I want it to be authentic. I don’t want it to be fake. It is a high brother. Especially when you look in somebody’s eyes and you know they got it. They’re going to do something about it because, you know, 99% of people aren’t going to do what they did yesterday and they’re not going to take any action. But the one the one or two that you see and you see tears coming, people’s eyes. And when we speak, we give people the gift of going second. We get up there and tell the real story. We don’t get up there and talk about how we’ve built a movement, built these companies, and have written a Wall Street Journal bestseller. We talk about what it looks like when we weren’t there and what we did to overcome that and how we got here. And what you’re doing is sharing wisdom and not advice. And what you’re also doing is giving them the gift of going second and knowing they’re not alone. Whether it’s their business struggle, their leadership struggle, their financial struggle, or their life struggle. And hopefully with our story and the story of the people we serve and the people around us, they will get hope. Be inspired. But ultimately, I don’t want to motivate you. I don’t want to inspire you. What I want you to do is take action and build new habits and become the person that you were born to be. So but what I love about it the most is not the external. You know, we’re not here to be famous. We’re here to make an impact. And at the end of the day, brother, I get to talk in the mirror all day long and like, you’re not doing this. This is the one part that you’re not being authentic on. And I will say that on the stage.
Stone Payton: And if you forget Daniel, I’ll tell.
Tommy Breedlove: You, that’s always all the way here, brother. All the way here. I’m like, I got to get out of this car.
Stone Payton: With your commitment to integrity, my dad would say the audio matching the video. Yeah, I know. There’s got to be plenty of parallels. Plenty of overlap. And yet, I suspect there are some distinct differences in the speaking and facilitating these retreats that’s probably got a little bit more of a peer to peer exchange involved. Yeah, talk a little bit about that.
Tommy Breedlove: It’s a it’s a peer to peer exchange and you’ve got to be completely on. You’ve got to be completely on. You’ve got to be completely lasered in completely present and listen to not only what they’re saying, what they’re not saying, because we’re in the clarity business. They’re coming there to be better leaders, women, men and humans. They’re coming there to these are people who take action. These are the people who are ready to be better than they were yesterday. And so when you’re facilitating, there’s treats, you’ve got to be all on. You’ve got to be deep listening, you’ve got to share wisdom and not advice. You’ve got to listen to what they’re saying and what they’re not saying. And we’ve helped and empowered and challenged so many people. Now, humans are pretty simple. We have pretty simple needs and just given them the systems, the tools, the habits, knowing that not alone, knowing that whatever they’re going through, that we’ve seen it or been there ourselves, and here’s the tools and systems to overcome it yet is completely different than in speaking to a thousand people. When you’re in a room with 16 ambitious, driven men and women who literally are there to sharpen their pencil. It’s a really empowering experience. It’s really enriching, and it also helps me and helps them. But the most importantly, the magic comes in the connection. The magic comes in between sessions when they’re getting deep and real and asking about something in their business or asking about something in their life and sharing and growing together. That’s in the power of the retreats, the experiences and the mastermind and the speaking is about hopefully challenging, empowering and connecting with someone of such a deep level that they get hope but ultimately take action because this life is so preciously short. And at the end of the day, I want people to end their lives with a heart full of gratitude and their regrets. And that’s what this whole movement is built on.
Stone Payton: The lifelong relationships, the compound returns that you must get from participating in one of these retreats, I can only imagine it’s incredible.
Tommy Breedlove: I have to pinch myself sometimes and say, You get to do this today, like and you know what we tell everybody. And I mean, I’ve got to I’ve got one person to my left and one person to my right and the person to my left is brand new. And we’re so excited to have her. By the way, her name’s Miss Brooke. She’s into my left and Danielle. But it is so like we have to pinch ourselves that we get to do this for a living. But one of our core values is gratitude. And we’re always telling each other what we’re grateful for, and we’re always telling our members what we’re grateful for. But at the end of the day, we live gratitude. We love what we do. But again, we get to we get to look in the mirror every day and saying, are we honoring, are we serving, Are we making an impact? Are we living a life of significance? So it’s really cool to get to do this. And and I want I want everyone to hear, since I have my teammates here, is we don’t give you anything. No one owes us anything. You got to go take it. And the people sitting to my left and right, they earned it and they were selected. They earned their way here. And so no one owes us anything. There’s no magic pill, no one coming on a horse to save us. We’ve got to look in the mirror and know that we are the problem solution. And the people here and the 12 or 13 people that are I think we have 13 now with Mr. Jack. We just hired a guy named Jack Ryan. How cool is that?
Stone Payton: That is way.
Tommy Breedlove: Cool. Like, I’m like, he’s going to be like Tommy, but better. Jack Ryan, You got to live up to that name. But again, they were earned and they were selected and they believe in what we’re doing, who we are, and to me, getting up and to serve these humans as much as we get to serve our our members and our clients is just as rewarding. And again, get my butt kicked for 45 minutes on the way over here about all the things I could be doing better. It was pretty, pretty amazing too. And that authenticity that me asking and her feeling empowered to share and not scared is just it’s just that’s who we are and what we stand for, brother.
Stone Payton: So there’s the corporate work that you can do on demand, organize. But but these other these are open enrollment opportunities periodically. Yes.
Tommy Breedlove: So they’re open enrollment. We run about 6 to 8 executive and entrepreneur retreats a year. We do separate the men and women for those. But then when we have community or mastermind, we bring us all back together. And the reason we separate them. Before you start, don’t send me hate mail because I really don’t care what you think anyway is the reason, unfortunately. And this is, you know, women are the superior gender. I believe that with all my heart. And I’m not saying that to get airtime men when it comes like 80% of human beings are struggling with their relationship with their significant other. It’s not if you’re going to struggle, it’s when. Yeah, because it’s two human beings with their own needs and communication styles and desires and idiosyncrasies and what they want, what they don’t want. And for some reason, men, the weaker of the gender, if there’s a woman in the room, won’t open up. Be authentic about the struggles they have in their relationship. It’s crazy not Oh man, so don’t send me hate email, but most won’t open up and share where. And so that’s why a major part of what we do is not only clarity and self mastery and leadership and connecting, but it is also about the work in our relationships. The two greatest assets you have is, number one is yourself and number two, the partner you choose in life. And we got to get that right. We got to be the same people behind closed doors that we are in public.
Tommy Breedlove: And so that’s why we separate the women. But anyway, I think I got off track there. But yes, it is open enrollment. It’s easier to join our community. Our communities are the two options so they know that we’re not a cult. And starting the work of being a better leader, being more successful in business, being more successful in life. It’s a dip your toe, it’s a lower level investment. You get to know who we are, what we stand for, where we’re going is facilitated by a naval special operator that also helps me co facilitate retreats. It’s a dip your toe option, but I want everybody to hear you just can’t sign up for a retreat and go. Just like our team. There’s going to be an interview. We’re going to talk to you. We’re going to look you in the eye. We’re going to also make you feel out something that you don’t want to fill out. And we’re going to know everything about you before you get there because we’ve got to know how to serve you. And so we want people to be successful in business. And we have a no A-hole policy and an arrogance. I mean, it’s it’s such a rewarding experience and a negative apple can take it all the way. And so before you step foot in a retreat, we’re going to know a lot about you. And multiple people will have talk to you.
Stone Payton: I’m not even a little bit convinced that you are equipped to field this question, but I’m going to ask it anyway. It’s my show, right? So I can ask.
Tommy Breedlove: Yes, whatever you want.
Stone Payton: Brother, If and when it ever happens and the batteries run a little bit low and you need to recharge, where do you go? And I don’t necessarily mean a physical place, but where do you go to recharge the batteries, kind of get re-inspired and ready to live up and into all this stuff you’re trying to accomplish.
Tommy Breedlove: So when I got to tell you, a former teammate of mine who she looked at me in the eye one time and said, we don’t we don’t actually rest. We just write about it. You’re that you write about resting, but we don’t actually rest. And I took that to heart. And so the batteries are low right now. They’re low. They’re super low in me right now. And in order for me in the team to get our best effort is we have to sometimes step away all the great step away. And I’m talking mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually recharge. We have been building multiple companies and multiple brands in these movements for so long. I mean, we’re going long day and I love the work. The work is all about the work. I mean, it likes me up, it fuels me. But the batteries are low right now, so me and the wife are stepping away. We’re heading to Cabo, to Mexico. But if you’re asking me how do I recharge? And we just held ourselves accountable to this. Yes, we literally talked about this yesterday. What recharge is a lot of us is nature. Nature is my church. Nature is my holy place. And I’m fortunate enough to live in the Appalachian Mountains. And so we just committed to ourselves as a team to go. Well, once, at least once a month and go walk in those mountains, get quiet, get recharged, get emotionally mentally strong, get physically strong, connect even deeper.
Tommy Breedlove: So I have to force myself to step away. I have to force myself to rest. Now I sleep well at night because I live my core values. And you want to sleep well at night. Just live your damn core values. You’ll sleep well at night. But I have to go rest, recharge, protect the asset, protect my team. Protect. And we encourage that. Where our team members, like that team member who said we don’t rest, we just write about it. I take that that’s that’s a shot. That’s a core value shot. And she’s right. She was 100% right. So we like, sent her away, got her massages, like gave her like two weeks. So, so sorry. Sorry. Because we don’t realize not that we’re bad people just weren’t, you know, we weren’t thinking. And so the batteries are low now, so we’re going to physically get away. We’re going to turn our phones off the best we can and turn our emails off the best we can. But how I really recharge is my daily and morning routines. I love that. I love my readings, I love my journaling, I love my meditations, I love my visualizations, I love my walking, my dogs. I have a non-negotiable. I don’t start work before nine. I won’t meet with you before nine. That’s when we start. So my morning routine really lights me up. Nature really lights me up. And be honest, we the batteries are low and I’m getting ready to step away.
Stone Payton: I am so glad that I asked for one marvelous idea is marvelous counsel, but it’s also making me feel a little bit better about myself because I do run low on batteries from from time to time. Before we wrap, I’d love to leave our listeners with, I don’t know, a few. I’ll call them Pro Tips. Just some things to be thinking about reading, doing, not doing. Just to begin to go down this path and at least begin to pursue Legendary a little more practically.
Tommy Breedlove: All right. I’m going to be blunt. So 999 of you are not going to do what I’m about to say. And I feel weird saying this because my social media person is filming me as I’m talking. But when we wake up, the first thing I’m going to I’m going to challenge everyone. But only only one out of a thousand is going to do what I’m about to challenge. But when you wake up, the first thing I want you to say is, Thank you. Did you get another day? And every day I wake up, I’m an early riser. I wake up way before my wife. My wife’s an introvert. I’m an extrovert. But I literally she has no idea that I look her hair and say thank you. And I literally look at this guy as I think he because we get one more day that’s pro tip. Let’s start your day and gratitude not starting. You’re like, Oh my God, I got so much to do today. Well, if that’s your attitude, you’re busy. Which means someone or something else is in charge of your time. Here’s what no one’s going to do. You ready for this? Yes, sir. We all do the same thing when we get up. I mean, I’m not going to tell you what it is, but we head to one room and do one thing, all of us.
Tommy Breedlove: But if you take what I’m holding up with you, which is your phone, you have lost your day because you’re either going to be in the news, social media, text or email, that’s one thing. Or playing a video game, which is a whole master class, which is ridiculous. You hear me? Young female. That’s ridiculous. You’re addicted. You have lost your day because you’re either at work and social media love you promotes envy, jealousy, not good enough. You’re either Instagram fabulous or LinkedIn successful, which is BS either way or you’re on your text, which is somebody else’s to do list or or you’re in your email, which is somebody else’s do list. And even worse, the news and left or right news is meant to divide you, scare you, make you worried, and they are elite at making you feel like a puppet and dividing us. So you’ve lost your day. You’re in your alpha state when you first wake up. So the first pro tip is to say thank you. The second pro tip is put down your crack cocaine, i.e. your phone because they’re meant to be addictive and go into your alpha work. That’s the time to get physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally strong. And how you do anything is how you do everything. That’s the daily habits of going to the mental, emotional, spiritual and physical gym, getting quiet, reading something that’s growing you doing some writing, meditating, exercising and thinking about how you’re going to win your day.
Tommy Breedlove: That’s when you’re at your Alpha state. And if you want to be world class, we like to say we want you to be world class and badass. And not only business, but life. How you do anything is how you do everything, and your habits will dictate your success. So put down your phone, pick up a book, read something that helps you grow. Learn something new every single day. Get quiet with yourself. Do a little bit of writing. Do some physical work. I have a formal gratitude practice that I do everything. I write down my affirmations, my intentions and my gratitude. And that’s a whole nother master class. But the pro tip is putting down your phone. Are you serving your technology or is your technology serving you? That’s what I would ask. Are you in charge of your life? Are you using the word busy when you wake up? Is your eyes wide and saying thank you? Or you’re like, Oh God, I’ve got to go do this again. And so no one in the world has any more time than anybody else. We all have the same 24 hours in the day, 100% of us in the truly successful and the truly happy are just it’s their daily habits and their daily routines and waking up and wanting to be better and growing.
Tommy Breedlove: Because if you’re not growing, you’re dying. And being open minded, being curious first, critical second. And being a learner rather than an hour, that is the key to a successful life. And how you enjoy your day is just as important. Are you watching TV or are you numbing out on social media? Are you on your phone which is ending your day with poison? It’s like drinking poison and expecting to get healthy because nothing on that phone and nothing in your email and nothing on that TV is probably healthy. Or are you reading or are you writing or are you having a conversation with your significant other? And the bedroom is really meant for only a couple of things. And we don’t need to talk about what those are. But you’ve got to protect and defend your heart. You’ve got to protect and defend your mind. You’ve got to protect and defend your relationship. And we’ve outsourced our happiness to everybody else. And our happiness is ultimately our success is up to us. So how you begin and end your day means everything. It means everything. Put down the technology and pick something up that feeds your mental, emotional and spiritual soul. That’s what I would say. There’s the Pro Tips.
Stone Payton: Tell me that may be more and more practical wisdom than we have ever captured in the space of 4 minutes here on the Business RadioX Network. Thank you for that. Let’s make sure that our listeners can get connected with you. Have a conversation with you or someone on your team. I want them to be able to tap into your work. I want them to have easy access to this book. So whatever you feel like is appropriate email, LinkedIn, website. I just want to make sure they can get connected with you. Man.
Tommy Breedlove: I’m going to make it easy. The first thing is, first of all, the book is everywhere. It’s an electronic format. If you’re not a reader, I will read it to you on Audible and this is going to sound mean. Those who don’t read or know better, those who can’t. And so go out and start reading some books or listening to some books. There’s no excuse they’re going to grow. So go out and check out the book. It’s at all your bookstores. It’s at the airports. You can find it anywhere. If what I said resonated to you and you want a community or tribe to do business in life with to be more successful in all parts of your life, I’m going to just say email me directly. Tommy at Tommy Breedlove dot com email me directly. Tommy at Tommy Breedlove. Here’s the truth. There’s three or four people in that inbox. We will not miss you if you go to our info at Tommy Breedlove, we’re going to lose you because there’s a lot of stuff coming through there. But email me directly at Tommy. Tommy Breedlove, me or a member of my team will reach out. We’ll nurture you. We want you to be part of our movement. We want to be the people in our community. So email me directly. Tommy at Tommy, we’d like to help, but more importantly, take action. Go read the book. Go listen to the book, and you’ll get the soul of who we are, where we’re going, and who’s coming with us. And if that soul touches your soul, come hang out with us. We’d love to do business in life with you.
Stone Payton: Well, Tommy, it has been an absolute delight having you in the studio this afternoon. Thank you for investing the time to share your perspective, your insight. Thank you for coming in studio where we get a chance to see each other face to face. This has been marvelous, and the work you’re doing is so important. Keep up the good work, man. And. And don’t be a stranger. Come back and see me. Okay.
Tommy Breedlove: Thank you, brother. Guaranteed. Guaranteed. Love it. Thank you. So humbled to be here. Thank you for having me, brother. It’s been an absolute honor.
Stone Payton: Absolutely. My pleasure. All right. Until next time, this is Stone Payton for our guest today, Tommy Breedlove with legendary life movement and everyone here at the business Radio X family saying we’ll see you in the fast lane.