Cameron Herold (@cameronherold) is the mastermind behind hundreds of companies’ exponential growth, former COO of 1-800-GOT-JUNK, founder of the COO Alliance, and author of five books, including Double Double: How to Double Your Revenue and Profit in 3 Years or Less.
What We Discuss with Cameron Herold:
- Understanding the personal and professional ups and downs of the entrepreneurial roller coaster.
- Why having bipolar disorder and/or ADHD might actually be advantageous for someone who runs a business.
- 11 questions you can ask to discover more about your entrepreneurial proclivities.
- Navigating the five stages of the entrepreneur’s transition curve.
- What an entrepreneur’s friends, family, and colleagues should know about his or her unique superpowers and quirks.
- And much more…
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Imagine how Superman’s story would have played out had his abilities been diagnosed as disorders and suppressed by a regular dosage of medicinal kryptonite on doctor’s orders. Then who would stop Lex Luthor from running the world? The freakin’ Wonder Twins? Not bloody likely. Lois Lane would marry someone whose ambitions more closely matched her own, Clark Kent would live a deeply unsatisfying life of wasted potential behind his desk at The Daily Planet, and the world would be worse for it.
“CEO whisperer” and Double Double: How to Double Your Revenue and Profit in 3 Years or Less author Cameron Herold joins us for this episode to discuss why ADHD and bipolar disorder can actually be ambition-fueling superpowers that should be channeled — especially by the entrepreneurial-minded who tend to carry these traits — rather than medicated into oblivion. We’ll get into how these traits can be identified and utilized, what those close to us should know if we exhibit these traits, the five stages of the entrepreneur’s transition curve, and much more. Listen, learn, and enjoy!
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The Entrepreneur’s Transition Curve
The entrepreneurial journey is a roller coaster of ups and downs that can be broken down into five stages (one an optional failure), as this graph illustrates.
“The model definitely applies to entrepreneurs, because we’re all nuts and most of us are bipolar,” says Cameron. “Other people ride the roller coaster, but not necessarily as high and low as most entrepreneurs do.”
Stage 1: Uninformed Optimism
Just as you’re about to crest a roller coaster’s highest point, you feel excitement. You don’t see what’s on the other side, but you anticipate the thrill of the drop ahead. In the same way, an entrepreneur with a great idea is emotionally enthusiastic about possibilities and logically ignorant of consequences. It’s a great time to hype the idea to potential investors and partners, but a lousy time to make big decisions.
“This could be the long-term of a year, or it could be just in the course of a week,” says Cameron. “It’s the irrational exuberance. It’s the pure optimism. It’s the excitement and the passion.”
Stage 2: Informed Pessimism
At the top, you survey the path ahead and everything surrounding it. Twists and turns not apparent when you were waiting in line for this crazy ride are now plain as day, and you’re instinctively checking to make sure your seatbelt is secure. This is when you’re going to be more realistic about the budget constraints of your project and the next steps of strategy, but you probably want to avoid hiring decisions or speaking to media at this stage.
“You go, ‘Whoa, this is harder than I thought,'” says Cameron. “You start seeing the stuff that’s going to go wrong, or be a little bit harder, a little more difficult, a little more challenging. You start noticing stuff you hadn’t really thought through that clearly before.”
Stage 3: Crisis of Meaning
You’re hurtling down the drop; this is the turning point when you could overcome adversity and succeed wildly, or panic into a downward spiral of failure. It’s easy to sink into depression at this stage because it seems like everything that can go wrong will, and you may be overwhelmed with anxious thoughts that won’t let you get a good night’s sleep.
This is when you can get a lot of mileage out of accomplishing something small — like cleaning your filing cabinet drawers. Reach out to your support group. Go for walks and get away from your usual environment. Ensure you’re making progress on your most important work without burning out by setting your top five daily tasks and whittling them down. Don’t try to bite off more than you can chew when you’ve already got a full plate.
Stage 4: Crash & Burn (Optional)
You don’t really want to end up here, but this represents the end of the line for the current project — in a business context, it’s a dissolved company and bankruptcy, but could also extend to a failed marriage, addiction, depression, and stress-related health issues. You don’t have to wallow in this stage forever, but it may take some extraordinary effort to pull yourself out of it.
“I did everything to course correct,” says Cameron. “I started doing work with a shaman…I did 52 sessions with a therapist — I’d never done any counseling or therapy…I went to six group sessions. I started doing yoga four days a week. I started meditation. I started smudging myself in the morning…and it all started to help.”
Stage 5: Hopeful Realization/Informed Optimism
After the terrifying drop of the last few stages and, we hope, avoidance of stage four, this is when you’ll start to notice your hard work paying off and the momentum pushing you confidently forward. This is when you want to hire, plan strategy, reorganize your team, cut the wrong people, and get everything together so you can grow and circle the curve again.
“This is the little engine that could — ‘I think I can, I think I can, I think I can,'” says Cameron. “The danger part is that if you get too optimistic too quickly without fixing the problem that got you to that stressful place before…sooner or later one of those crashes can be detrimental.”
THANKS, CAMERON HEROLD!
If you enjoyed this session with Cameron Herold, let him know by clicking on the link below and sending him a quick shout out at Twitter:
And if you want us to answer your questions on one of our upcoming weekly Feedback Friday episodes, drop us a line at email@example.com.
Resources from This Episode:
- Double Double: How to Double Your Revenue and Profit in 3 Years or Less by Cameron Herold
- COO Alliance
- Second in Command Podcast
- Cameron Herold’s Website
- Cameron Herold at Twitter
- Harnessing Entrepreneurial Manic-Depression: Making the Roller Coaster Work for You by Cameron Herold, Tim Ferriss’ Blog
- Bipolar Disorder: The CEO Disease, Austen Allred’s Blog
- What Is Hypomania? Cleveland Clinic
- Understanding the Butterfly Effect by Jamie L. Vernon, American Scientist
- Let’s Raise Kids to Be Entrepreneurs by Cameron Herold, TEDx Edmonton
- MastermindTalks 2014 with Cameron Herold, COO Alliance
- Tom Bilyeu | The Secret to Making Powerful Friends, TJHS 133
- Brian Scudamore | How Failure Can Be Your Key to Success, TJHS 175
- What Did We Learn From the Dotcom Stock Bubble of 2000? by Ben Geier, Time
- Tourette Syndrome Fact Sheet, NIH
- Marcelo Claure, Sprint Newsroom
- Joe Polish at Twitter
- David Berg at Twitter
- Gordie Bufton at Twitter
- Camelback Resort
- Sheryl Netzky at Instagram
- How to Smudge (and Sage) Your Space and Body by Melissa Lindsay Freedman
- Five Lessons You Can Learn From AppSumo Founder Noah Kagan by Sujan Patel, Inc.
- The Miracle Morning for Entrepreneurs: Elevate Your Self to Elevate Your Business by Hal Elrod, Cameron Herold, and Honoree Corder
Transcript for Cameron Herold | Making the Most of Your Bipolar Superpowers (Episode 229)
Jordan Harbinger: [00:00:03] Welcome to the show. I'm Jordan Harbinger. As always, I'm here with producer Jason DeFillippo. On The Jordan Harbinger Show, we decode the stories, secrets, and skills of the world's most brilliant and interesting people and we turned their wisdom into practical advice that we can use to impact our own lives and those around us.
[00:00:20] I've been friends with today's guest for years. He was one of my first calls when things hit hard times with my past business and he's always got great insights and perspective. He's had his hands in a lot, perhaps most famously becoming the COO of 1-800-GOT-JUNK and bringing the company well into nine figures in revenue. Today we're talking about the entrepreneur roller coaster, the ups and downs of business and personal life, and how our mind and our business can really derail and set us on a downward spiral. We'll also touch on bipolar, aka the CEO disease, ADHD. All of these might actually be advantages for entrepreneurs and business owners. If you're not a business owner nor married or otherwise related to one, you'll still find plenty here. As we discussed the idea that many of our dysfunctions might actually be superpowers in disguise. Everyone I know that's highly successful, both personally and professionally, has an amazing network and is very deliberate about how they build it.
[00:01:17] If you want to know how we managed to book great people, build our network very deliberately using systems and tiny habits, check out our free Six-Minute Networking course over at jordanharbinger.com/course. By the way, most of the guests on the show actually subscribe to the course and the newsletter, so come join us. You'll be in great company. All right, let's jump in now with Cameron Herold.
[00:01:39] I want to talk about the roller coaster of entrepreneurship. I assume that's not a surprise since that's what we always talk about and what you sent me for the show. I read this a long time ago. Actually, I don't even know if I read it a long time ago. I think you told me about it a long time ago because I was at some point along this roller-coaster ride of entrepreneurship and so was everyone else in the room. I remember people going, “It's like he knows me! What's going on?” That's when it became really obvious that this wasn't a cool infographic that you found online and decided to write an eBook about. This is a thing. This is a thing that happens to everybody who has a business. I was thinking because our audience is so general in a way. This is the thing that probably applies to everyone, but also especially to entrepreneurs because we're all nuts.
Cameron Herold: [00:02:26] The model, that we'll all talk about, definitely applies to entrepreneurs, because we're all nuts whereby most of us are bipolar. If you actually read the traits of bipolar disorder, most entrepreneurs would be clinically diagnosed as bipolar. I have some data points on this. Other people ride the roller coaster, but not necessarily as high and low as most entrepreneurs do. There is some clinical data there that show that entrepreneurs--There's only three percent of the population are entrepreneurs, and only three percent of the population are bipolar. So, that's kind of interesting and when you actually go through all the traits and realize that most entrepreneurs are bipolar. A lot of individuals have some signs but not eight or nine of the 10 or 11. They might have four or five.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:03:08] Right. Yeah, I have the list. You said, “Most people check off five things from this list.” I was like, “Let's see.” Then I was like, “Yes, yes, yes, yes. Oh, at least five. This is at least five. Okay, good, good, good.”
Cameron Herold: [00:03:17] Right. Well, good for you because I'm 10 or 11.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:03:19] We'll go through it. It's in my notes here and I figured I would attack it, but I don't see it right now. It's down here. Let me see.
Cameron Herold: [00:03:28] Okay look find it. But the reason it's really important for every individual is individuals work for entrepreneurial companies. If you work for an entrepreneur or an entrepreneurial company, you're strapped to the back of that person. You know, we've all heard about Steve Jobs being hypomanic and bipolar. When he would go through these crazy ups and downs, everyone around him was affected by that. Wouldn't have been interesting if they just knew that's natural instead of he's crazy? Two of the three founders of Netscape are clinically bipolar. Wouldn't it be cool if all their employees understood that or if their spouse understood that? Because when a spouse of an entrepreneur goes and talks to her friends or his friends, the other spouses are going, “No, my husband's a lawyer. He's not like that. Now he's a little bit upset, but now he's not like that.” But spouses of entrepreneurs go, “Yeah, that's my husband,” or, “That's my wife.” I think the vast population is affected by it, not necessarily because they're bipolar, but because they're strapped to our back.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:04:26] That's a good point. And I have heard in entrepreneur groups, people talk about things like this, but also I think a lot of folks listening and watching right now are going to go, “Oh that's why my supervisor or boss, the owner of the company, this, that, and the other thing.” Because there are a lot of people who listen to and watch this that aren't entrepreneurs, but the idea that we're strapped to someone's back. Good point. I haven't thought of that. When you're married to somebody, you're definitely strapped to them, but the kids of entrepreneurs—
Cameron Herold: [00:04:53] The kids are for sure.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:04:54] The brothers, in-laws, and the fathers and parents and the co-colleagues and co-workers--all of these people get affected. We make these crazy ripple effects just by being our crazy self
Cameron Herold: [00:05:06] Yeah, the butterfly effect is massive. Like I grew up with a father that was an entrepreneur in two grandfathers that were entrepreneurs and then my brother and sister and I are all entrepreneurs. So, all we've ever really known is that entrepreneurial highs and lows and so we've all lived it. We kind of thought it was all pretty natural. Then when we started uncovering this model about 30 years ago to see and then apply it to all these other entrepreneurs, it became very real, real fast.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:05:28] Well, let's dive into this because to understand the roller coaster and to have people that we work with and live with understand it as well. It goes without saying that our attitudes what build company culture and family culture.
Cameron Herold: [00:05:41] Yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:05:42] And so, I think it's important to know that even if you're not diagnosed as bipolar, this can still affect you. To my knowledge, I'm not bipolar, but I definitely have more poles and swings to those polls I should say than Jen does.
Cameron Herold: [00:05:59] What if bipolar wasn't a disorder? What if it was actually a superpower? When I actually wrote this, I was at the TED conference sister. I go to the main TED every year and they were filming a lot of the attendees with some thought that we had. And my thought was, what if bipolar and attention deficit were superpowers and not disorders?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:06:18] I mean ADD has to be a superpower because too many people have it for it to be something that's wrong and also it rocks for everything but sitting down in school and taking notes in a freaking language class.
Cameron Herold: [00:06:29] .Right, so if you unpack attention deficit disorder in the entrepreneurial world, it's actually dispersed focus, which allows us to see everything. If I'm an entrepreneur, I want to know what's happening with my customer and the market and the economy and suppliers and finances, but I don't want to get too hyper-focused on one thing because I'll miss all the rest of the details. So, the fact that I see everything means that I'm actually very tuned into the whole thing. But a teacher or an engineer or a doctor or a lawyer wants you to be super focused, they would be terrible entrepreneurs. Bipolar is very similar. So, the superpower side of bipolar disorder is that the mania, the excitement, and the energy are why people follow us. The stress and depression are simply us course correcting and needing to plug in and recharge. But most entrepreneurs feel bad about that or even on individuals. You think about a high-performance athlete that operates at their peak, they need to relax and destress. Right now we're in the middle of the basketball or NBA playoffs. Toronto Raptors just won game one. So we've got this big, everyone in Canada is completely manic from last night. We need a couple more days to recharge before game two on Sunday. That's natural, but we don't think that's a problem for them to have to recharge. Entrepreneurs were struggling with bipolar disorder. If they realize it's not a disorder and it's a superpower, then they're okay with taking time off. They're okay with taking off in the middle of the day and telling your team, “By the way, I'm going to go for a massage.” And your employees go, “Great,” because you are a stress case.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:07:51] “Yeah, good. Nobody wants you here.” “See you later, boss. Have a great weekend.” “Finally, we can relax. Everybody unclench.” Yeah, I think we all work with people like that and I don't like even working with myself when I'm like that half the time and sometimes it doesn't serve me well. We were talking pre-show about how I can get—Sometimes I feel like a pinball where I'll be like, “Such a great day. I get to drive to San Francisco. I'm going to hang out with my friend Cameron. We're going to do a show and then eat some food, walk around, so nice out. And then I'll get an email from another friend who's like, “Hey, I just sold my company for $200 million.” My first reaction is, “God, that's awesome. I love this guy. He's so smart.” And then I go, “Crap. I didn't sell my company for $200 million. I'm a failure. What am I doing? I mean, I like what I'm doing, but I'm just never going to be successful. But I am as smart as David, what's my problem? Why didn't I do that? Ah, I'm a failure. I should just go home and dive into a book about how I can do the same thing so I can prove to myself or whatever the psychology is.” And it's just like up, down, up, down, up, down. And God forbid you wake up with anxiety because that’s just effed up the whole day. There's not enough coffee in my kitchen.
Cameron Herold: [00:08:58] It screws up you’re employees, it screws up your team. It screws up yourself, right?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:09:00] Yeah.
Cameron Herold: [00:09:01]Here's a reason why bipolar is different in the entrepreneur than it is in the rest of the population. Most of the rest of the population can talk to someone about their stress, about their fears, about their anxieties, because they can talk to a co-worker. But as the CEO of a company, you can't tell your VPs that you're stressed or worried or depressed because it might freak them out and you can't tell your board because that'll freak the shit out of your board. So, you live in this very lonely place of one and maybe you have a coach or maybe you're in a mastermind group like we were. We met at Mastermind Talks and you're in a community of other people that go, ”Oh my God, I'm just as crazy as you. Maybe I'm not crazy.” But until you get into that space, you feel very, very locked up by yourself.
[00:09:42] I was identified at a very young as being bipolar and ADD when I was in grade school in grade six and I was sitting outside the principal's office and my dad was inside the principal's office. It was the only time I'd ever been. I remember my dad inside and I could hear through the doors saying, “There's nothing wrong with my kid. The problem is the school system, the problem is the medical system. My kid doesn't have a disorder. He's just like me.” He didn't say, he's just [indiscernible] [00:10:08]. He said, “He's just like me.” My dad walked out. He goes, “Come on, we're leaving.” I'm like, “What's wrong?” He goes, “They want me to put you on medication because they think you're two up and down all the time. They think you're too wild in the classroom.” But he didn't want to medicate me. He wanted to get me, an outlet to go do that.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:10:23]Sure, yeah. When I first split from the other company, I talked about this on another show called Impact Theory where I felt all this anxiety, but what it was not just anxiety because of—For anxiety sake, I was like a blender that was going in. The top was off. And what I needed to do was take some action, rebuild my business, do something. Because everyone else's advice, not entrepreneurs were like, “Jordan, go to Hawaii for like two weeks. Just relax. Destress. Look at the future. Think about what you want to do.” And I was just thinking, “This is a person who's wired much differently than myself.” Because the last thing I wanted to do was be away from the phone, the Internet, and what I needed to do to get moving again. The last place I wanted to be was on a beach-going Yolo. That was not it. But the idea was to take that blender with the top-off energy and focus it like a laser beam on something and that was what worked for me.
Cameron Herold: [00:11:19] The only time we should take the time off and we often don't, his room went in there and kind of the bottom of the curve. So, when you get to the bottom of this, this roller coaster, you can't think clearly. You're too stressed, you're too kind of myopic on issues. You're worried. The adrenaline is running. It's fear and I don't know what the medical terms are, but you need to get the fuck out. You need to go to the beach, you need to go walk around on the grass within your bare feet. You need to just take some time off. And it's hard for us to do that cause we're so hardwired to just keep trying harder. But if we keep trying harder often end up like that fly trying to get out the window that and then they end up dead.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:11:57] Right, they're dead in between the two panes of glass. We'll get into each of the phases of this entrepreneurial roller coaster. But I found the piece where it says most entrepreneurs say “yes” to at least five of the following questions. Are you filled with energy? Yes. Does your mind get flooded with ideas? Yes. Are you driven, restless and unable to keep still? Yes. Do you often work on little sleep? Well, no. I very consciously go to bed early and make sure to get enough sleep. That's pretty new for me though. It wasn't always the case. So, I didn't highlight that one but 10 years ago, five years ago, three years ago, I certainly could have.
Cameron Herold: [00:12:33] Well I'll tell you, me on the sleep one, I'm working on little sleep cause I thought it would be really cool if I sleep with the blinds open because I have this view of the mountains in the ocean so I can wake up with the sunrise. But I'm waking up at a time when the earth is telling me to wake up, not when my body's ready. So, I am working on little sleep. Yeah, frustrating.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:12:48] There you go. So, we all do this. Can you be euphoric? I'm not sure, so I didn't highlight that one probably, but not nearly as often as I would like. Are you easily irritated by minor obstacles? What do you think, Jen? Am I easily irritated by minor obstacles? That's like her chief thing is are you kidding me you’re upset about that? It's like it there's nothing so trivial that I can find an exaggeration.
Cameron Herold: [00:13:14] No.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:13:15] Like it can be, “I just washed this glass door. There are fingerprints on it right now. I mean it could be anything.
Cameron Herold: [00:13:21] But you would be the only employee that would notice that kind of stuff. Most employers would be like, “Oh, there's a fingerprint,” but we're like, “No, that's a part of my brand.” Right, it reflects on me. Like right now, there are marks on the wall here. They drive me nuts. Like no one else would actually care that there are marks on the wall from the chairs, but I would like, “Can't we just paint this once in a while?”
Jordan Harbinger: [00:13:38] There are things like typos in emails where I just go, I can't believe it. Everyone thinks I'm an idiot now. Someone read that and went, “Jordan doesn't know how to spell.”
Cameron Herold: [00:13:46] I know somebody online about that the other day they said it's okay for people to spell incorrectly correctly. I'm like, “No.” She goes, “Yeah, but we're just dyslexic. I’m like, “You can be dyslexic and still give a shit.” There’s spellcheck.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:13:55] Yeah, look, you're not writing a note to your friend on the phone. This is a business thing. There's spellcheck. You can ask someone who does—
Cameron Herold: [00:14:02] Or it’s a Facebook post. Like, yeah, it does actually reflect poorly on you because even if it was just me.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:14:06] Yeah, that's, that's a good point. It does. And is it fair? No. Does that matter in life generally also? No. Nope. Can you burn out periodically? Yeah. Okay. Do you act out sexually? No.
Cameron Herold: [00:14:18] That's also flirting, heavy flirting.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:14:20] I'm good.
Cameron Herold: [00:14:22] Okay.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:14:43] Right, Jen? She's like, “You better be.” If that was one I highlighted, I would never admit it right now. Do you feel persecuted by those who do not accept your vision? This one I had a question about. What does that actually mean?
Cameron Herold: [00:14:33] Do you kind of get defensive if someone disagrees with your idea or your vision on something?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:14:39] Yeah, I used to. Now, nobody goes, “Podcasting's not going to be a thing.” I mean—
Cameron Herold: [00:14:43] I think you should do X or I don't think you should do that.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:14:46] Oh, that happens all the time. I mean, even when people are like, “I don't really like the music and the new thing.” I wrote back –what I want to say is? Bleep— But what I write back is I'm not concerned about people's impressions right now. You'll get used to the music. It's fine.
Cameron Herold: [00:14:59] Okay. So you're actually good on that one.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:15:01] That one. I remember when I was 27 or 28 and I started the company, people would go, “Oh, you're teaching social skills. Nobody gives a crap about that.” “You're 27. Who's going to listen to you?” And I remember thinking,” I want to kill you in your sleep but I'm going to, I'm going to make a bunch of money just so that one day you see me getting into a nice car and you go, ‘Crap.’ ”
Cameron Herold: [00:15:23] You read the “Are you driven, restless, and unable to keep still?” as one. Those are three different ones. I don't know if that's the typo. Anyway, the book was outlined, but it actually comes—
Jordan Harbinger: [00:15:34] On one line.
Cameron Herold: [00:15:35] Yeah. So those are three, those are three separate. So, it would actually come up with all 11—
Jordan Harbinger: [00:15:37] So, yes, yes, and yes.
Cameron Herold: [00:15:39] Yeah. So you're probably nine for 11 or—
Jordan Harbinger: [00:15:41] One, two, three, four, five, six. Wait, hold on. Yeah, seven on here. But that doesn't count that one.
Cameron Herold: [00:15:48] Seven, eight, nine. So your nine for 11. So, according to the medical community, those are the clinical diagnosis traits for bipolar disorder. If you say “yes” to five, you're on the spectrum. If you say “yes” to 10 or 11, you'd be clinically diagnosed and medicated. You're on the cusp of medication. But if you read those traits to teachers, no. If you read those traits to accountants, no.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:16:10] Yeah, it's funny cause I do think about this when people write in the hardest questions for me on things like Feedback Friday are when people go, “Man, I'm not motivated.” And I go, “What's that?”
Cameron Herold: [00:16:22] What does that mean?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:16:23] And I get it sort of like academically and I have to reach out to someone else and be like, “What do you think this means?”
Cameron Herold: [00:16:28] I have the I'm-not-motivated on like a Tuesday or Wednesday or whatever because I'm depressed or sad from the huge burnout phase. I did three speaking events in three days and I've been doing hard, and then I'm just like tired, but lack of motivation for more than like a 24-hour period that I don't even understand what that would mean.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:16:45] Yeah, exactly. The whole like how do you motivate yourself every day and it's like—
Cameron Herold: [00:16:50] I'm like a perpetual motion machine. I just got to keep going.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:16:52] Yeah. So that's a problem I know. Does your mind get flooded with ideas? And I was thinking, “Of course, it doesn't everyone's and the answer is not really.”
Cameron Herold: [00:16:59] Yeah, mine gets flooded with ideas on how to do things, not new ideas on businesses. My dad was very entrepreneurial and he would have like a new business idea every hour for real. I don't think I've ever had a new business idea, but I have ideas on perfecting or optimizing or faster or marketing ideas. Like to the point where I can't talk out loud to my team because—
Jordan Harbinger: [00:17:21] It drives them insane.
Cameron Herold: [00:17:22] They can't do all this stuff as quickly.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:17:23] Hey Jen. How often do like, “Hey, we should do this totally different initiatives.” Like how many times per day?
Cameron Herold: [00:17:30] Always.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:17:31] A lot. I did it in the car on the way here. I was like, “You know this Quora thing if we answered all these questions dah dah dah. And she’s like, who’s going to do that.
Cameron Herold: [00:17:37] Yeah. I was sending myself notes and then when I actually was looking at the notes, I'm like I'll delete that one before I even try to delegate it because it was a good idea and then 20 minutes I was like, that's a dumb idea. I got somebody to go through my entire Facebook list and message everyone on my list that everyone in their company should buy every copy of Meeting Suck. I'm like, that's a dumb idea. It was a good idea for like 12 seconds.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:18:00] Yeah, that makes sense. It's just like when I told Jen, how quickly are we going through those 3,700 pending LinkedIn connections and she goes, “Oh yeah, top of my list of buddy.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:00:00] This episode is sponsored in part by HostGator
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Jordan Harbinger: [00:21:51] So, they call it the CEO disease and it makes sense.
Cameron Herold: [00:21:54] Bipolar disorder is nicknamed by the medical community as a CEO disease.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:21:57] Right, yeah. That's telling you have an interesting way of diagnosing friends going through maybe a downswing. You said CEOs notes on blogs. They're status updates on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn will commonly include comments such as these. And the examples are things like, “I can't sleep. It's only one of my body can't go on any longer.” “I haven't been able to accomplish anything so far this week.” “I know what needs to be done. I just don't have what it takes today.” I wish I'd kept in touch with my friends instead of being such a workaholic.” “Something needs to change pretty soon, or I'm not going to be able to crawl out from under this rock.” “This is not a good day. I hope tomorrow is better.” I think people see this and then go, “Oh, this person's just having a down day. It'll pass.”
Cameron Herold: [00:22:38] But it's magnified though. So again, our down day as a CEO, if we're stressed and really worried about our business, we can't tell anyone. We can't tell our employees. So let's say that we're leveraging. We borrowed money against our house. We maxed at our credit line. We personally signed on all of our loans. We just recruited that new VP to come join our company. Even though we're worried we're going bankrupt, we recruited him away from his job and promised him the dream of where we're going. And then we're also not quite sure we're even going to get there. We're not drawing a salary. We haven't told their wife for the last three months that we haven't paid ourselves back our expenses, and we've got to turn to everybody and go, we got this. That's really fucking stressful--Extraordinarily stressful. So, you have this massive amount of pressure that kind of comes under, which is very different from a normal person who's having a bad day or a bad week or a bad month.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:23:24] Right. What sounds like what you're saying is somebody who's having a bad day because they're having a bad day and they spilled coffee on their pants and they're late and they know their boss is going to go, “Hey, you're late,” is different than somebody whose life has tends to ruin.
Cameron Herold: [00:23:35] Yeah. I mean, if you could still hate your boss and be having a bad day or hate your company or hate your job but you're not mortgaged to the hilt because of that. We might be mortgaged to the hilt because of other bad decisions you made, but not because of this one company. Whereas entrepreneurs have everything. Everything on that one line. Their identity, most people don't have their identity attached to their job. Whereas I say, if we fail, it's our entire world all of a sudden just collapse around us. And we recruited all these people and we go, “There are people out there who I've told we're going to be successful who don't know that. I don't know how we're going to meet payroll in two days.” When we were building 1-800-GOT-JUNK, we had to borrow $417,000 one morning to pay payroll the next day on Thursday. We borrowed it from the founder's mother because the bank wouldn't loan against us. We were that close and we were $100-million company at the time.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:24:25] What? Wow.
Cameron Herold: [00:24:27] We can't tell those. Now, we've told it since but you can't walk around the company going, “Yeah, Brian's mom just lent us 400 grand to meet payroll. People are like, “What the fuck? I'm out of here.”
Jordan Harbinger: [00:24:36] Yeah. Okay, cool. I'm not coming in tomorrow.
Cameron Herold: [00:24:38] That's not a normal amount of stress. So, that's kind of where this bipolar gets magnified and we already have those signs, but it's not a disorder. And I keep kind of saying it, but I haven't explained it. The mania is why people follow us. It's the dream. It's the passion. It's the irrational exuberance. It's the hell, yeah, I'll come join your new startup. Right? You can't get someone to come join a startup unless you have that manic side to you. That amazing dream. You sell the vision and then when they join. They go, “Wow, that's not even really there yet. Okay, I'll, I'll buckle down and I'll help you build it.” That's where mania is powerful, talking to the media, talking to the press, doing pep rallies, talking to your sales team. You know, marketing, anything outward-facing is when you use all that manic side.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:25:21] Yeah. This is, this is key because the transition curve of the emotional roller coaster of entrepreneurship or business, you start off up and then you sort of crest come down and then back up or you crash and burn. And I think what's key is knowing what to do at each phase of that curve. And we'll use your image from your book if you don't mind in the show notes so that people can sort of visualize this and follow along. We might even just make it the show art. That way people can look at the screen of their phone and see what we're talking about. Stage One, Uninformed Optimism. That's kind of the mania you're talking about right now.
Cameron Herold: [00:25:53] Yeah. That's like if you're going up a physical roller coaster, it's almost when you get to the top. When you just are almost at the very top, you're excited, you're enthusiastic. You're not even really sure what's coming yet, but you're just full of that pith and vinegar. In the entrepreneurial world, this could be like a long term of a year or it could be just in the course of a week. It's the irrational exuberance. It's the pure optimism. It's the excitement and the passion.
[00:26:16] You know, I just landed this massive new client. I don't know how we're going to integrate them yet, but I'm super excited I got them. I just started this or I just bought all this new equipment. I just bought this new ad campaign, but we haven't kind of gone over the top yet to see what the results are like.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:26:30] Sure. So this can be scary because it's uninformed optimism--adrenaline mania, nervous energy, excitement, energy, passion. You don't need to get coffee. You don't need to shake yourself out of bed.
Cameron Herold: [00:26:41] You're going a hundred miles an hour.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:26:42] Everything's awesome. What could go wrong? What should we be doing in this phase and what shouldn't we be doing?
Cameron Herold: [00:26:50] Yeah, because each stage is a natural good and bad. If you're manic, you should talk to the media. You should talk to your investors. You should talk to your employees. You should do recruiting, you should do marketing, but you should not make any buying decisions. You shouldn't buy a new building. You shouldn't buy the million-dollar ad campaign for the super bowl. You should wait until you're a little more pessimistic to make purchasing decisions or to make hiring decisions. So, you should do recruiting, but not hiring. You should do sales but not purchasing. You should do marketing you, using your voice and using your social feeds but not using any purchasing.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:27:26] Interesting. Right? So we want to be kind of super outgoing, but then when it comes to signing on the dotted line for a purchase, it's like, “Maybe somebody with some sanity, you should check this over.”
Cameron Herold: [00:27:36] Yeah, it's where you'll hear entrepreneurs go, “I don't know what I was thinking at the time.” Well, you weren't thinking at the time. You were so irrationally exuberant. I was like, “So into it, I didn't even see it.” “Well, yeah, you because you were running a hundred miles an hour.”
Jordan Harbinger: [00:27:46] Around here, there's a lot of—I don’t know if you can call them urban legends. They're mostly rumors that are for sure true about, “Hey, I spotted insert double A-list entrepreneurs celebrity at this restaurant, and he was, and then a list of things that only crazy people do.”
Cameron Herold: [00:28:07] Oh, for sure.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:28:08] Double-fisting $5,000 bottles of champagne and like throwing them on people and you're just like, “What drugs are you on?” And they're like, “None. I drove him there. We'd had one cocktail beforehand.”
Cameron Herold: [00:28:21] I had a $19,000 credit card bill one night when we actually sold the company for 60 million and then three months later when the stock market crashed, this was 19 years ago when the stock market crashed, we lost the $64-million valuation.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:28:32] No.
Cameron Herold: [00:28:33] Yeah, we were sold that at $22.45 cents and when the transaction closed it’s worth $2.15 cents. So, we lost about $59-million valuation.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:28:44] No.
Cameron Herold: [00:28:45] True story. We sold the company three days before Steve Ballmer said there was an Internet bubble, March 15th, 2000.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:28:52] Oh my God.
Cameron Herold: [00:28:53] Yeah, we lost a lot. I was sitting with the CEO that day. We were up on the top floor of the building when we knew the market had crashed and we lost everything. He said, “It sucks we’re only on the fourth floor.” I was like, “Why is that?” He goes, “If we jumped, we'll only break our legs.”
Jordan Harbinger: [00:29:06] Yike, that sucks and it's funny now because it's a funny comment, but back then it's like you do all that work and you're just waiting for that outcome and then you got the outcome. It's not like you didn't win. You got the outcome and it's slipped through your fingers. There’s no fault in you. Damn!
Cameron Herold: [00:29:25] I actually was about to send them an email this morning. He's president of a public company today, but yeah, it's—And that, again, is different. He'd given years of his life. I'd given years of my life. I'd moved from Canada down to the US for this.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:29:40] Just to have it slip through fingers. Hopefully, you had a good time—
Cameron Herold: [00:29:42] I'll give you an uninformed optimism. At least, he was able to and I was able to protect some of it. We sold some of our stock right away to pay the taxes. If you held it for I think six months, you only paid 25 percent tax. If you sold within six months, you paid 35 percent we at least sold ours and paid 35 percent. Other people didn't. They tried to hold it and they ended up owing more money in tax than they actually had in value—
Jordan Harbinger: [00:30:07] Oh that sucks.
Cameron Herold: [00:30:08] –because they have no other options.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:30:09] What do you even do when that happens?
Cameron Herold: [00:30:11] You declare bankruptcy.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:30:12] You can basically get really rich and immediately end up bankrupt because you didn't sell your stock. That hardly seems fair, but I suppose that's one of those like side effects of the way that this stuff works.
Cameron Herold: [00:30:23] It is when employees attack the rich. They don't understand how hard it is to get to be rich as well.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:30:28] Good Lord.
Cameron Herold: [00:30:29] But that a different podcast.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:30:30] Yeah, different podcasts. Yeah, I know, right, exactly.
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Jordan Harbinger: [00:34:22] The other key is to recognize that there is a sort of enthusiasm. The optimism won't last. It's not something that's going to be forever. And I think in a way, at the time you recognize that but you have to internalize it. You can't just go, “Well look, it might not last forever. But then again it might.” It's like, ”No, no, no, it will change.”
Cameron Herold: [00:34:43] Yeah, we will know it'll change but we're not there yet to discuss that because we're so manic. It's hard to slow that person down to say you realize it is going to change. We'd be like, “Oh shit. Yeah, you're right.” But, when you are flying manic like that, it's hard to know because it's just so exciting. You feel like you're going to take over the world. That's what's scary to spouses, The spouses will hear us be so excited, so passionate. Like we're going to take over the world. This is amazing. And they, they're like, “Fuck finally because we've been like driving so hard,” and then two days later you're worried that you're going to go bankrupt. One of your employees just quit and you, you just got a customer who bailed on you and you're in bed with your duvet over your head and they're going like, “Oh, my God, what's going on?” And you don't want to talk to them yet. They're like, “What's happened to my spouse who was so excited and now so down.”
Jordan Harbinger: [00:35:37] Jen is like that with me a lot because—
Cameron Herold: [00:35:39] Well that’s just a normal week.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:35:40] Yeah, yeah, it is. She's like, “I don't understand why you have these things.” And they happen for seemingly no reason. It's not like something happened and then I'm overreacting. It's nothing that happened since last night but now I'm totally a different person.
Cameron Herold: [00:35:54] Yup. And this, by the way, is bipolar. You're on this spectrum, but it's not a disorder. See, again, if we were told as a kid that bipolar was a superpower, that attention deficit was a superpower. That even Tourette is a superpower. As long as you're not so far on the edge of the spectrum with it. Tourette is thinking out loud. So, the reason that can be a superpower is you don't overthink your thoughts. You come off as very real because people just know that—
Jordan Harbinger: [00:36:22] Someone's going to write in and be like, “That is not what Tourette is.” But I'm not an expert, so I don't know.
Cameron Herold: [00:36:26] It's on the spectrum for Tourette.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:36:27] Sure, got you.
Cameron Herold: [00:36:28] It also is a nervous tic.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:36:31] Yeah. A lot of, and a lot of cursing from people who don't normally do it.
Cameron Herold: [00:36:35] Which is, there are the words coming out and you can almost sense it. So, I diagnosed the CEO of Sprint, the former CEO, Marcelo Claure, as being on the spectrum for Tourette, bipolar disorder, and ADD on a plane and he almost started to cry. He's like, “How do you know me so well?” And then he brought me into Miami a couple of weeks later to meet with his wife, Jordan. We sat and talked through it all. He's a classic, unbelievable, spectacular entrepreneur. You don't need medication. You need to understand yourself. He has the signs, but he understood how to leverage it. He built the largest Hispanic-owned company in the US. Sold it for over a billion dollars. So maybe it's not a disorder or a problem. Maybe those three things are his superpower.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:37:12] There has been something to it. Because of what you said before where there's a certain small percentage of the population that has these, but the overlap is much higher than it would normally be.
Cameron Herold: [00:37:21] Right, exactly. The reason that it's a disorder is the medical community doesn't understand us because they're not wired like us. When they see something so different from them, we must be a problem. It's like redheads. If you're a redhead, you should be a problem. Because there's only like whatever one person, maybe they're the disorder. You know what I mean? Like, well maybe there's nothing wrong with them at all.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:37:41] Well, also I think medical professionals only see it when it's so extreme and so dysfunctional that someone's going, “Yeah, I can't hold a relationship or a job and I can't get out of bed most days because so far—” Nobody's going to the doctor and going, “Some days I wake up and I just don't really feel like working. And then other days I'm really happy and the doctor goes, yeah, join the club.”
Cameron Herold: [00:38:02] You’d be surprised. And again, that's why the medical community calls it the CEO disease is because they actually do see it much more frequently and they do medicate. Not because we're going to kill ourselves or because we're going to jump off buildings, but because it is so different than the average person. The same as attention deficit disorder. Why are there so many kids given medication for ADD? Because the teachers can't control them in the classroom. But maybe you shouldn't be controlling in the club. Maybe they shouldn't be in the classroom in the first place. But if there was no other place for these kids, we need to get them to conform, so we give them medications so that they in like everybody else.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:38:36] Yeah, that's itself a controversial topic that I don't fully understand. I do know that I had ADD when I was a kid and as an adult and now as an adult, it's fine. I don't have any get more done in a week than most people do in an entire month.
Cameron Herold: [00:38:50] By the way, hyperfocus as part of attention deficit disorder, if you read the traits of bipolar or the traits of ADD and the strengths of ADD. Hyperfocus is part of attention deficit disorder, but it's usually in 20- to 30-minute bursts and then our brain kind of twigs out and we need to like move change seats, change rooms, or do something.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:39:08] Yeah. That sounds about right. That checks out. Stage Two, Informed Pessimism. So this is kind of where we have crested the wave a little bit.
Cameron Herold: [00:39:17] Yeah. It's when you go over the top of the curve and you kind of say, “Oh shit.” for the first time. You go, “Whoa, okay, this is harder than I thought.” You know, I just hired this amazing new guy. I'm super excited to get this VP joining me. “Oh shit, he's 20,000 a month plus benefits. How are we going to pay for that? How am I going to onboard and what do other people really think? Geez. So it's, we call it that oh-shit moment.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:39:37] So you focus more on the shortcomings of your business, the flaws, the glass is a little half empty, maybe instead of half full.
Cameron Herold: [00:39:45] Yeah. You start seeing this stuff that's going to go wrong, or be a little bit harder, a little bit more difficult, a little bit more challenging. You start noticing stuff that you hadn't really thought through that clearly before.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:39:57]Then beat yourself up and thereby go further down the curve.
Cameron Herold: [00:39:59] Yeah. Like I got it a couple of years ago where I got a major tax bill. I got a tax bill for $420,000 more than I owe it. And I'm like, “Whoa, what the hell?” And then I realized I did all this revenue that I forgot to actually think through. This was like three years ago. And then, and then I'm like, “Ah, fuck.” And then you start planning and thinking through it. But that was a pretty big oh-shit moment.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:40:19] Yeah. What do you do about that? Call the Canadian—
Cameron Herold: [00:40:24] I went down to a crisis meeting. I actually started to really freak out and panic and my ex-wife was getting all worried for me as well as about us as well because she didn't understand how to deal with it. I took some friends who were entrepreneurs and we went for a hike. We went and hiked Camelback together. I went out with Joe Polish and David Berg and Gordie Bufton and we were hiking Camelback and on the hike on the way down, we talked our way through it and it was basically going home and make a plan of all the things you can cut and all the ways you can increase gross margin and all the ways you can increase revenue and execute the plan. So, I just did that.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:40:56] Yeah. Just did that.
Cameron Herold: [00:40:59] I still have the lists on my laptop.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:10:00] Just needed quick 420 hundred thousand.
Cameron Herold: [00:41:02] It was about 80 things that I had to do and I just did all of them as manic as I could.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:41:06] Oh my goodness.
Cameron Herold: [00:41:07] Three months it was done, but it was a scary, oh-shit moment.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:41:10] Yeah. Not three months, you want to repeat.
Cameron Herold: [00:41:12] No, no. Now, I put the plans in place to counter for that.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:41:16] Sure. My plan is to make sure Jen's paying attention at all, make sure our accountant as well as is interfacing with her and not listening to anything I'm saying. Stage Three, Crisis of Meaning that you just mentioned. This is where things get quote-unquote interesting in a bad way for most of us.
Cameron Herold: [00:41:34] Crisis of Meaning is when you're at a stage where you're completely panicked, unable to do anything, unable to think. You know Brian, who is the CEO of 1-800-GOT-JUNK, is bipolar as well and wickedly add as well and we were best friends. This was around 17, 18 years ago, we were probably about 8 million in revenue at the time, so still pretty small. He called me one morning and he said, “Just lie to the leadership team, tell them whatever you need to tell them. I'm okay, but I just need to stay at home today. I'm on the floor and the basement. Why on the floor in the dark. I just need to detach.” That's clearly like a Crisis of Meanings, right?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:42:14] Yeah. That’s a bad sign.
Cameron Herold: [00:42:16] But we understood each other well enough that we had each other's back. That I could say, “Okay, go to go talk to a counselor and take some time off and I got your back,” but most people don't understand that or they don't understand that it's okay to get there because that's purely the counterbalance for all that mania. So, as an example, I've done speaking events all over the world. I've done like 600 paid events in 26 countries and I'll give it all for 90 minutes on stage. Then I come off stage, I'm good for about a half-hour and then my energy starts dropping and dropping and dropping about two hours to the minute after I come off a stage. You don't want to talk to me. I'm grumpy. I'm kind of negative. I really don't want to talk to you. I probably just want to have a drink or go for a run or do something, but like I just don't want to be around people. God forbid I have to sit beside a human being on a plane.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:43:04] Oh, that's the worst.
Cameron Herold: [00:43:06] I have three hours and they want to chat or they recognize, “Oh it's so good to see you.” I'm like, “I don't want to talk to you.”
Jordan Harbinger: [00:43:10] Oh, I'm not in the mood.
Cameron Herold: [00:43:12] That is just a pure course correction for massive mania. And you do that day in and day out and it just wears on you.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:43:20] So, you feel helpless. You feel terrified. You feel utter despair. Basement floor, Brian Scudamore on the basement floor. He's been on the show. So, Brian Scudamore on the basement floor. Hi Brian. And then this is where you can either pull the plane up above or you're crashed right into the mountain. Stage Four --four with an asterisk because it's optional-- Crash and Burn. And I came very close to this when I had that split with the former company, but I avoided it by calling a hundred people. I think you were the first or second one that I call.
Cameron Herold: [00:43:53] Yeah, I remember, I was sitting in an airport talking to you.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:43:55] Yeah, it was like what am I going to do? I'm F’ed. I'm screwed. And then I thought, okay, I'm on this little continuum, can I recover from this? So, I was wondering if I was going to be able to avoid this. And I remember, I know the curve exists because we've talked about it years and years ago and ever since. But it's hard to see—You know, if I just wake up in a crummy mood, I go, this is the curve. If I'm really stoked about something, I go, this is the curve. Enjoy it while it lasts. But when you're really feeling down—
Cameron Herold: [00:44:26] It's hard to get out of it.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:44:27] It's hard to go this is part of the curve.
Cameron Herold: [00:44:30] Yeah. So, I hit a point a couple of years ago where I was really down and I started drinking at nights as a window to relax and fall asleep. And then, I didn't understand that alcohol was a depressant. I mean, here I was 51 years old and not understanding that alcohol is a depressant. I was getting more depressed and more tired and I'd wake up in the morning kind of tired and anxious and wouldn't go work out. We didn't get any exercise. We created this doom loop for myself with all the pressure. And a friend of mine said, “You know, I think you're depressed.” And I was like, “Ah, shit. Yeah.” And it had been a longer period than I was used to. Normally, it'll be like a day or two. This had gone for a few months.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:45:08] Yeah, that's a long time.
Cameron Herold: [00:45:09] Yeah, it was hard, it was a really extraordinarily hard, hard stage. And so I did everything to course correct. I started doing work with a shaman. I did nine sessions with this woman, Sheryl Netzky. I did 52 sessions with a therapist that had never done any counseling or therapy and I did 52 sessions of this woman, Patti Young. I went to six group sessions. I started doing yoga four days a week. I started meditation. I started smudging myself in the morning.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:45:35] What’s smudging?
Cameron Herold: [00:45:35] Smudging uses palo santo, and slow your day down just by like doing this like weird shamanic thing.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:45:41] That’s super woo-woo.
Cameron Herold: [00:45:42] It's real woo.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:45:43] But ever gets you through the day.
Cameron Herold: [00:45:44] I tell you as a guy from Northern Ontario, I grew up in a place like Buffalo, but four hours north of Buffalo, that was a real woo-woo. But all of that stuff started to help and then talking to friends became the next one. I never knew I could do that in a safe place. I could do it with groups of entrepreneurs, but not just other friends. Then I realized that by talking to them about my business worries or my personal worries, all of a sudden I had a connection that helped me out of that space. But yeah, when you're in that Crisis of Meaning, it's really, really hard to come out of.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:46:17] In the Crash and Burn, It's sort of like—Look you mentioned in the book 85 percent of all solo businesses fail within the first year, 85 percent. That's just solo business.
Cameron Herold: [00:46:26] And the ones that succeed, 85 percent of those fail within the next two or next five.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:46:31] I mean that's terrifying. Yeah. I don't know how you do those stack percentages math-wise.
Cameron Herold: [00:46:34] It’s either a five percent success rate.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:46:37] Yeah, it's bad news.
Cameron Herold: [00:046:39] And then it's something like 5 percent then it's something like 1 percent ever make it to a million in revenue.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:46:43] Of the leftover.
Cameron Herold: [00:46:45] Of the leftover ones. Like it is really, really, really rare. It's really rare. Most businesses are like the $300,000 to $600,000, five, six employees. We think of big businesses with like lots of employees, but that's—
Jordan Harbinger: [00:46:49] Whenever I think business, I mean the smallest company I ever worked for, aside from the movie theater I worked for as a kid had had 500 lawyers and supports lawyers and that was the smallest company and we were a small firm. They call it mid-sized because it doesn't have one guy in it or two guys. As lawyers, but it also doesn't have 3,000.
Cameron Herold: [00:47:17] Yeah, no. Yeah. Those are not normal size. Those are big companies or medium enterprise.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:47:24] And plus there's also this sort of a selection bias that we have as entrepreneurs. Now, we're talking about this pre where you go, “Well shoot my friend Noah Kagan. He’s got AppSumo that's got like 20 some employees. Cam, I mean, he's working for 1-800-GOT-JUNK. That place had back in the day 3,000 employees as a franchise. So, it's a little different. But, and then we’re advising Himalayan and this is a room full of people and they got an office in China that's 10 times as large as this and you just don't have a realistic company. So, you're comparing like your revenue of your work from home business with a quote-unquote big company that's capitalized at $100 million and you're doing this apples to oranges.
Cameron Herold: [00:48:03] So, again, if most entrepreneurs are these small businesses, which they would be and you have no employees or maybe a couple of freelance people and you're scrapping together a few hundred grand a year and paying yourself. That is a real business with real risks and real threats and no guaranteed paycheck and no healthcare and All those expenses. And then you find out that a customer just quit. Like when I first started coaching CEOs, so I left 1-800-GOT-JUNK 12 years ago. I started coaching these entrepreneurs around the world. I had one of my clients paying me 120,000 a year to coach them. And then after 12 months, he goes, “Yeah, we're good. We're not going to renew it.” I'm like, “Ahh, $20,000 on one person.” That's not a normal job, but you don't lose. You don't lose a third of your pay that that day, because somebody happy. They’re like we learned everything. We're good. I'm like, “What?”
Jordan Harbinger: [00:48:52] Yeah, you did your job really well. We're going to penalize you by cutting your name out.
Cameron Herold: [00:48:55] We don't need you anymore because you taught us. So Crisis of Meaning is all about being a little bit vulnerable, being okay with talking to other people, realizing that it's not the end of the world and being okay with recharging our batteries. I think we've been telling a lot of people tell themselves a lie that they're going to catch up. I'm going to work tonight to catch up. I'll work this weekend to catch up.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:49:14] Yeah, that's me.
Cameron Herold: [00:49:15] You actually won't catch up and you need to stop that habit before your child is born because you'll never catch up. You'll just have bigger goals.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:49:23] Well, what's been happening is I either do a bunch of stuff and then there's always more.
Cameron Herold: [00:49:29] You have more goals. You set another project.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:49:31] Or I just go, “Ugh, I needed to do all this stuff today, but I can't, I just need to plug in my Xbox and like play for a couple of hours and go for a walk or I hit the gym and then I come back and I go, man, I have not had a productive day. And Jen goes, “First of all, you have and second of all, it's freaking Saturday.”
Cameron Herold: [00:49:45] You need to actually be good. We as entrepreneurs need to be better with unplugging and feeling good about that because no one's going to praise us for taking time off except ourselves. And we have to think of ourselves as pro athletes. There's no way pro athletes work 80 hours a week. They just don't do it right there. They're on their game for maybe a couple hours a week. Then they're in practice mode for maybe 40 hours a week and then they're disconnected from the rest. And, and as CEOs and entrepreneurs, we need to be way better with taking that time off. And I mean like not reading a business book for fun. I mean like not checking your email 12 times a day on a weekend. Like I mean unplugged.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:50:22] It is hard to do that. It is something that—I mean even tomorrow I have a whole bunch of stuff to do and I'm like okay maybe I need to like—
Cameron Herold: [00:50:28] No, it's Saturday. You shouldn't do anything because you won't because you won't catch up. It's like the horizon. You're going to be happy when you get to the horizon. You can't, you can't sneak up on it at night while it's asleep. It keeps moving on you and I think what happens with the burnout, I was written up in the Wall Street Journal 19 years ago for crashing and burning for having a nervous breakdown and elevator because of stress. So, it was two and a half months after the market had crashed and we lost everything. My mom was dying. I quit my job. My wife was pregnant, I was moving from Seattle back to Vancouver. They ran a stress test on me and I had a 98 percent chance of a heart attack. I was clinically redlining, so I had this chemical secretion being caused by stress and I could almost have like this metallic taste in the back of my neck. That was the doctor was saying, it's a chemical secretion like it's telling you to slow down. I'm like, “No, I'm good. I can keep going.” All right, I weighed 35 pounds more than I do today. I was drinking constantly. I wasn't getting any exercise. It was a disaster. But I was like, no, I'll just work this weekend to catch up and I'll work at night to catch up. But I had no fun. I had no friends and I wasn't doing anything that was enjoyable.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:51:35] Horrible, it's like stressful hearing about that but I feel you. The people that get through and avoid the Crash and Burn are the people that actually recognize they're starting to have these feelings and then quickly turned for support and I think a lot of us don't do that.
Cameron Herold: [00:51:50] They turned to support, they turned to some of their passions. Like they actually like yoga for fun. They play tennis for the sake of playing tennis. They just want to play. They want to be 13-year-olds again and they don't make an excuse for that. They recognize that at the end of the day, actually none of this really matters anyway because we're going to die, so we may as well have had fun along the way. As soon as they embrace that balance truly and they read books for fun that have nothing to do with anything other than it's fun. And they go on vacations and they have hobbies and they meet with friends that aren't entrepreneurs or they meet with other entrepreneurs but they never talked about each other's business, that’s actually cool.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:52:32] I liked meeting with other entrepreneurs and then not talking about business because it's like they get it and then they also value the fact that you're there spending the time.
Cameron Herold: [00:52:39] I have had to learn that. Like I actually have to try to not talk about business and I'll say, “Can we not talk about business?’ They'd be like, “Oh yeah, great. You'd call it.” But otherwise, for me, it was always my natural. I'd slide back into that.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:52:51] Stage Five is Informed Optimism/Hopeful Realization. This is good, but also a little scary because it's kind of like, and we're going back on the roller coaster curve.
Cameron Herold: [00:53:03] Yeah. This is kind of the little engine that I think I can, I think I can, I think I can. The danger part is that if you get too optimistic too quickly without fixing the problem that got you to that stressful place before. So, if you don't understand that you're merely going back up and getting ready to crush again, sooner or later, one of those crashes can actually be pretty detrimental to your health or to your family or to your business.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:53:29] Right. Because that's when you see, “Oops, overdose,” or “Oh, he had a stroke.”
Cameron Herold: [00:53:34] Or I screamed at somebody and said the wrong thing. I overreacted on something because I'm so stressed out and I can't respond. I can only react or I pack it all in when I was like a day away from being successful.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:53:48] Yeah. Yep. I think a lot of people are nodding, maybe not smiling, but nodding right now. I like the idea that at each stage, you can leverage the feelings and the energy. You leverage the optimism and then when you kind of are headed downward, you can look at and reexamine some of your strategies.
Cameron Herold: [00:54:05] Yeah. I tried to leverage the feelings, but I also tried to understand the feelings. I tried to remember if I'm feeling that crazy exuberance and energy, take it back a little bit. So even if I'm going on stage to speak now, I try to get into that manic stage and then I try to take it back 15 percent because if I go on stage completely manic, I'm all over the place. I'm scattered, I swear too much. I say stuff. I shouldn't say I go off on these tangents, but if I temper it back, then I've got enough good enthusiasm coming in and I can stay really focused. Or if I'm stressed or depressed, I'm like, ”Wow, I really need to decompress a little bit.”
Jordan Harbinger: [00:54:40] Yeah, yeah. It's like gravity. You said you can't fight the feelings and energy. It's like working against gravity. So, just sort of accept where you are on the curve and then go, “All right, this is where I'm at on the curve.”
Cameron Herold: [00:54:52] And breathe and be okay with that. It’s like, okay, I'm having a bad day. All right. Let me feel that. Let me, let me take some time off and feel good about taking time off because I actually run my own company in and I can.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:55:04] Right. That's pretty good. I enjoy the fact that you built it in the first place and you can relax. So don't spend money when you're doing that uninformed optimism. In that upward curve, don't spend any money, don't hire anyone to do some media, go online, do your gorilla marketing, talk to investors, make some new clients, make a couple of sales. But yeah, don't be working on the budget. Don't be doing any long-term business planning.
Cameron Herold: [00:55:27] Yeah. When you go over the curve and you're at that Informed Pessimism Stage, that's when you want to budget, that's when you want to make buying decisions because you're cautious. You're cautious, you're a little bit more informed. You're thinking through it a little more clearly.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:55:39] Yeah. I like that. I like the idea that you should not plan at certain points and then when you're also feeling bad it's a good time to plan because it'll help snap you out of that. First of all, because you start to get more may be excited about your long-term growth but also you aren't sitting there and exposing yourself and creating a bunch of—
Cameron Herold: [00:55:58] You see it on Shark Tank all the time where these guys come in and they're like way overly optimistic and the sharks counter guy, okay wait, wait, let's bring this back down a bit. And all of a sudden they'd be like, they brought them down to reality and then it's like, okay, now we can talk
Jordan Harbinger: [00:56:10] in the Crisis of Meaning, I meant to ask this before, men and women seem to handle this differently and you note this in Double Double, the book.
Cameron Herold: [00:56:17] Women are really good at talking and sharing and communicating. And I don't know whether it's that, that old story that we've heard that 10,000 years ago, the women were out gathering and they would be communicating and talking and sharing with each other. And men had to be very quiet and stoic because we were trying to hunt an animal and if we were out talking and sharing, we'd scare them all away. So, men were always inside and women were always communicating and sharing and that kept the animals away. It protected them. I don't know if that's true.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:56:45] Sounds good. Someone’s going to write and tell us—
Cameron Herold: [00:56:47] Women tend to share. Women talk to each other and they communicate about their fears and their worries and their insecurities and their frustrations. They kind of work through it all and then they come back into their relationships. Guys need to tap into that a little bit more and be okay with that. I think it's starting more, it feels to me like it's starting more or maybe I'm just opening up to it more, but it feels like men are more than we were maybe back in the ‘50s in our parents' generation or ‘60s. We don't have to pretend we have our shit together. It's okay to say, “I'm going to a therapist.” “Wow. What was that like.” Or able to talk about our feelings and say we're scared. Men are allowed to have feelings and we're allowed to actually express them and we're allowed to get help for it. And then realize that when you ask for help, it's kind of like, “Yes, can you help me?" When a person comes in, it feels amazing. If you don't ask someone else for help, you're kind of robbing them of the chance to help you.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:57:44] That's a good point. Yeah. I think guys are—Well, we already know that men are terrible at making friends, especially adult males. We just don't do it and we don't share. That's a big problem for those of us that are going to be bipolar, ADHD, on the entrepreneur roller coaster curve, because that's what we need most are support. If you're female and you're listening to this, you probably have more social connections and support but not necessarily.
Cameron Herold: [00:58:11] I think so. I mean, when I talk to CEOs that I coach, I noticed that the women tend to have a better social network than the men do. And the men tend to be more workaholics than the women are. Women tend to disconnect and spend time and take care of themselves, take care of family, take care of friends and relationships. They tend to be much better at compartmentalizing their business. And men tend to, I think, make it their everything, which is to their detriment.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:58:39] Yeah, I think, you're right. I prioritize the show, the business over everything and it took me a while to be like, I need to focus on social connections. That's what I teach and do now, but for years I didn't. It's important to let your significant other know about this curve because—
Cameron Herold: [00:58:58] It's important to let your significant other know about it. Your kids know about it and your employees know about it. Because your significant other, if they did not grow up in an entrepreneurial family, first, they've been terrified of your roller coaster that they're strapped to and they ride it silently. Secondly, they're just unaware of it. They might not even know that it's happening but when you expose them to it, they go, “Whoa, you're just an entrepreneur. I get this,” because they'll so heavily associate you with these curves. Very similar to what Jordan, wife of Marcella, the CEO of Sprint, she noticed him and noticed all these traits. I actually walked them through this diagram and she was blown away by it. She's like, “That's exactly him. Now I realize he doesn't have a problem. This is his superpower.”
Jordan Harbinger: [00:59:39] Yeah. Yeah. I think if you're listening or watching this right now and you're going, “this is me,” then the key thing for you to do is get this show and probably the curve and/or the book Double Double at least, or this chapter of the book into the hands of those people, so they can go, “Ah, got it.” Because the person on the curve might not think, “Oh, I'm on the downward slope. I should reach out for support.” If you're anything like me, Jen will have to go, “Hey, you're doing this right now and you should do that,” and I have to go, “Oh yeah, you're right.” I don't always notice it as soon as she does.
Cameron Herold: [01:00:12] Yeah, I would even say versus Double Double. I cover this in the book, The Miracle Morning for Entrepreneurs that Hal Elrod and I co-authored together. The Miracle Morning for Entrepreneurs covers this in even more detail and it's probably better applicable for anyone listening or watching today.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:00:26] Cam, thanks so much.
Cameron Herold: [01:00:27] You're welcome buddy. Thank you.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:00:30] Great big. Thank you to Cameron Herold. Links to his work will be in the show notes. We're teaching you how to connect with great people like Cameron Herold and manage relationships using systems, using tiny habits. That's over at our Six-Minute Networking course, which is free at jordanharbinger.com/course. The drills take a couple of minutes a day. I really wish I knew this stuff 20 years ago. This is not fluff. This is crucial. It's been a huge game-changer for me and you can find it all for free at jordanharbinger.com/course. And by the way, most of the guests on the show actually have done the course. They're in the newsletters. So, come join us, you'll be in great company, a lot of smart people in there. Speaking of building relationships, tell me your number one takeaway here from Cameron Herold. I'm at @JordanHarbinger on both Twitter and Instagram and there's a video of this interview on our YouTube channel at jordanharbinger.com/youtube. I read everything, especially reviews on Apple Podcasts so other people can find the show that always helps. If you need instructions and you'd be so kind as to leave us a review, jordanharbinger.com/subscribe.
[01:01:30] This show is produced in association with PodcastOne and this episode was co-produced by Jason DeFillippo and Jen Harbinger, show notes and worksheets are by Robert Fogarty, music by Evan Viola, and I'm your host Jordan Harbinger. Our advice and opinions and those of our guests are their own of course. And so do your own research before implementing anything you hear on the show. And remember, we rise by lifting others. The fee for the show is that you share it with friends when you find something useful, which should be in every episode. So please share the show with those you love and even those you don't. In the meantime, do your best to apply what you hear on the show, so you can live what you listen, and we'll see you next time.
[01:02:08] A lot of people ask me which shows I listened to and recommend and one of those is, of course, Mind Pump. I'm listening to them on the regular. Those guys had been good friends of mine for years now. We met at a dinner where were all equally obnoxious and I very rarely encountered that, so it was an instant click.
Sal Di Stefano: [01:02:23] That was great.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:02:24] And an episode Sal that --we've got Sal here, of course, from Mind Pump.
Sal Di Stefano: [01:02:27] What’s up everyone.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:02:28] An episode I recently heard from you was 1052 Why Fasting Might Be Making You Fat, which I was really looking forward to this because I don't want a fast. I like eating. So, this is music to my ears, but tell us what that, what that really means.
Sal Di Stefano: [01:02:41] So, the fitness industry does a really good job of is they'll take some science and then they'll package it in a way to where they can sell it to everybody. And now the truth is fasting for short and long periods of time has real health benefits. It speeds up the cell waste removal process, stimulates STEM cells, it's got anticancer properties, is a lot of science coming out showing that fasting has got lots of health properties. And so because of that, everybody's like, “Cool, I can fast now, which means I'm not going to eat and then I'm going to lose weight and not only am I going to lose weight, but it's good for me.” Here's the problem. Behaviorally speaking, fasting is not a good idea for a lot of people because what happens with a lot of people who don't have the greatest relationship with food, who don't have great eating practices and behaviors, which is most of us, fasting actually encourages—and I've seen this time and time again, remember I've been a professional trainer for over 20 years and my co-host almost just as long. We've seen this time and time again where what ends up happening when people fast is it encourages this restriction binge-type behavior. So it's like, “Okay, I'm going to fast until 4:00 p.m. then what ends up happening over time is that 4:00 p.m. they end up bingeing and overeating and it creates this really bad eating behavior that is not conducive to a healthy lean lifestyle. And so my experience, fasting applied to the wrong person, especially for the purpose of losing weight, does anything but help you lose body fat.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:04:11] Yeah, I've experienced that where it's like, “I skipped breakfast so I'm going to have a bigger lunch,” and then you end up housing it. Or you're like, “Oh, I'm going to have lunch at 11 and then you eat a big ass lunch,” and then you're like, “Oh, I'm going eat dinner at six,” and then you have a big ass dinner and if you really counted the calories, you'd find that if you had like a little something for breakfast, you'd saved yourself 400 or 500 calories in a day, every day,
Sal Di Stefano: [01:04:33] Hundred percent. In getting lean and staying lean forever or long term is all about learning the right behaviors. It's not just about counting calories and eating the right foods, it's about how do I do this long term. So I have to think about it all the time and fasting if you apply it in the wrong context to the wrong person, which is a lot of people, it just makes things worse. And so in this episode, we talk all about our experiences working with clients and helping them learn the types of behaviors that make fat loss permanent. And we will talk about how fasting oftentimes is the wrong thing to apply.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:05:04] Yeah, thanks. That's Episode 1052 on Mind Pump. We'll link to that in the show notes.
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