Mike is the CEO of People Building Incorporated and the powerhouse behind the What Are You Made of Movement. He is a performance coach, author, dynamic public speaker, visionary, and thought leader. He has been featured by Yahoo Finance as one of the top business leaders to follow in 2020 and is on a mission to build people. He is driven to inspire others and he measures his success on how he is able to help others achieve greatness. C-Roc had a fire lit in him at an early age, that fire has ignited him with a fierce desire to compel people to see the greatness inside themselves using past life events to fuel their fire.
I'm really curious about everything that you've got around this, what are you made of movement, so let me just ask you, what are you made of?
People ask me that all the time so I'm gonna do my best with this. I'm made of rocket fuel. I'm a go, go, go kind of guy, I have a saying, thrust is a must, go forward fast. So that also leads me into times where I need to focus on taking a step back and breathing sometimes so I just recently got into meditation. But the reason I made a rocket fuel is that I came up with this concept. I'll tell you a quick story, coming from a broken home and not remembering my parents together, I went through a lot of conflict as a child with this. For three years I lived with my dad and during that period of time, my dad got remarried, and anytime you have Child Support, custody battle things, Stepparents involved, other agendas, you know, there's conflict. As a kid, you're the main link between your parents, for them to even have to talk anymore, and sometimes that can carry a heavy burden. During that time I went through a lot of mental abuse, psychological abuse, threats, and things that no kid should ever deal with. I'm not telling you this to feel sorry for me to play victim, I just want to share with you where this rocket fuel law came from. But when I'd had enough at one point, when I turned about 10, and a half or 11 years old, and I was coming home from my mom's house one weekend, and I said, "I'm not feeling right," and she goes, "What's the matter? You seem anxious." We were going over these hills on these really hilly roads in southeastern Pennsylvania and I was afraid to tell her actually. When you go through abuse, it's a tough situation to come out about it, because you're afraid of what may happen, what might happen, or if anybody's gonna believe you. So I ended up telling her and she said, "That's not normal, Mikey, you don't need to go through that, that's not something you should be dealing with." She ended up filing court papers, she told me at that time that you need to stick to your guns if I do this because she didn't want to go through all that and have me change my mind. But she also told me that in life, you need to stick to your guns when you believe in something because if you don't, then what's going to happen is people will try to change your mind or beliefs based on their own agenda or to justify their position in life. So it was a lesson I carry to this day about sticking to my guns and being stubborn. So when my dad finally got the court papers served to him I was coming home from school one day and it's a day that I dreaded waited for a long time didn't know when it was coming. My dad, who was my hero had a masonry business, big forearms, rough hands. I always looked up to him for how hard of a worker he was, he always carried $100 bills in his pocket with a rubber band around it and I thought that was the coolest thing because he used to flash it and show us what we got with money. It wasn't about greed or anything, it was just cool, you know. So when I confirmed he asked me if I really wanted to move back with my mom, and I remember her telling me to stick to my guns. He said, your mom doesn't have it that well, like, why would you want to go there? They don't have any money, you have everything you need here, and that I must be must have been blinded to the fact of what was going on. I said, "No I made my decision up." He said, "Okay," so he takes that $100 bills out of his pocket, peel one-off, crumple it up, and throw it at me and said, "You're going to need this then when you're living on the streets with your mother." So the reason I tell you that story is because at that moment, the stubbornness kicked in, and I'm like, there's no way I'm gonna need that I got this. I'm 11 years old thinking I'm gonna take over the world, where that came from, that's another story. But I just knew that no, I'm not gonna need that you're wrong. This is not the way somebody should live and so that sparked the fire in me, though, that sparks something. So for 30, some years, I've been living off of this thing where I'm going to prove him wrong, I'm going to show him. So everything I did, I always tried to be the best of my graph. If you're looking at a line graph, you want to gradually uptick in your graph. That's a healthy graph of production or relationship, worth or, taking care of yourself. I looked at my graphs and they were always going up. Two years ago, I assessed this. I'm like, what makes me different than anyone else? Why are some people struggling all the time and on a rollercoaster ride, and here, my graphs always keep going up? I gotta figure this out because if I can bottle it, and reverse engineer it, I can teach people this, and I can change the world. So I basically looked back and said, it's this fire, this fuel. I'm turning everything that comes my way that would stop most people or slow them down and I would store it in my tank instead of my trunk, where it would weigh me down. I was stored in my tank, where I could convert it to rocket fuel for my future. I've come up with this thing where, I call it a law now because it's a proactive approach to handling setbacks, difficulties, let downs, disappointments. If you can prepare yourself properly to be able to handle anything that comes your way that would normally stop and slow you down and converted into rocket fuel, you can become unstoppable. So that's where the rocket fuel thing came from, when you asked me what I'm made of, that's where it comes from. I'm living a living demonstration of this, I don't just talk about it, I live it. If anybody's around me, they know, I'm an animal when it comes to getting things done. I go forward, fast, thrust is a must. Anything that comes my way, I don't get upset about it, I see it as an opportunity. As long as I'm living and I want to live, every experience is worth going through and so I use it as training or fuel to move forward.
I go fast, hard, but then at some point, like the fuel is burnt out. So you believe that you have an endless supply of fuel?
Well, yeah, because my stepdad George, stepped in when I was 11. He showed me what it meant to be a man and, George wasn't really good with money, getting money. He was good with stretching money for a long way. He lived off a little bit of money. But for my whole life, he was really hard on us, not physically, but making sure we understood right from wrong and the lessons we're going to need to learn in life. AHe passed away in January 2019 suddenly have a heart attack and at that moment, I wasn't ready for my mentor to go I was 40 something but still was wanting a mentor. But it was time for us to move to another mentor and at that moment where he passed about two weeks later, I felt his energy come inside of me. My brother Casey, we talked about this because see, George was a really passionate guy. George would sit on a couch at a party and be real quiet, but then if you got talking about football, baseball, hunting, fishing, whatever, crabbing, which we do in Maryland, he would jump off the couch like a madman and I get in your face and it was in a brutal, deep voice and everybody would be thrown back by but he's so passionate. I felt this passion somewhere around two weeks after he passed come into me and now it feels like I really don't get burnt out. I sleep seven to eight hours a day so when I go to bed like I lay down to watch a show with my wife, I don't make it to the show, I go out and then I wake up early, ready to go and once I'm up, I'm going. My mission is so powerful. Some days are better than others, of course, but I just don't have an energy limit. I don't believe in limits. I believe that you can have all the energy you want as long as you get your seven to eight hours of sleep, eat well, take care of your body, meditate. I really think that meditating is a good thing that I needed. I started to look at areas where I needed to prove and that was one area I thought I could benefit from so I spent some time with a guy that taught me how to meditate.
Can you share with our listeners one of your favorite networking experiences or stories that you've had?
I do a lot of outreach via social media, whether it's Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram. I have a DM campaign where I direct messaged people that I would want to connect with. I throw a big net, actually. It's targeted in a way, but I throw a pretty big net and the reason I do that is because I know there's somebody out there that I can help make a difference too. And of course, vice versa, there's somebody out there that can help me through challenges or problems, or have a big impact together. So one day, I got an Instagram message back from a guy named Jared. So I sent him a DM he answers, we end up doing an Instagram Live. His name's Jared Yellin, we did this live and we connected right away, and we're like, what the heck, this is cool. So I told him my purpose, he told me what he does, and come to find out we're now partners in a tech company that could be sold for billions. By the way, I'm not a tech person. Now I am, but I wasn't. There are so many ideas out there that go to die in a grave because people don't know how to act on them. I don't believe in coincidences, I believe that all of your decisions and actions are going towards things that happen at some point. But we just kept connected and now here we are, and we're getting ready to come out with a minimal viable product of a truly, truly distributable product that's going to change, self help personal development, entrepreneurship. It's a phenomenal product, it's called Blueprinted. Basically, it's going to take people that are successful, and allow them to reverse engineer their success in a project management forum, rather than videos, rather than a lecture. What I found is I found that people want to accomplish things but they don't know the first step. They don't know the second step or the third, or fourth, or they don't know how long something should take if they're on the right track, if they're doing it right. They don't know the big picture and they're mostly individually focused, they're just focused on what they have in front of them and what they can see, rather than being Omni focus, which is seeing the whole playing field. This platform is going to allow people to see the whole playing field of what they want to accomplish, from successful people that they can choose because people that are successful are going to upload their blueprints into the system. Then people are going to go buy those blueprints and it's going to allow the blueprinters to be able to support anybody that buys their blueprint via one on one coaching, group coaching calls, to guide them through the step-by-step process to become successful.
How do you best stay in front of and nurture these relationships in this community that you've created?
Well, you know, I find that to be a challenge because I do have a large network. Ever since I started the movement, the podcast, the book, my network has grown exponentially. So I was talking to my coach about that recently and I said, "Man, how do I nourish the network that I have the relationships that I have because I feel like I might be missing out or leaving some people behind?" I think that you need to make sure that people understand you genuinely want to know when you can help them. So anytime you're communicating with someone, don't just say "Hey, see you later it was great seeing you." Don't say that, disrupt their pattern a little bit. We go through things in life automatically. We're on autopilot a lot and there are patterns that we have. It's like if somebody hands a business card to you, and you just take the business card and then you look at it real quick and then you put it in your pocket or your purse. But what if I handed you a business card and you went to grab it, I'm I pulled back? You would look up to me and you would say "What's next?" Then I can say, "I really love helping people and before I give this to you, I want you to know that if you ever need anything that I have that is of value, please, please reach out to me." That pattern interruption right away would make a difference. I think it's very important to break people's patterns and do things differently than most people do so that they remember you. The other thing is when you need something, there's nothing wrong with reaching out to people in your network and saying, "Hey, I have a problem, I need to help with a solution, do you mind if I pick your brain a little bit?" I think that also for me, what I do is I just keep pushing energy out in the world. I'm connected with people on all platforms so that I just keep pushing stuff out so they're constantly seeing me. That way, if they need something, they know where to reach me and if I need something I just can reach out. I try not taking until I've given quite a bit though.
What advice would you offer that professional who's looking to grow their network?
Intentionally spend a dedicated time every single day reaching out to people. Obviously, with everything that's going on, you don't see as many in person so what are you going to do about that? To me, I think if you set a target for yourself every single day of reach out to people to let them know you're thinking about them, or whatever the case is, that's, that's the way I do it now. I have a mortgage company, by the way, that I've run a division for with three of my best friends and my little brother. We're always coaching and building our people in our organization. In doing that, we're talking to them all the time, too about targets like, "What are your targets today for reaching out to people?" You can't just sit in your office wait for the phone to ring, it's not gonna ring. So what are you doing to control and develop and create your own economy?
If you could go back to your 20-year-old self what would you tell yourself to do more or less of her differently with regards to your professional career?
In regards to my professional career, I would get really clear on what I wanted. Now, obviously what you want can change as you get older. Here's what I did: I started chasing girls, and drinking and partying like a dummy. The reason I say that is I was 18 until I drank a beer for the first time. I was so focused on what I wanted out of life. In school, I was a football player and I was so dedicated and lived a clean life and then when I got to college for some reason, being exposed to alcohol and parties and girls, got me screwed up and I lost my intentional focus and purpose. When you do that, and you shift your focus on things that don't really serve that purpose, they serve an unhealthy purpose, things go downhill real quick, your health, your finances, your relationships, the way you think about yourself, how you feel about yourself. So what I would go back and tell my 20-year-old self would be to stay on your purpose. I would probably go back to myself as an 18-year-old and talk to that person and say, "Listen, serve yourself to your purpose that you designed originally for yourself. You can let it adapt, but don't go down the road where you're just drifting, and chasing things that don't serve you." Every decision we make thought in our head, word we speak, and action we take is either going towards an ideal life or away from it.
Let's talk about your book for a minute. What can you share about that?
The book was gonna be called What Are You Made Of? But the people I'm working with on the book said, "You talk about fuel a lot and rockets and this and that." I said, "Well, there's already a book called rocket fuel out there, but that's an entrepreneurial book so I can name mine Rocket Fuel, mine's gonna be I'm gonna market it harder." So I named it Rocket Fuel, Convert Setbacks, Become Unstoppable. It's all about stories in my life anecdotes from my journey of being mentored by super successful people. It's showing you how to proactively prepare yourself to take setbacks and convert them into rocket fuel. It's got to be proactive, too, because in the closer proximity you are to adversity or setback, there's more chaos, there's more emotion, and it's very hard to think clearly and see hope. There's very little light at the end of the tunnel. So we proactively work on this and the book talks about that, and it talks about how you can prepare yourself physically, spiritually, mentally, relationships, financially, professionally, how to prepare yourself to be able to handle anything comes that comes your way, and react quickly to look for opportunity, rather than sulking in a setback. Grant Cardone, if you've heard of him, he wrote the foreword for the book. He talks about what rocket fuels meant to him in his life and business, which is very powerful validation for my law. Just like John Maxwell has leadership laws, I created this rocket fuel law. It's coming out in March!
What's your final word of advice to offer our listeners with regards to growing and supporting your network?
I think that we all have an obligation, a duty to live a certain standard because you can't tell people to do things or say you're going to do things for people if you're not living it every day to the best of your abilities. So in order to help people and be able to really provide value to your network, you have to live a certain standard based on your purpose that you've developed. I would say that and also just go be unstoppable. Nothing can stop you if you take everything that's designed to stop you or appears that it's going to stop you and convert it into rocket fuel for your future. So go be unstoppable!
Connect with Mike:
Join Mike’s Weekly Coaching Community: https://mikecroc.com/coaching
Learn More About Mike’s Book: https://www.mikecroc.com/book