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Mike McCarthy | The Importance of Teams and Setting Kids up for Success

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Hosted by
Mike Ayala

On this episode of Investing For Freedom, Mike talks to the former CEO of GoBundance, Mike McCarthy. McCarthy discusses his background, his time at GoBundance, the importance of family, and how you can set you kids up for success with FamBundance. Enjoy!

“If you get older and your kids don’t have a relationship with you, and they haven’t worked with you cause you’re gone all the time, they’re not going to have amount of guidance that they’re going to need in order to be an entrepreneur.”


0:00 – Intro
3:28 – Mike McCarthy discusses who has had the greatest impact on his life
4:30 – Mike discusses his meditation practice
5:37 – Mike’s greatest set back was that he grew up so fast, he felt as if he knew it all
9:18 – Mike got a kick out of being doubted at a young age
10:12 – The piece of advice Mike finds himself sharing the most is that people should believe in themselves, and if you believe in yourself you’ll find the right people
13:40 – Mike explains how he dealt with being young and in a position of power
18:15 – Mike feels as though he is currently in a stage of transition
21:34 – One of the best ways to learn something is to be fluent enough in it to teach it to someone else
24:09 – There is no team until you get out of your ego, you need to accept that others will be better than you at certain things
25:31 – Mike has 50 offices which he sold and developed in the greater Pennsylvania region
28:49 – If have money coming in, you have no choice but to invest it
30:28 – The best deals Mike has made are the ones he has made with the right team
32:37 – The better Mike gets a building a team, the more his wealth grows
34:01 – Mike bought his dad out of his company
35:43 – Anything Mike gets excited about usually relates back to his kids in some way
37:37 – Mike doesn’t want to force his shadow on his kids, but will give them the tools to succeed if they want them
48:00 – Mike discusses the activities at FamBundance
54:13 – One value that is in the core of everything is generosity


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Mike Ayala: Thank you for joining me on the Investing For Freedom podcast. Today, I’m really excited to bring a guy to the studio and the podcast that whether he knows it or not, I don’t think I’ve actually told him this, but I’ve really been watching him closely the last couple of years. Mike has just done some tremendous things in life and the way that he shows up is always just from a place of humility, makes everyone feel comfortable. Mike has had an interim role well. I think it was an interim role. We could talk about that, but at GoBundance he was actually the CEO for a while, but he’s one of the elders at GoBundance and has had a pivotal role in really taking this organization to the next level. And I’m interested in pulling back the curtain and seeing what the transition looks like as we’re kind of formalizing some of the process there too. But anyway, Mike, you’ve had an amazing impact and I don’t think that I’ve had the opportunity to really share that with you. And I think one of the main reasons is because when we get into this realm and you’ve got such a high-impact group of performers like we do at GoBundance, a lot of times that environment can be intimidating and Mike shows up always just welcoming and bringing people in and is always the first one to just come along and meet you and greet you and show up. So, Mike, I’m really excited to bring you to the audience and just share you with the world. So, I appreciate you being here.

Mike McCarthy: Thanks. I appreciate the opportunity. It’s fun to support you. And I really look up to you and admire you as a father, which is one of the greatest roles we can have. And you and Dylan both jumped at the opportunity to come and share with my kids and my family group, which we work on within GoBundance called FamBundance. And so, as soon as you mentioned, even the possibility of jumping on this podcast with you, I jumped at the opportunity because I just look up to you and the way you are as a father. And I thank you for coming on our show and given value with Dylan, that was a cool interview. It was fun to do.

Mike Ayala: Yeah, that was it. That was a great time. And we could just keep passing accolades back, but I appreciated that opportunity as well, because actually, you know, a lot of people don’t know cause they don’t spend a lot of time talking about it. But my oldest son, Dylan, we were on this show together, the FamBundance call and just being able to watch my son share with the community like you’ve built was just amazing too. So yeah, we could just keep, you know, passing the ball back and forth.

Mike McCarthy: Well to be clear, I’m more impressed with him than I am you, but that’s just because he’s a pretty epic wake surfer.

Mike Ayala: And you know, always hoped that this goes to something you said, which we’ll get into later, but I always hoped that my kid would go farther faster than me, but when you actually see that happening, it’s like oh, dang it. But no, I’m actually very excited.

Mike McCarthy: It’s all part of that transition. It’s another part of that.

Mike Ayala: Totally is. Cool, Well, let’s jump into the four questions. So, who’s had the greatest impact on your life?

Mike McCarthy: You know, I think it would probably be Gary Keller just from the standpoint of, without Gary Keller there’s no environment or ecosystem called Keller Williams that I get to thrive in and grow as an entrepreneur. And I also don’t get to become business partners with my father or meet David Osborne. And so, you know, I’m kind of throw in three people out there and around about way, but you know, Gary, you know, what an opportunity to be front and center to the way he thinks and leads and then to also be directly mentored by people that, you know, had been there from the beginning, with Gary is a tremendous opportunity. So that’s got to be my undiplomatic answer, in throwing three in there.

Mike Ayala: I like it. If you could narrow it down to one thing that you think has had the greatest impact on your success, what do you think that would be?

Mike McCarthy: Meditation. Definitely. If there’s one thing that helped me to get to know myself better, to put myself in check and also envision who I could become and what I could do in the future and then go out and do it. It all came from that quiet, reflective space where you get to go to sort of discover yourself all over again every single day. And for a while, it was a scary place for me to go. Cause I was worried about what might be in there, but I had a great coach who I still work with today. So, for the last 15 years, every two weeks we work on meditation. We work on really deep healing and energy type stuff that some might say is a little airy fairy, but it’s something that really, really worked well for me. So, meditation and just being willing to get outside your mind.

Mike Ayala: I love it. What was your greatest setback and what did you learn from it?

Mike McCarthy: Man, let’s see. That’s a good one. You know, I would say, you know, probably my greatest setback would be, and it’s also my greatest opportunity, so I’m going to kind of spin this one a little bit too, but I think, I grew up in Keller Williams. I first worked in a real estate office when I was like eight or nine years old, you know, filing stuff and doing whatever. Later on, in life, my dad opened a Keller Williams office. And even in college I worked the front desk at an office and ended up becoming his assistant. And I sort of grew up in that world. And so, I would say it’s you know, I grew up so fast that I started to think I knew it all.

So, like, as soon as I knew most of what my dad was doing, I was kind of like, okay, dad, I got it. Like, let me just do it. And in a lot of ways I pushed him away and there was a lot more wisdom that could have been learned and I wasn’t that easy to deal with. So, he kind of was like, all right, if you’re so smart, then you know, why don’t you do it? And so that’s been a hard thing where, you know, he had to then deal with the transition of being like, kind of out on the side, watching me do the things and even not doing them in the right way. And so, I made a lot of mistakes as an early regional director selling franchises to the wrong, you know people and not because they were wrong, it just wasn’t the aligned opportunity. And I should have been doing a better job of vetting that and seeing it. And I think that’s something that, you know, if I would have embraced more learning from my dad and us doing it together, I would’ve made less mistakes, but I would have also learned less as well because being in charge and then having to deal with the mistakes that you’ve made yourself, that’s a whole different level of leadership. So, I also respect that, that my dad was willing to pave the way. And then at a very, probably a little too ripe of an age, be like, all right, go ahead smart guy, you’ve got it all figured out.

Mike Ayala: How old were you Mike, when you really started taking over?

Mike McCarthy: Like 23. So, I was going into meetings at 23 with the suit that probably didn’t fit right. And was, you know, going to shake someone’s hand and they would be expecting to meet some 65-year-old broker that was pitching some, you know, some independent brokerage out of Texas. They were expecting the prototypical, Texas broker type meeting. And it wouldn’t be that at all. I was ready to go. I knew the game, but you know, what I knew more than anything is I knew that if they were the right person and they opened a Keller Williams franchise, it would more than likely mean that they would be a multimillionaire and set up not only themselves, but their family and more people than not the great majority of the ones we sold franchises to, they realized that version of the dream. So, it was interesting, you know, I actually got a kick out of being doubted. And then if they would find out that I was just working for my dad and this was, you know, my dad and I’s business, then I just even had that much more to prove to them. So, to me, it was all fuel to the fire. So, I got a bunch of gasoline poured on and my dad gave me the match, so to speak, right. Like he gave me an opportunity. And then because I’m an independent type person that really never wanted to work for dad. It just was like; how well can I prove that it’s me? And not just because I got this opportunity.

Mike Ayala: Very interesting. We might circle back on some of that. What is the single piece of advice you find yourself sharing the most?

Mike McCarthy: You know, I think it would be to believe in yourself to really know that you’re worthy, that you’re capable of so much more than you think you are. All of us are. And I think we get blocked, we get traumatized, we get stopped, we get stalled out on our dreams. We give up, all of us do on little dreams, big dreams. And I think if we can just keep believing that we deserve those dreams and that, you know, any dream that hasn’t happened yet is just late. You know, and who are we to think that we’re in control of all the timing. And so, believe in yourself. And I think if you really believe in yourself, so I’ll parlay it into one extra piece of advice is you’ll go and make sure you’re surrounded by the right people. So, believe in yourself and then go get around the right people. Because as much as you can believe in yourself and know you have potential, you’ll also realize that you need a lot of help. And so, it’s one of the same, it’s two sides of the same coin. And I think sometimes we want to have to have all the answers and we don’t believe in ourselves because we think we need all the answers before we can. But I think we got a first believe in ourselves and then go get all the answers that are out there if we just ask the right questions of the right people.

Mike Ayala: It’s so good. So, we could go a million directions from here, obviously, but I want to circle back to the 23 years old. And obviously there was a, you know, whether it’s because you’ve told the story or because you look back at that 23 year old person which I think is valuable for us to look back, but even the way you explained that 23 year old kid you know, a suit that didn’t fit him he was obviously not prepared to take on everything that you had to take on. And so, I’m interested to kind of peel this back, but it triggered something in my mind. I think back to when I was 24 years old and I started my first business and I’ll never forget walking into a pre-bid meeting with my previous boss and the number two guy who had taught me everything that I knew, and these guys had been in the business for 40 years, probably. And I walk into a pre-bid meeting with not only them, but eight other competitors. And it’s like a $3 million job meeting. And it’s all these high ups from Barrick gold, which was one of the biggest gold mining companies in the world. And I remember looking around and freaking out, I’m like, what am I doing in this room? Like, why would they take this 24-year-old kid? Why would they give me this job over them? These guys have done so much more work. We just started our company. What do I have to offer? And I’m going through all these struggles. And when you’re telling that story about that 23-year-old kid in the suit that probably didn’t fit how did you work through that? Cause I’ve got, you know, the things that I had to do to work through it, but I’m interested to just peel back the psychology because what you said at the end, the last piece of advice, and I’m so glad you threw in the second part. If you believe in yourself, you’ll find the right people because we need to grow, we need to expand, but how’d you deal with that? Cause that, I mean, that had to have been emotional turmoil.

Mike McCarthy: Yeah. Well, you know, in some ways ignorance is bliss, right? So, I don’t know that I have fully dealt with it. I’m probably able to speak in that way with a lot of respect to, for who that young man was. But I think I’m able to see it with awareness if you will, if that’s what we want to call it. Because I’ve just done a lot of the work on myself. Right. So, you know, and I think part of doing the work on yourself is realizing that the work is never done. And so, I think I’m still trying to come to peace with that who that person was and the gifts that were both born of that. And also, some of the traumas experienced or created because of it. And I don’t want to get too deep into it, but, you know, I recently had a realization that we don’t stop being traumatized when we’re done being children. And I add a whole lot of things that I won’t get into here that happened in my twenties that were traumatizing, you know, everything from a divorce to heartbreak and breakups and just things that, you know, are they the end of the world? No. Are they are compared to what’s happening in the world now do you really have a, a right to be out bitching and moaning about it? Probably not, but let’s be real. Those things still cause trauma. And when people don’t deal with that trauma, they stay stuck. And whoever that person was at the time. So, if something happened to you and you were a kid and you haven’t dealt with it, part of you is still that kid, you haven’t grown past it.

So, in many ways I’ve grown past who that individual is, and that’s why I’ve been able to continue to replace myself in opportunities and move outside of it and go through the transitions where, you know, I was RD for a long time, maybe wasn’t ready. I was way better at replacing myself and finding a brilliant RD or two or three to replace me than I ever was at being an RD. And so, part of it is the humility of knowing that you aren’t the best in the world at anything more than likely. And even if you are just wait, someone will come along and beat you. Nobody stays the best in the world forever. And you know, we can argue about basketball and seasons and you know, who’s the greatest of all time, but there’s only one greatest in the world at this moment at anything. And it’d be hard for anybody to say that they thought they were that person. And if they did, I would say the time they’re going to spend at number one is probably real small.

Mike Ayala: I loved what you said about part of doing the work on yourself is realizing that the work is never done and that’s ringing so true to me right now because I’m like in a phase of my life where I’m realizing that I have to become, I say this a lot on the podcast. You know, in order to have something different in life, you have to leverage something or someone, or do something different than what you’re currently doing. So I’ve got all these little things that I’ve been, but I find myself in a position of transition, if you will again, and this might end up actually not to take away from other shows, but I’m like already, I’m filling this as like one of my favorite interviews for the thread of why I started investing for freedom. Because what I really wanted to do is just help people change mindset and bring guests on like you that just encourage people. I mean, it’s never going to end. And you just said it, part of doing the work is realizing that the work is never done. I’m in that season of transition right now. And we’ll get into this here in a little bit, but you know, even you’re in a season of transition, right. And I think sometimes people look up to people like you and they think, wow, this guy just, you know, he’s got it all figured out. He’s done. I think people think you reach this next threshold. It’s kind of like the guy behind you in the GoBundance thing. Like you get to the top of that peak and then there’s something different. And so, the reason why I started investing for freedom was to just encourage people, to bring people on like you to encourage other people. This is a journey, right. It’s never going to end. And so, I love that saying.

Mike McCarthy: That’d be great. I would love that.

Mike Ayala: So, let’s talk about, you were saying before the show that you’re kind of in a place of transition, right?

Mike McCarthy: Absolutely. I definitely feel that way. I mean, I think COVID, we all are, but I think in particular I am because I was a CEO for GoBundance for over three years and we’ve now, you know, done quite a few incredible hires that have replaced me. And so, for the, you know, second or third time in my life, I find myself watching the next group come in and execute at a higher level. And I’m still an owner and an elder and leader in GoBundance so I win no matter what in this scenario, but it’s just, you know, it’s interesting. And I tip my hat to my partners and to the next group of people coming and they are cleaning up all of my messes. That’s what happens is it turns out that you didn’t perfectly do your job. Maybe you thought you did, but you know, you’ve got to be willing to let people into that if you want it to go beyond where you can go. And so, you know, I have a high awareness that most of these businesses and opportunities they’re best served by me being a visionary and being a supporter. And when I need to play quarterback, you know, I can step back in the game and run a couple of plays and do okay. But I’m very aware that there’s better individuals to execute the plays. And, you know, I think back to what we were saying about just doing the work on yourself at the end of the day, if you want to become something else, you have to let go of what you are now. And what we do is we hold on so tightly to what we are right now, like you think about whatever your titles are, dad, husband, father, all the best titles that you hold. They’re actually all holding you back because they’re a title, they’re a label. And it means a certain thing. And we’re all much bigger than whatever the small labels are that we sort of throw around. And I think when we can grow outside of that and sort of transition and let go of one version of ourselves to step into another, that’s what we’re really after. Like when we’re moving into investing and moving towards freedom, that’s what we’re really having to do. That’s that death of whoever you were in becoming the next best version of yourself.

Mike Ayala: That’s amazing. I want to kind of tie this together too, because you still own a very successful Keller Williams company and you’ve got multiple other things going on. And you had mentioned to me that you’re making a transition now because you’ve been pretty, you’ve been very successful actually. And you were talking about moving more into the investing world and having to build that team out. So, number one, can we talk a little bit about the Keller Williams and you putting that team in place? You’ve already said it. I mean, it’s hard to go buttons. It’s obviously hard at Keller Williams, but now you’re moving more toward the investing arena and you’re having to build a team out there too.

Mike McCarthy: Yeah. Well, you know, one good thing is that when I started teaching how to recruit select, train and lead within Keller Williams, I had to really get better at it. So, one piece of advice is just, you might think you need to know everything in order to do it, or especially to teach it. But one of the best ways to learn something is to be fluent enough in it to teach it to somebody else. And so I had the honor of traveling around the country and teaching, it’s the same process that Dirk uses now with BERGflow and Keller Williams has, in my opinion and even better version of that, that they have internally now. But whichever version you use, it’s first about just if you’re going to build a team, it’s understanding, okay, what are all the things I don’t do very well? And what are all the things that someone else could probably do a lot better and would actually appreciate doing more like their natural tendency or strength would be to do whatever that thing is. And it’s amazing when you get really clear on the things you don’t want to do. And then you really open up to the fact that, and this can be hard that just because you don’t like to do those things doesn’t mean that there isn’t someone else out there who won’t really love doing those things, especially getting paid for it. But I want it to be really clear that if they don’t love to do it without getting paid, they’re probably not going to be very good at it either. So, it’s really about knowing the job responsibilities you want to give up, who would be the best people for those jobs, admitting that someone’s going to be better at it than you. And then to having the consistency and the diligence to go and find the right people to do those roles.

And, you know, I’ve had several misfires in the hiring realm and each one was very costly, but it was like tuition and motivation for how to not do it again. So sometimes you just got to get in there and start making the hires. You definitely have to slow the process down. That’s one big mistake that people make is they try to go one or two interviews. They hire their brother-in-law or their cousin which I’ve done by the way. Not both of those, only a cousin, but you do that. And you’re like, oh shit, that didn’t work out very well. But, you know, knowing that there is a process you can follow for team building and adding members to the team is so vitally important. But until you get out of your own ego, there is no team though. And that’s the thing that really stops most people from hiring anyone is they’re the best at it. They don’t like dealing with other people. They just want to do their thing. And what that’s called is a job, not a business. So, if you want to own a business and you’re the one doing all the work, I got news for you. You’re not investing for freedom. You’re just working for yourself and you control your hours. There’s a lot better ways to control your hours than having the responsibility of owning a business. So just a couple of distinctions there that hopefully add some light on the subject.

Mike Ayala: And you bring so much wisdom to the whole conversation. I mean, you were talking about basically ego and I’ve heard this so many times from business owners and guys just for context, it’s not like Mike McCarthy has, you know, 65 agents working for him. He owns a very, very big I’m not even sure how the structure works, but basically you got like 9,000 plus agents in your organization, right?

Mike McCarthy: Yeah. We have 50 offices that we’ve sold and help develop in the greater Pennsylvania region. And I still own that region. Gary Keller is my partner there. And I’m also partnered with the 30 or so franchise owners that own those 50 offices. And so, we still put on all of the training at least at a regional level and we still do a lot of the compliance support of them. But mainly what we’re focused on now is being the community builders because everything’s moving towards not only online, but also being in the right communities. And you know, at the end of the day, what we’re really good at like Keller Williams is business consultation. So, if you want to grow, if you want to take your business to the next level, then we’re the right place to be at. If you want the cheapest possible place to do business at, then we’re not the right spot for you.

Mike Ayala: Yeah. And so you know, there’s this theme and a thread that even before the call you were talking about, and, you know, as we want to transition to other levels, I mean, doing that deep work, the same things that you keep talking about, meditation, who do you have to become to go to that next level? I’ve heard business owners at all levels, you know, it’s this age-old thing. Like nobody can do it as good as me and you know, I’ve tried, I’ve hired three people already. They’re no good. And that the thing that I hear you say over and over, I mean, that’s an ego thing, us, number one, believing that nobody can do it as good as us, but I think it’s actually deeper than that. It’s us not wanting to do the work of like, who do we have to become in order to become that person that can actually mentor and train and identify and hire the right people along the way. And you’ve obviously mastered that.

Mike McCarthy: Well, it’s definitely a process, but you know, I think I really thank God for the opportunity to be a business leader and owner because, you know, without that responsibility and duty to others, I don’t think I would work as hard on myself. So there’s a give and take there where there’s this lovely peer pressure in the right direction of like, when you become a leader, you realize it’s like, Hey, I’ve got to hold myself to a higher standard. And by the way, if you want to become a leader, start holding yourself to a higher standard by definition, you are now a leader. And I think that’s recognized in the world. Like, I think there’s a need for it. Like never before to where, you know, there’s a lot of people that want everyone else to solve the problems for them. We’ve got to start learning how to solve the problems ourselves and then work together with our neighbors and our friends to actually create change.

Mike Ayala: Awesome. Stay with us guys. Cause here shortly, I’m going to peel back what I think is probably what I find super intriguing about Mike and just some of the new stuff that he’s working on. But talk to me about before the show you had mentioned, you know, transitioning from, and not that you’re not involved in your business deal, but moving more toward the investment piece. And what does that all look like at this phase of your life?

Mike McCarthy: Yeah, well, at first it was like, okay, I’m making good money, which is a great way to become a good investor, by the way, is to make enough money to become one. So, because if you’ve got the money coming in, you really have no choice. What are you going to do? Just let the money stack there. And I’m not very materialistic. I like to travel. I like to go out and having experiences, but I don’t buy a lot of expensive stuff. So at the end of the day, you know, you have money coming in and now it becomes a game and it always was for me, I just didn’t have sort of the volume to make it wow, Like really popped to me as like, this is a whole other business to run. And so how that looked at in the beginning was how do I find deals that I can get into that I really trust the people so that I can invest relatively safely in a couple of different things and see how those things go. And most of the different things were still all real estate by the way, but different ways of investing and real estate.

So, I have, you know, a couple of fourplexes, a couple of eight plexes, I’ve got several probably 10 plus where I’m an investor in a syndicated apartment deal. And then I’ve got four or five vacation rentals that are in Florida. And mainly though, the investments that have worked well for me are just the ones where it’s the right person. And I believe in them. And then what I really like is the ones where we stay in the deal together. There’s a hold or at least unless we get a ridiculous offer, the plan is to stay in it and cashflow. So, but here’s what happened was so the first problem is to make enough money. Once you’ve hit that, then it’s, okay now you got the money. How do I find the right deals and enough people I trust to where I can experiment enough and put my money out there. And then the third piece is then how do I actually then track all of that?

So, once you’ve now done, let’s say 25 or 30 of those types of investments where, in my case, I’m really more of a passive investor. I’m not looking for the deals where I’m going out and I’m finding the house to flip. I’m more likely to find someone who’s going to flip a house and be a hard money loan for them because then our interests are aligned. I’m not trying to learn how to flip a house. I’m just learning how to find the deal and the right person. And then how to structure it so that I know I get my money back and if I don’t, what recourse might I have? And so, each one of those that you do, it’s like a whole new business. It has an operating agreement partner. It has a business plan, and then it either it does what it’s supposed to, which it never does, or it gets really closer. Maybe it does even better. And sometimes it doesn’t do well yet. And you’re still waiting to see, I have some that are more seed capital type investments that I’ve done that I still don’t know if it’s a good investment or not because they’re either going to get bought out and everything’s going to go great. Or we’re going to keep chugging along doing series B, C, D, E raises, where everyone keeps getting. So, but each one of those is so unique. So literally I could build a whole team around this and the better I get, building a team around this, the more my wealth is going to grow. That’s the bottom line. And that’s the game that I’m playing right now. And I’m also it’s worth just stating that I’m also delayed on that goal because of COVID. And because I’m now really, we’re reinventing a lot of the stuff we do in the real estate company.

So I am having to put a lot more time and energy and brainpower into all of that than I did before all of this, but it’s all good because we would have either done it over the next five years, or we would have just got it done in six months, which is what we’re doing now. So, it’s kind of like ripping the band-aid off, so to speak. So, I don’t mind that, and things will settle back down, and my business again will be to be a great investor and find great deals. And then eventually I have to teach my children that skill. So, they need to work in businesses and then eventually learn how that works if they want to work in the family business. And if they want, you know, to kind of have the chance to take control of it. Like I got, you know, I think that’s something that has been a really, I’m very honored that my dad officially two and a half or three years ago signed, I bought him out and he signed control of everything we had built together over to me. And that was you know, an incredible thing. If you think about it, like here’s a guy who he really loves to control things and have his name on things and rightfully so for him to put it all into his son’s hands is a big deal. So, I appreciate my dad for that if he ever happens to listen to this podcast. Shout out to you dad.

Mike Ayala: Yeah. Well, and it’s so interesting too, because a lot of, you know, we listened to these stories and it’s like, wow, you know, dad’s retired and good for him even being able to, I know you looked at this a little different, but you know, thinking about legacy and being able to back off enough to where you stay engaged, because a lot of kids don’t engage for that reason because and I’ve been through this same thing, but a lot of kids don’t engage because dad’s so forceful and all that. And so I think this is a good place for us to transition because you know, you talked about all these titles we were, and I’ve watched you from a distance too, and, you know, with FamBundance and you also wrote the miracle morning for parents and families. So, let’s talk about all that. Cause I mean, that’s obviously a big part of your heartbeat. And I don’t care where we go from here. I don’t have a specific question, but I know your family, I watch you from a, and your family’s extremely important. And obviously, we can talk about FamBundance and what it is that what makes you tick and makes you do all this?

Mike McCarthy: Yeah, I mean, everything that I get excited about right now, it relates back to my kids in some way, I mean, anything that’s going to really get me motivated to climb another mountain, not to maintain the mountains that, you know, have already been climbed or to keep those other businesses running. But for me to want to climb another mountain, the only reason that I would do it would be for my family. And the reason is because there’s a part of me in my ego Mike that says, Oh, you’re destined to do so much more than you’ve done. You could do great things. You could change the world. You could do all of these things and the mind starts racing. Like maybe I have an idea that could change the world. Maybe I could be a part of a business that already is changing the world and help it go further. And by the way, all of those could still be true. And what I’m very clear on is that my number one job is to raise humans that go and make a positive impact in the world because that’s job number one. And out of all of my titles that I’ve ever held, it’s the one that I’ll always cherish the most. So, for me, I also have the unique, you know, juxtaposition or perspective on this of having been a second-generation entrepreneur and having built something that is substantial and worthwhile. And just like I said, is that my dad gave me an opportunity to figure it out. And because I felt this immense pressure of living sort of in his shadow, I also worked really, really hard.

And what I don’t want to do is give my kids the shadow unless they want it. And if they do take it, I want to also give them the sun and the light when they’re in the shadow and to me, that is the network that then they can go to when they have a problem and they need to learn investing, or they need to learn accounting, or they need to really understand how business works. They have other options besides just dad to come to us for answers and they can be inspired by others. So having Amber and Tyler, my children, and even Lindsey intimately involved within what happens at the GoBundance masterminds and within that community, it was just so important to me because as the CEO, I didn’t want to be taken away from them again. So, I’m trying to bring them along with me. And so FamBundance is, what was born of that. And yeah, I feel like, you know, in this transition is like, even if I make a bunch of shitty investments and I never get the business set up, that grows my wealth to, you know, whatever number of figures, you know, you pick some extraordinary amount of money more than I would ever need to live. You know, even in those instances, like I would much rather invest in making my children great people who either, accept that they have this trust and responsibility or that they can also say hey dad, I don’t want to worry about that, I’m going to do my own thing and just support that.

And that’s what I love about, you know, the story that we got into with you and Dylan, right, is how skillfully you helped him to build a business out of his passion. That then keeps him wake surfing while he’s making money, where many others would just be not learning how to run a business. They would just be influencers on social media and pro wake surfers with sponsors, but in your case, Dylan had to weigh the option of, do I want to work for someone else and lose all of my freedom or do I want to gut it out, even though it sucks sometimes and totally control my destiny. And so, I’m just really focused on making sure I would be extremely excited if my children were anything like Dylan buddy, if they grew up and became his productive members of society, fulfilling their passions. And also, by the way, Dylan said, someday, I want to go back and work with dad, like, dude, that’s my dream right there. If I could just be you and have that happen, then it would be straight.

So yeah, that’s my focus. I want kids and families to be treated with much more of the same respect that organizations and businesses are treated. We put all of this effort into strategic planning and value creation and culture at the business level and meetings upon meetings of questions and to nauseum sometimes, probably most of it is not even necessary. And what I have found working with entrepreneurs is that they put about one thenth of 1% of that same level of leadership back into their family. And dude, it is actually a disturbing thing that gnaws at my heart. And I try to preach this within GoBundance all the time and created a community around it. And I still don’t know that the message is fully getting through. Like if you get older and your kids don’t have a relationship with you and they don’t know the family values and they haven’t worked with you and you’re gone all the time, you are not going to be able to give them the same amount of guidance that they’re going to need in order to be your son as an entrepreneur, because that’s a great big responsibility that entrepreneurs think that we’re, Oh, look what I built for you. Yeah, It’s a shitload of responsibility. And in some cases, just not losing it as their best bet, right. Just not fucking it up is, excuse my language. Bleep that out if you want. That’s like the best that they might be able to do, given who their parents are. So, I’m just very aware of that big responsibility that success can create. It’s an opportunity, but it’s also a big responsibility.

Mike Ayala: So powerful man. And you know, I’ve often looked at the way we parent is like bowling and this is going to sound crazy, but I see it all the time. We’re like the bumpers. My job is to just keep them out of the gutter and, you know, they know the pins are down there. And I literally remember my middle son, and this is, you know, they have such different personalities, but he never wanted the bumpers. And the other two kids wanted bumpers and he’d be pissed off because he has the bumpers up. And you know, they know where the pins are at. They know where they’re headed. But our job is to just guide them a little bit. And I think I don’t want to go on a tangent soap box here, but you’re hitting on something that I think is so important. And I think that FamBundance is we need to talk about that a little bit. Our job is to just guide them. And the thing that I’ve said from the beginning and Kara and I realized this at an early age, they’re little people just like we’re people, right? They have their own dreams, their own desires. And I think even as a society, we do an injustice because we start asking them when they’re seven years old, 8th grade, 10th grade, 12th grade, like, what do you want to be when you grow up? And we’re putting all this pressure on them to become hell, I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.

You know, I’m just, I’m so inspired by this conversation, Mike, because you’re constantly reinventing yourself. And if we could just realize that our kids have to invent themselves as well, and we’re not here to invent them, we already invented them. Like we created them. Now we have to just like guide them. And it’s like these, it’s the bumpers in bowling. And there’s a scripture in the Bible that says, what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, but to lose his soul. And I know this has nothing to do with it, but Kara and I have always looked at this, that script, like, what does it profit me to gain the whole world, but lose my everything, which, you know, my whole being my like, and, and by the way, kids are going to go do what they’re going to do. And we could be the best parents in the world, and they might, they might go and do what they’re going to do anyway. I did. Yeah, I’m not saying that that is, or isn’t our fault, but you’re hitting on something that’s so important because I’ve heard so many times people say two things. Number one, a lot of people don’t start a business because they feel like it has to own them and everything you’ve taught us today shows us that as long as you get your ego out of the way, That business doesn’t have to own you, you can own it and you can empower other people to do that. And you don’t have to lose your family. But then the other side of it, which I think is the thread that you’re hitting on that tugs on your heart. So many entrepreneurs say I’m doing this for the kids, and they might even come home and tell the wife, well, yeah, I’m working 90 hours a week, but I’m doing it for you guys. The kids don’t care. All they remember when they’re 25 years old, is that their dad was gone. Tell me about FamBundance. Tell me about FamBundance and then I’ll let you go.

Mike McCarthy: Yeah, no, I mean, you’re so right about that. And you know, here’s where the rubber hits the road is that I actually had that experience. My dad was working his ass off all the time. I got parts of weekends and I got holidays and you know what? It was good for me to see that hard work yielded a certain law, a certain lifestyle and a certain amount of affluence. But it also, it ingrained in me like, Hey, someday, I’m going to make it so that I have a little bit more freedom than that to be with my family. Right. And so there is that driving force, but you know what you were just saying got me to think, and this may be as a good way to kind of start to wrap up a little bit is I think we have to ask ourselves, what kind of bumpers are we being for our children? You know, and I think I’m probably a little bit more like this is what you’re going to do. So, in certain instances, I’m really putting my foot down and saying like, no, Tyler, you are going to get on this call once a week with other FamBundance kids. Because after you do that for 10 years, when you guys are all 20 years old or whatever, either you’re going to have a lot more friends and a lot more fun and, or you’re going to have a lot bigger network than most people. And so, there’s certain bumpers we have to just make sure we put in place for our kids.

And I also had just, you got me thinking like, well, what are my bumpers? Like, who’s a bumper for me. Because even though we’re now adults, like you were saying, we still don’t know what we want to be when we grow up. So, you know, I think that’s the power of a tribe. The power of who you surround yourself with is, you know, that’s why I love conversations with you. And all of our other gobros is each one I feel transformed from that conversation. And so, we have that opportunity to be bumpers and help direct each other together to a greater future. And I really loved that, you know, our hearts within this tribe are about giving back at the end of the day like, you know, GoBundance is yes, it’s for entrepreneurs that make money and, and all of that. But at the end of the day, it’s about how can we give back through one life and through even FamBundance.

And so, you know, FamBundance is trips, events, masterminds, virtual content. That’s all similar to GoBundance, but it’s geared towards families. So, and we’re still figuring it out. It’s a lot different creating stuff from scratches, you know. And so, we’ve got some great stuff we’ve done, I think we’ve done like two or 300 calls during the last six-month period. And we opened those up to all families by the way. And we got, we served where we could, but basically we’re just hoping that families will create values together, set goals together, support each other, have great conversations and just really build a culture and create meaning around what it is to be a McCarthy or whatever your family is, you know, make it mean something. And then have your family really make an impact in the world. Cause I think a strong family more than anything else has the best chance of changing what’s happening in the world. And I mean that from the environment to politics, to race, I think the right family systems is the only thing that really can address such a large systemic issue because that’s where we can control with the right span of control, a great family that really cares for each other. So that’s my highest hope, you know, in building and working on FamBundance.

Mike Ayala: I love that so much. And it’s such a, you know, even if you come from, I came from a broken home and seeing that I had other mentors and leaders in my life that showed me something different. And so, I don’t that, that doesn’t have to be my story. It’s part of my story, but I don’t have to stay there. And so, when I see people building out things like you’re doing, you know, I just came back from a weekend at Rick Hale’s Lake house and my son was coaching there. And when I see the stuff that Rick does with, you know, like homeless kids and that kind of stuff, yeah, these legacy things like what you’re doing at FamBundance is so powerful because regardless of what’s going on there currently, even family units that are intact they could achieve so much more if they have things like FamBundance. So, I’m super stoked about it.

Mike McCarthy: Yeah. And I think we also got to look for those that maybe don’t have that strong family unit and invite them into our families. Like that’s where it gets powerful. But I think to really do that, you got to have a pretty strong family unit, but once we have more of those than we can make everybody our family, so to speak. And I think that’s, you know, obviously that’s a high hope, but I think the world needs a of healing right now. And I hope that we can deliver some of that in FamBundance and in GoBundance and even just this conversation, hopefully somebody found some healing in it.

Mike Ayala: I love it. So how do people find out about FamBundance?

Mike McCarthy: is a great place. A lot of our resources are free. And they have been since the start of coronavirus. So, there’s exercises for building family values and setting goals as a family, things like that. So yeah. Check it out.

Mike Ayala: And then if they want to find out about you, is it Is that the best place?

Mike McCarthy: Yup. That’s a good spot to get me, or just email me at if you want to connect directly. And you can also check out or too, if you want a free copy of that book, which we didn’t really get into directly, but we sure talked a lot about the same concepts.

Mike Ayala: Love that book too. Make sure you take Mike up on that. So, we just dropped a lot of stuff for people to do, but I really want to just talk about this a little bit. So, you have a book that you wrote called miracle morning for parents and families, right? So, here’s the thing that I would like to do. For the first 10 people that send me an email at And tell me about your family and why you think you need that book. I’m going to give away 10 free copies of that book which is the whole miracle morning thread is amazing, which is how I found all you guys is through miracle morning for millionaires. So pretty, pretty impressive. I’m going to put you on the spot. If I can find a group of five or 10 dads and moms and families that you know, are struggling with business and entrepreneurship and, and keeping that family unit intact, would you do a 30 minute zoom call with us and just do some Q and A’s and mentoring for us?

Mike McCarthy: Yeah, absolutely. I’d love to, I might bring my friend, brother James, along for that, which would make it even more special for everybody. But yeah, I would love to do that. Anything to help. And yeah, the biggest challenge, honestly, with working with families is getting them all on the calls at the same time. And I understand that’s, you know, juggling not only one family’s schedule is challenging, but juggling multiple families schedules can be quite challenging, but I get really excited about any chance we have to work with just even a few families together. So, I would love that.

Mike Ayala: I love it. So, if you are interested in that and by the way he brought up brother James brother, James is awesome. Like he does such a great job of facilitating stuff. So if you’re a high performing or even medium performing or low performing and you just feel overwhelmed and you’ve got a family and you know, you’re wanting to move this way, but you feel some disconnect there. I think it would be good for us to put a zoom call together. So just again, send me an email at and tell me that you want to be on the family webinar and we’ll put together a webinar of five or 10, you know, and even if the kids aren’t on it to begin with, if we just have some conversations with moms and dads, or even just a mom or a dad, I think it’d be super powerful.

Mike McCarthy: Yeah, either one would be great.

Mike Ayala: Cool. I’ll see if I can put that together. I think it’ll be great. Mike, anything else you want to leave us with.

Mike McCarthy: You know, I was just thinking, you know, there’s one value I think that that is in the core of everything we’ve talked about and that’s just generosity and being willing to give and help others. And I think that, you know, you had asked about the one thing that, you know, I do, or a piece of advice, and I said meditation, but if I had another chance at that answer, it’s really at the core of it is just generosity. And I think meditation is just giving to yourself. And so it’s still lives in that same space, but you know, let’s be kind to one another and be willing to give more than we think we need to, because if we could do that and we weren’t being so transactional and everything that we did give or take and keeping score and, you know, everything gets so convoluted in that way, you know, just give more than you think you need to, especially now, like people are struggling. Times are tough. Mental health is a big deal right now. So even if you can’t give financially, just believe in them, give them a smile, help them in any way you can. And you know, if we all just did a little bit of that, man, how far would that go in the world right now? So, I’d love to leave everybody with that thought.

Mike Ayala: So powerful Mike, I really appreciate your time. Thanks for coming on the show.

Mike McCarthy: My pleasure.

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Episode 66