How do you find your purpose in life? Coaches and consultants would invariably say it’s all about finding your “why” or finding your passion. International leadership catalyst Dov Baron thinks all of that is absolute nonsense. Listen to the podcast as he joins Steve Sims and explains why purpose should come from pain, not passion. An authority on what he calls “Full Monty Leadership,” Dov only works with dragons – people who have the fire within them and are willing to dig deep into their pain and find their real purpose. He is working on a new book that teaches you to discover the purpose that is already woven into your life and pursue it to its full realization. Don’t miss it!
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Dov Baron: International Leadership Catalyst
I have Dov Baron. He’s a very accomplished author. I would say coach, but he’s going to tell you why he doesn’t like that. He’s going to tell you how he learned all of his gains and growth from falling off a gray hill, about twelve stories up onto his face and the death of a cat turned him around. It’s a very interesting concept of how he hates the idea of going for your passion. He would say that our idea and concept are bullshit. It’s not quite like how he found all of his growth through all of his darkness. Enjoy the conversation with Dov Baron. Share it. Subscribe. Tell the planet. You know the scoop, let’s do something about it. This is Dov Baron.
Dov, welcome to the show.
Thanks, Steve. I am looking forward to this very much. I always enjoy chatting with you.
To help the audience, we’ve known each other for many years since the old Larry Benet SANG days. We’ve stayed in contact using all the mediums whether it be social media, these strange things like phones, text, or whatever. One of the things that I didn’t know at the time because we got to know and then we’ve grown to know each other about you is you all are very well-revered and respected coaches and consultants. I want to jump in straight away and ask you a question. What is the difference between a consultant and a coach?
I would not categorize myself as either. Every man and his dog can call himself a coach. Every woman and a cat can call themselves a consultant. It’s not what I do. Those are titles that are thrown around because they have a place in people’s minds. What the work I do is I help people become Dragon Leaders, which is finding that part of themselves that has got the real fire inside of them, bring that to their business and to their lives. It’s an act of great courage. It’s a hero’s journey. We put the strategies in place to build leadership around that, to build organizations around that and cultures around that.
I like the fact that you mentioned cultures there because I find culture probably one of the most powerful things that we have especially to build. Look at someone like Apple. It is a culture. In doing so, you still refuse to call yourself a coach or consultant knowing and doing what you do?
Yes. I can’t stop people calling me but it’s such a small package of what it is that I do. The bottom line is a consultant is telling you more what to do and a coach is listening to you. The primary job of a coach is to ask questions, to help you to get down to your solution. A consultant, you’re bringing them in for their expertise. For me as a strategist in what I’m doing, I’m asking you the deep questions that are driving you at a psychological deep level, why you’re doing what you’re doing. Why does it matter? Why will you care? What is the legacy you want to leave and does it matter? What do you want on your gravestone?Purpose is not found in passion; it's found in pain. Click To Tweet
Is what you’re doing part of your gravestone? You and I had that conversation last time we were together here in Vancouver. It’s like, “The reason you’re here on the planet, does it matter? Does anybody care? Will anybody care when you check out outside of your mates?” You’ll have a few babies, that’s sure, but will you have an impact on the world that you can feel like, “Yes?” Every one of us is born with something inside of us. This is one of the ways I help people to find is, “Purpose is not found in passion. It’s found in pain.” You’ve got to look at what is painful. Look at what’s bothered you. If I ask you what has bothered you for as long as you can remember, not like last week, last month, or even the last few years? What is always irritating you? Why doesn’t the world fix that? Why doesn’t somebody step up into that? That’s your call. There’s a part of it that is tied to your purpose.
How do you go about finding that?
First of all, you asked that question, “What is it that’s bothered me for as long as I can remember that nobody’s come up with a solution to?” Can we do a little exercise here to help people?
Here’s what I want you to do. We’ve all done the death exercise at some point in time where you imagine that you’re dead. If you’ve been to a funeral, I know I have and probably you have and most of the audience have. If you’ve been to a funeral, you know that the person standing in front of the room, they have one job in delivering that eulogy and one job only and that is to dry clean the person who died. If you put it into dry cleaners, they’ve got all the dirty spots. I remember years ago being invited to a funeral with a mate of mine and he said, “Will you come?” I said, “I don’t want to.” It was his dad. He said, “Why?” I said, “Your dad was a bit of you know.” He said, “Yes, he was. I don’t want you to come to respect him. I want you to come to support me.” I said, “I’ll be there.”
He wouldn’t sit at the front. We sat at the back end. At the front, the guy delivering the eulogy told a story about how this guy had paid somebody’s rent once and never asked for the money back. The fact that he beat the snot out of my friend with a Hot Wheels track while he was tied to a boiler was left out entirely. The fact that he beat his ex-wife and all the horrible things about this man were left away. He was dry cleaned. What I want you to think of is as you want to look for where this is for you, you want to look at what is the eulogy you would want? What is the dry cleaned version of what you would want?
There’s nothing in there except for the fabulous part. For me, Dov was a courageous man who lived his life on purpose, helping others find their purpose. He was a father of Dragons. You’re dead and you’ve got eulogy. What I want you to do is in your mind, I want you to float back to the back of the room like I was sat with my mate and we knew the truth. I want you to listen to the whispers. The whispers we would be hearing at that particular funeral were the stuff around him beating my friend with the Hot Wheels track, etc. What would be the whispers? What would they say about you that would be shameful and painful?
Even if it’s not true, there’s a hint of it or there was somewhere in your history a hint of it. I told you what my eulogy was. I’ll be completely transparent and open so everybody can see that this is not some exercise that I’m telling you to do, but I wouldn’t do it. At the back of the room, when I asked myself that question, “What are the whispers?” I came up with a lot of them and they all were good. This is going to punch you in the gut. Nothing punched me in the gut. What is it? I went, “Dov was a coward,” because I remember mine starts with, “Dov was a courageous man.” Part of me went, “That’s not true.” My head could argue with that because I’ve done all kinds of crazy adventurous things. I’ve put myself out there on the edge for a lot of people in a lot of different ways.
I know that I’m courageous, but it was only when I put those words with an expletive. Dov was a coward and I had to put those words in the mouths of my grandchildren when in my imagination, I had my grandchildren whisper, “Dov was an effing coward,” now I’ve got it. At one end, I’ve got, “Dov was a courageous man.” That’s what pulls me towards. That’s where I’m trying to go. Human beings are motivated by two primary forces. The first is a pleasure and the second is pain. Pleasure moves us short-term, but pain moves us long-term.
By keeping that fire on my ass that I can never be a coward because if I cannot bear my grandchildren saying that about me, that pain moves me forward. You take those two things so the eulogy, the whispers, plus what has bothered me for as long as I can remember, what is the thing that I want to be changed in this world? Suddenly you’re on the direct path to your purpose, to finding out what matters. Not some nice idea of what is my why or what’s your mission statement. This is the emotional tie. If we don’t get to the emotional connection, we don’t get there.
You know me, I’m a huge cynic. In a world of mass distraction, mass noise, and fake vulnerability, are people not terrified to reveal what those whispers are? Let’s be serious, the art communication is dying. People don’t talk to each other. They don’t communicate. Sadly, as you’re talking to me, I’m thinking to myself, “I know a lot of people that will be scared shitless to communicate with themselves and ask that question.” How do you get people to question themselves?
You are 100% right. That’s why I don’t work with everybody. I am the father of dragons. I work with dragons. People who are ready to step into that level of power and vulnerability because they want to make a difference in the world. Steve, my private clients are people like you. They’re at the top of their game. They’re the people that everybody else respects. They’re the people that other people want to be when they grow up, but they’re saying, “Hold on. I’ve got a big house. I’ve got two houses. I’ve got the car, the boat, etc. Why am I not fulfilled? What is missing? It’s that thing that’s always within them. It’s the part of them that was born in the wrong place. It’s the part of them that says, “I’ve never belonged here.” Wherever there is, there’s something greater for me. These are not everyday people. These are people who feel that fire within them. They feel the dragon within them and they’ve got to experience that. That’s what powers them. Are they afraid? Yes. They know that and they’ll do it anyway because the world is changed by people who are on fire.
To get a bit of clarity, I don’t think there’s anybody out there that respects or wants to be me when they grow up. That’s a different thing. With you, I know a part of your background. I know a part of your history because we’ve chatted, but what did you get through to get to this mindset of looking out for the whispers?
I know that you know the background, but as you know, you and I were both born in not great circumstances. We’re both born in the UK. I was born in Northern England in the ghetto with absolute poverty, violence, crime, addictions, all those kinds of things. I knew early on that I was not meant to live there for the rest of my life. I knew that at seven years old. At ten years old when I heard Martin Luther King had been assassinated, I knew there was a mission of purpose in my life. At fourteen, I made the commitment to get out and I did. I got out and I had businesses in three continents.
In 1990, when I was at “the top of my game,” at that time, I was free climbing in British Columbia, Canada and I fell 120 feet, which is approximately twelve stories while free climbing and landed on my face and got smashed to pieces. I had near-death experiences five times or as I like to put it, I fell 120 feet from a self-imposed pedestal and landed on my ego. I got smashed to bits. This is the point I’m trying to get everybody to understand. People will say to me, “Something that dramatic must have changed your life.” I say, “No, it didn’t.” It embedded me in my ego. It made me deeper into it.
You and I have both met people who’ve had heart attacks. They’re in the hospital and they go, “What have I been doing? I’ve missed my kids. I’ve missed my marriage. I’m getting out of this hospital. I’m cleaning up.” You bumped into him three months later, what are they doing? The same crap they were doing before. It didn’t change their life at all. Those dramatic events don’t change your life. The dragon in you is not born in those events. That’s where there’s a crack that could reveal the dragon. What most of us do is we get our Band-Aids and we cover it up. We go, “No. It’s not there. I can’t see you. You don’t exist.” It’s the moment when everything can go back to normal.The world is changed by people who are on fire. Click To Tweet
I went through these near-death experiences. I had ten reconstructive surgeries. I would go out with my mates. My mates would come over and say, “Let’s take you out and buy you a drink,” or whatever and I go out. It’s miserable. I was depressed. I was feeling horrible. I wasn’t laughing. You and me, we laugh a lot. This one night I went out and had a great night. I laughed and I joked and thought, “I’m coming back.” Things are returning to “normal.” I opened the door to my kitchen and as I did coming out of the back, the light is running and across the floor, I saw a festoon of garbage everywhere.
There were empty cans. There was kitty litter. There were meat packages and it stunk. It was terrible. I went from being in pure joy to being in pure rage. I knew exactly who the culprit was and I wanted to kill the culprit. I’m not using that metaphorically. I was enraged. I went stomping through the house to try and find this culprit. When I got into the living room, the cat was there on the couch all curled up and comfortable. I’m not a violent person, but I lifted my hand to strike that cat and about halfway down, I kicked in, I remembered who I am and I stopped myself.
As I did, I put my hand down and I scooped the cat up and put the cat in my arms. The cat was cold. The cat had died. I fell to my knees and began to sob and shake. This was a cat I didn’t even like. It was an ex-girlfriend’s cat. I didn’t even want the cat. I was there for a few minutes and I realized I’m not crying for this cat. I was crying for the death of who I had been. I was grieving. I was finally ready to let go of who I was. It was at that moment that I knew I had a choice. I could keep trying to go back to where I was and in life, there is no back. I could stay where I was and that was incredibly seductive. This idea that I could claim as a victim and never have to try so hard anymore because I’d done that but never come back. It’s okay or I could find why I’m here on this planet.
Beyond my ego, beyond my success, beyond the money I had in the bank, beyond the nice car, why am I here on the planet when I spent the next nine months deeply embedded in that work until I found my purpose? That’s what took me to that journey. Not the fall, but the moment where it could have become normal again. Everybody goes through falls. Very few people will decide to become dragons and as Joseph Campbell said, “You must enter into the dark cave that you fear before you can become born into who you are.”
I knew most of that. I didn’t know about the dead cat. Thanks a lot for sharing that with us. You’ve written a bunch of books. I believe you’ve got a new course coming out. Is that correct?
Yes. The course is called All at Once. It’s digital because not everybody can afford to work with me privately and they want to find out how to find that purpose. I walk them through. Some of the exercises I gave you in this interview are in that and some others that help you to clarify what your purpose is, why you’re here on the planet, and what you can do about it. What’s interesting about it is when you tap into your purpose, not your why, but your actual purpose, which is the why of your why. Invariably my clients will add at least one zero to their income because now what gets them out of bed in the morning is not money. It’s not a success. It’s something about making this huge difference in the world. That’s what it causes. It’s exciting. I’m so excited that I got to bring it to the world.
If someone wanted to know more about you, where would they find you?
Just go to FullMontyLeadership.com. That’s my main website. If you go there, you’ll find everything you want. I will say this that if you’re reading this, I don’t know if you know this about podcasters because I’ve had a podcast for many years. It’s a one-way thing. Often, people don’t let us know how they thought of it. I want you to recognize that Steve took the time to bring you guests and I know some of those guests because some of them are my friends too. He takes his own time to put the show out there. You need to write to him and let him know that you appreciate the show. You need to go online and review and subscribe to the show and share it with your friends.
I’m going to give you my private email address. It’s Dov@DovBaron.com. Write to me, write to Steve, I want to know what you got out of this. Information is the hole in the donut, nobody gives a crap. If you want information, go on Google, you can spend the rest of your life, get splinters in your ass and never move. If you want your life to change, you’ve got to take action. Write to us, tell us what you got out of this, what you’re going to do with it. If I can help you in some way, that’s why I’m here on the planet, write to me. Tell me and I’ll see what I can do, how I can assist you, but I want you to go and rate, review and subscribe to the show.
I appreciate you giving the plug there. Thank you very much because I’ll make an absolute fortune off of this show. I make millions and millions of dollars. No one does podcasts to make money. I’m sure there are a few out there, but sure it’s not me. You’re up in Vancouver. What’s 2020 holding for you?
For me, we have the release of the new courses. We have a release of a brand-new podcast. My other podcast is several years old. It’s the number one podcast in the world for Fortune 500 audiences. It’s called Leadership and Loyalty. My new podcast is out called Curiosity Bites. You’ll be able to find that it’s a long-form podcast, broken into segments, talking to weird, wonderful, and wacky individuals about strange and wonderful things. Particularly listening to people that you might disagree with because I believe that we solve the problems of the world, not through love or any of the things that we think we do.
We solve it through deep curiosity to be willing to be curious about why would I talk to this guy? He’s got some piece of metal through his eyebrow. He’s got some weird goatee. His head is shaved. He looks like he’d kicked the shit out of you at any moment because that’s not who he is. That’s an image of who we are and everybody has it at multiple levels. The whole show is based on that. That’s what that is. We’ve got astronauts. We’ve got physicists. We’ve got political leaders and all kinds of people. On top of that, we’ve got my new book coming out called One Red Thread and a complete rebrand of my stuff. I have a couple of things going on.
What’s the book about?
One Red Thread is about finding your purpose and how to track through your life how there’s been this single red thread. I started the book by talking about, imagine that you walked into an art gallery and as you look up on the wall, up on the wall is this beautiful tapestry. You’re bewildered by it because it’s so magnificent. It’s so intricate and yet so simple, so beautiful. When you go up to it and as you’re admiring it, there’s a little plate on the bottom that it says to you the name of the piece, and the piece is called One Red Thread. It says your life is a tapestry. Throughout that tapestry is woven a single red thread, although you may not be able to see it, it is the binding red thread of the entire piece of tapestry that is your life. If you find that red thread, you’ll find the reason for being alive. What is your one red thread? That’s what it is. Your one red thread of your life has shown up always. It’s always been there and that book is about tracking that, finding it.Everybody goes through falls. Very few people will rise and decide to become dragons. Click To Tweet
I love the way you find the purpose, the growth, the positivity, the strength from the pain and discomfort. Both you and I share the feeling that your greatest growth first starts by you being uncomfortable and usually on your ass. We try so much nowadays, especially as entrepreneurs, we’re serial failures where 90% of what we do goes to shit. We try and produce something. It fails and loses a ton of cash. We don’t tell anyone about it because people only get to discover the stuff that worked well. You’re out there saying that you should look for all of these whispers in the dark times to be able to establish your strength and your growth. I don’t like that. I applaud you for that mindset.
One of the great challenges is that we go on Instagram, we go on Facebook and everybody’s like, “Isn’t my life great? Isn’t it wonderful? Look at me.” You and I had a conversation about those ding-a-lings who stand by their Lamborghinis or they’re on the planes with the girls with the boobs hanging out. This is what entrepreneurship is. No, it’s not. Nobody’s course is going to teach you how to do it in 21 days. If they tell you it does, run away like your hair is on fire because they’re full of shit. It’s not true. The bottom line is nobody’s an overnight success. It takes a crapload of work. If you’re not an overnight success, then your dad left you $50 million.
I want you to think about anything in the world that is magnificent. It was all born out of pain. Let’s look at that. Let’s peel that back a little bit deeper because here’s another thing nobody wants to look at, anger. I’m not angry. If you’re not, you’re not going to do anything. You are a drink of water. You are warm skim milk. You’re not going to do anything in the world. You need pissosity. It’s important. You need to worship the God called Pistofious. Not because you’re going to walk around being angry all the time. That’s not the point. You’ve got to know what hill you’re willing to die on. If you don’t, you have no fire. You’ve got to know that.
What upsets you? Why are you pissed off? What bothers you? If nothing bothers you and you’re arguing, “No, don’t sweat the small stuff.” You’re going to live a boring ass life. Nothing’s going to happen. Look at those pains, look back and say, “Where did I go from there?” If you didn’t grow, I guarantee you you’re going to re-manifest it, only it will get bigger each time. I know I fell off a mountain, got smashed to pieces. I was wanting to get rid of that. What people don’t realize is that it was my fourth fall. Not my first, not my second or third, but my fourth. Why? I’m a nice guy, but I learned slowly.
You can’t land it on your head. That was the problem.
Until I landed on my head, I wasn’t getting it until I got it. You’ve got to find out what is the hill I’m willing to die on. Your anger is what has moved you forward. Everybody was like, “America is this great country of immigrants.” Why is it full of immigrants? Because people were angry about the situation in their own country and they wanted something better. They took drastic action and risks to make it happen. Any transformation in the world is that.
Joe Polish turns around and he says, “It’s aggravated oysters that make pearls.” Dov, I love chatting with you. I love hanging with you. Dov is up in Vancouver. If you ever get the chance to hang out with him, he likes good drinks. He loves his tequila. Don’t give him the shit stuff. Make sure it’s the top shelf only or he will get upset and throw you down that hill that he fell off. Dov, I know you’ve told us already, but do you have a Facebook community, a website you want to drive people to? Where do you want people to find out about you?
FullMontyLeadership.com for sure. My email is Dov@DovBaron.com. You can also find me on Instagram @DovBaronLeadership. You can find me on LinkedIn, Dov Baron. You can find me on Twitter @TheDovBaron. I’m on all the social media outlets. I write for fourteen other outlets and I also have a YouTube channel, which is Dov Baron, Full Monty Leadership with 700 and something videos. There are lots of resources for everybody.
You can sniff him out, you can find out what he’s all about before you reach out and contact Dov. Thank you very much for being on the show. It’s been a pleasure.
Thanks, Steve. It‘s always a pleasure talking to you. I look forward to it.
Until next time.
I hope you enjoyed the episode. If you want to come and hang out with me, with some of my friends, maybe you should come to one of our Speakeasies. How do you do this? You head over to SteveDSims.com. Look up the next event, click and get involved. We’ll find out where your problems are. We’ll find out how we can help you. We’ll give you a tremendous event. I’ll hopefully see you at Speakeasy one day in the future. All the best.