012: You can’t take it with you when you go

I was interviewed earlier this week on a podcast about spirituality, and while things got weird (as my conversations around this topic always tend to), it provided me with a great opportunity to reflect on the past and how I’ve arrived here at this moment.

And then it brought me back to a conversation that I had with a friend of mine almost two years ago. He asked me if I thought I’d ever have more material things in my life again after I told him about the difficult process of packing up my life into a 10×10 storage box in St. Petersburg.

“I just don’t know” was the best answer I could give him at the time.

I had recently turned 39. And with the passing of another year came the realization that there was (and continues to be) so much more that I want to see and experience in this lifetime.

Janice and I were packing up everything we owned to travel, starting with a trip out west to New Mexico. Sitting at my desk in St. Augustine, Florida, It’s funny to think about how things don’t always go quite as planned.

And being in this space of reflection, I hit rewind on the highlight reel another 10 years almost to the day:

I was 29, young & cocky, ready to set the world on fire, and generally thinking I was invincible.

I was a product manager at Intuit, a top tier software company, feeling on top of the world, having “hacked” my way in to the “elite” tech world.

I remember going for dinner with colleagues, ordering $15 cocktails one after another, and playing credit card roulette like this was all quite normal.

And when education inevitably would come up, the assumption was that I had an MBA from any of the number of Ivy League institutions that were commonplace for my peers to routinely name drop on the regular:

Harvard, Princeton, Yale.

I was routinely spending time in Silicon valley consulting with clients like Tesla, Google, Playstation, and VMware.

A favorite memory was getting to do burnout tests in a prototype Tesla on a private raceway with a professional driver.

I felt like a badass.

A secret that I kept it to myself was that I was in fact, a college dropout who had originally left to pursue his dream in the music industry.

Inside I felt conflicted – often like a fraud that wasn’t good enough to be in the ranks, and sometimes like a hero for being able to pull this remarkable feat off, bypassing the traditional educational system, and making it to “the top” by all measurable standards in corporate America.

Janice and I took an amazing trip to Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica that year, and we stayed right on the beach in an open air cabana. It was just one of many amazing travel experiences I had in my 20’s.

But this one would prove to be a bit different.

“Ouch – what was that sting!” – I remember shouting out loud as I was abruptly woken from my slumber by what felt like an extremely painful shot in the ass.

I remember asking Janice to take a look, but she didn’t see anything unusual at the time.

24 hours later in the shower, I pulled what appeared to be a large, engorged tick off of my behind. It was pretty gross, but I didn’t think much else about it, and went back to enjoying my day in paradise.

We traveled back to the States, I settled back into my fast-paced routine, none the wiser that things were about to change forever.

Then came the fevers & chills.

Stiff neck.

The toilet became my best friend for an extended period of time.

Intense soreness throughout my entire body…

I recovered from the worst symptoms of what I imagined to be a bad flu, and well …just never got quite better.

The stiffness started in my neck and shoulders, and over time spread throughout my body. I became plagued by regular headaches, and just couldn’t seem to muster the energy to take on my daily tasks with the same amount of gusto that I was accustomed to.

I found myself on a journey that has lasted well over a decade, trying to figure out what the hell has been wreaking havoc on my body.

I’ve spent literally thousands of dollars over the past decade running tests – and for the most part been left generally frustrated with a lack of answers.

The story continues to unfold around my health, and I’ve chosen to surrender to the fact that I’ll probably never fully understand the whole of it.

And I’ve been slowly making peace with that.

You might be wondering how this story all ties together.

And why I’m choosing to share it with you now.

There’s something about being in a chronic state of pain that has the potential to awaken you to your own mortality, and to the fact that we all have been given an incredible gift to experience our own nature and inner power in this life.

My pain has been my greatest teacher, and I don’t say this lightly.

If not for this experience, a literal “wake-up call”, I’m fairly certain I’d still be asleep at the wheel.

Instead, I quit my corporate job, walking away from what at the time felt like a crazy amount of money, and began to examine what it really meant to live a life of purpose and mission.

I hired a nutritionist, quit drinking, and started meditating regularly.

I met my first coach, Marc Angelo, who I’ll be forever grateful to for helping to reveal to me a world of possibility that was hiding in plain site.

I founded Hearing Experts Alliance, helping private practice owners to build more profitable patient relationships, and cultivating more ease in their own life.

This video remains a snapshot of one of my proudest moments.

This unfolding led to a period of incredible financial abundance that made the success of my earlier corporate years pale in comparison.

And when that no longer felt fully aligned, I walked away again from almost all of it.

Through my work and travels, I’ve had the great fortune of connecting with some of the world’s greatest transformational entrepreneurs – people changing the lives of millions – and running successful 7-figure businesses, while creating incredible impact. And by impact, I don’t mean just throwing up big numbers on a financial ledger.

Having these encounters with people I once admired from afar, and who have since become my friends – I’ve witnessed directly what I believe it means to live in an embodied state, to serve powerfully, and to create a rich, abundant life.

I think we all know we can’t take it with us when we go, and yet we choose to ignore this fact.

It can be difficult to look at with open eyes.

But when you do, it changes everything.

We begin to feel the urgency of aligning our talents with the highest purpose we can acknowledge in ourselves, and at the same time can rest with a deep sense of peace about how it all plays out on the stage.

There’s so much more to this story that I want to tell.

And maybe one day I will.

But I’ll pause here, and ask a very important question as you head into your weekend:

If not now, when?

Something Ry and I say often is that that marketing should be experienced as an empowering and transformational process that honors free will, encourages sovereignty, and powerfully (yet compassionately) holds all accountable to their highest, most life-affirming vision possible.

And if you wish to create this for the people you serve in your work, I’d ask where do you draw the line?

Do you see the possibility of holding yourself and your life to a higher standard?

You can choose to let go of the lines of separation here.

May this weekend see you shining brightly.

Sending love.

Here’s What I Want to Share This Week:

  1. I wrote a bit more about Web3 for creators: How to avoid getting scammed in Crypto – an important topic if you are just getting started.
  2. Ry and I are “officially” releasing Engineering the Enrollment on Monday. The sales page has been built since October, but we’ve just been sitting on it, waiting for the right time.

    But when is the right time really?

    So we’re ready to make it public. It’s all about repairing your (potentially) damaged relationship with sales.

    It offers a new paradigm and set of coaching tools that encourage empowered decisions…

    And all the “inner states” (and outer frames) that precede them.

    If you’d like to know more, and aren’t on our Empire Engineering list, shoot me a reply.

    I’ll personally provide you with all the details.
  3. A standing invitation to hang: I was so excited to get an email from a friend of mine at The Temple of the Universe earlier this week that they have reopened their doors. They have been closed for two years do to Covid.

    Mickey Singer’s work has been some of the most impactful in my life, and what he has created at TOU is beyond special.

    It’s become a special place for me, and an experience I love to share with others.

    If you ever find yourself in the area and want to meet up, consider this an open invitation to connect IRL.
Hanging with Mickey at TOU

Who We are Celebrating This Week: Jacob Suckow

Jacob and I connected first on a personal level via Twitter, believe it or not.

We got together for a chat last week, and I was immediately impressed with his approach and desire to work with clients “full-stack” – something Ry and I have talked about a lot in our Automated Intimacy Program – The role of the full-stack conversion coach.

It’s clear that this dude is passionate about his work, and that’s something I respect.

I really enjoyed hearing his story about helping to grow several brands to the mid 7-figure mark, and his decision to go out on his own to spend more time at home with family, and less time out on the road.

Grateful to have him in the Empire Engineering community.

Connect with Jacob on Twitter.

This Week’s Curiosities :

Ultimate Projects and Tasks for Notion (Link)

One thing you’ll quickly learn about me if you follow this newsletter long enough – I have no strong allegiance to project management systems or note-taking apps. I’m always experimenting with different ways of working. I think “changing the digital scenery” helps me stay on task when things start to feel a bit laborious.

There’s a danger in that – switching cost.

Fortunately, I keep things pretty lightweight these days, so I don’t find it to be that big of a deal.

I’ve been playing with Notion a bit more again after several fitful false starts.

And this is the best task management template I’ve found so far. And best part? It’s Free!

TweetShots (Link)

Generate Beautiful Twitter Screenshots in 1 click. I’ve found no better place to capture VOC lately than Twitter. And this tool makes it extremely easy to convert tweets to Images ready to be shared on Instagram, Facebook, or Linkedin.

Pick one of the many themes available, insert the url of the tweet and download your Twitter Screenshot.

Pretty cool!

Massimo has a number of valuable free tools, some of which I’ve featured previously in this newsletter.

Zite Design (Link)

Carrd can be one of the fastest ways to get an quick landing page up to test an idea. It’s also a tool I suggest to creators just getting started who get stuck fixating on their website, which can be a huge distraction to getting the “real work” done when you are first getting started.

Enter Zite.

They make the process even easier, if that’s even possible, by providing some premium and beautiful design templates.

No Code MBA (Link)

This one was shared with me by EE community member, Jen Havice.

A brilliant mind herself, when Jen speaks I take notice 🙂

Many people predict that the “no code movement” is here to stay, and within a fairly short timeframe, the majority of sites will be built using no-code platforms and tools.

In fact, Gartner last year made the statement that within 3-5 years, 65% of development will be done in-house using low-code, no-code solutions, and supported by AI software bots.

As such, this is a great space to keep an eye on.

The No Code MBAhttps://www.nocode.mba/ offers a ton of great free tutorials, tool directories, and opportunities to “learn by doing” – where you’ll learn to clone well-known sites and software.

Memorable Quote:

“You can’t kill love. You can’t even kill it with hate. You can kill in-love, and loving, and even loveliness. You can kill them all, or numb them into dense, leaden regret, but you can’t kill love itself. Love is the passionate search for a truth other than your own; and once you feel it, honestly and completely, love is forever. Every act of love, every moment of the heart reaching out, is a part of the universal good: it’s a part of God, or what we call God, and it can never die. “

– Gregory David RobertsShantaram

With appreciation,

Phil

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