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Mindset & Money | Does Your Circle Inspire You?

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Hosted by
Mike Ayala

On this episode of Investing for Freedom, Mike looks back on his recent trip to Pinehurst and he ponders a quote; “if you look at the people in your circle and you’re not inspired, you’re not in a circle, you’re in a cage”. Mike explains what he learned about leadership and teamwork and challenges you to leave your circle if you’re not inspired.

“If you look at the people in your circle and you’re not inspired, you don’t have a circle, you have a cage. And my question to you, what are you going to do about it?”


0:00 – Intro
0:46 – “If you look at the people in your circle and you’re not inspired, you’re not in a circle, you’re in a cage”
1:02 – The only way to change that is to get into rooms with people who are going to take you higher
2:01 – In order to grow you need to stretch yourself financially and personally
2:30 – Mike describes his trip to Pinehurst and spending time around people who elevate him
4:28 – What separates you from where you are and where you want to be are people, books, and the time you spend with others to elevate you
5:00 – Mike describes a challenge they had involving NASCAR pit crew training, which taught him about leadership and teamwork
7:40 – Mike challenged himself to connect with one of the people from the group every week
8:04 – What are you going to do about being in a cage?


Episode with Kyle Depiesse


Thank you for joining me on the Investing for Freedom podcast. Today I’m going to do a recap of a trip I took recently and just give you some of my takeaways. A while back on my Instagram, I put up a quote on a tile and it said if you look at the people in your circle and you’re not inspired, you don’t have a circle, you have a cage. And here’s the thing. Like we spend a lot of time, you know, frustrated by the people around us and looking at our circle. And we’re not inspired, we’re not elevated. The only way that you’re going to change that circle and get out of that cage that you’re in is to find yourself in rooms with people that are going to lift you higher. And recently I just took this trip to Pinehurst, North Carolina, with Kyle Depiesse, who was on the Investing for Freedom episode a couple shows back, and we’ll go ahead and link that in the show notes where you can find him, he’s got more trips coming up by the way, two of them next year, which will be amazing. Hopefully just as great as these ones. I’m sure they’re going to be just as good if not better.

But anyway, what I wanted to really talk about is being in circles that inspire you. And you’re not going to get that through doing what you do on a day in day out basis. And this particular trip, you know, it wasn’t inexpensive, but there’s a barrier to entry to the type of people that did this and pulled this together and went on this trip, brought me to a whole other level. And if you’re not willing to stretch yourself financially and stretch yourself personally and get yourself in environments, like I was just in, you’re never going to grow. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. You have to leverage something different in your life. You have to get yourself around people who inspire you. And my thinking was definitely elevated on this trip to Pinehurst. First off, didn’t even realize how amazing Pinehurst is, and this is a bucket list adventure for so many people. And I went, because I wanted to be with the group of people that were there and yes, I love golfing and it actually challenged me. I practiced more golf in the last, you know, six or eight weeks, just trying to level up my game than I ever have, because I realized that I was getting to go to Pinehurst. But really the reason why I went there was the people. There was actually a guy that I’ve known for a while, his name’s Jim, who had never golfed ever, period, literally the first time ever golfing was in Pinehurst. And he obviously didn’t go for the golf, he went for the people. But what he took away was that he loved golfing and he’s going to golf more. And that was some of the things that every single guy at the end of the trip we decompressed, and everybody said, man, this really inspired me to golf more. And that’s a thing that, you know, we’re all going to probably take away from an experience like that. But the biggest thing for me was getting around the people and elevating my circle.

So many times, throughout the course of this trip you know, I was able to be vulnerable and transparent with the things that I’m growing through. And a guy that I knew on social media and I’ve known his wife, his name’s Johnny. He spent two hours just listening to me and the next phases that I want to go through and giving my advice and just being a sounding board. And a lot of times when we talk through things, we get the answers. And so, you know, just getting in an environment where you can have a high-level thinker like Johnny, just processing that. And being there for me. Another good friend of mine, Cody who I’ve known for a while, he went on this trip and just being able to spend, you know, three or four days in a quiet, intimate setting with a bunch of guys and yeah, intimate is not a bad thing. Really just getting to know each other, right? That’s the kind of environment we need to find ourselves in.

So, if you look at the people in your circle and you’re not inspired, you don’t have a circle, you have a cage. And so, what are you going to do about it? The things that are going to separate you from where you’re currently at and where you need to go, or the people you get around, the books you’re going to read, the amount of time that you spend with people who are going to elevate you, not staying where you’re currently at complaining about your situation, complaining about your coworkers. You’re not a tree, you’re not planted there. If you want to do something different, you have to get outside of those zones. And the reason why I’m saying this is there are plenty of opportunities like Kyle Depiesse puts together where you can get in an environment that will elevate your thinking.

One of the things that we did on this trip, we went to a NASCAR pit crew training, and it was with the Chip Ganassi Racing team and got to meet a bunch of, you know, pro football players, high-performance athletes, but it blew my mind. It was way more than I could have ever suspected. And if you go to my Instagram page @themikeayala, I’m going to post some stories and some follow-up posts about, you know, what I learned and just some of the videos and stuff. But this experience was amazing because not only the guys that were there teaching us, they are some of the best on leadership training that I’ve ever seen or experienced. Imagine what it takes to be part of a team that all they do is train, all they do. Like it’s this simple thing, but all they do is train like all day, every day, they’re high-performance athletes. They have to, they have to pit this car in like 10 to 13 seconds, change tires, fuel it up, get the driver what they need. It’s just crazy. And they took 12 of us guys that had zero experience in NASCAR and they split us up into two teams and they gave us a quick training and then we competed against each other. And this was a cool experience to watch because it taught us a ton about leadership and working together as a team. One of the things that Sean Pete said, and I’m going to have him on a future episode of the podcast here in the next few weeks, one of the things that Sean Pete said, you know, that they constantly train on, there’s no I’s in any of this. Like, this is such a team effort. If one person misses something, then the whole team struggles. And so, they spend all their time training physically as a team, training mentally as a team, I was just blown away at how much went into this. But what’s even cooler, they took five or six of us, split us up into two teams, and showed us what we needed to do. I was the jack-man. And then we had, you know, the tire guys and the lug nut guys and person putting fuel in. And so, we had to compete against each other. And the lessons that you learn in an experience like that, I’m not going to go into all of them, but you know, just how important it is to working with your team. So, by the way, we got it done in 30 seconds, which is 17 seconds slower than what the NASCAR team does. And we, I mean, I thought that was amazing. And actually, I don’t know if Sean tells everyone this, but we were actually one of the fastest teams that had ever done it. But I think it’s because we had a high-performance group of people there that are used to working together as a team and coaching.

And so, in life, if you really want to elevate your thinking, you want to elevate your experience in life. You have to get yourself in situations like this where you’ll find like-minded people that learn to work together like this and will hold you accountable. One of the things that was my biggest takeaway, we were all at the end of the event, Kyle asked us, you know, what is your commitment going forward? And mine is that I was going to connect with one of these guys once a week, connect with a new guy from that group every week in order to stay in that environment. So, if you look at the people in your circle and you’re not inspired, you don’t have a circle, you have a cage. And my question to you, as I leave you on this episode is what are you going to do about it? Now, you don’t have to take a bucket list trip. And by the way, yeah, this was expensive. But it’s something that everybody could figure out and afford if you just set your mind to it, it’s not that expensive. And you just need to figure that out. You don’t have to do bucket list adventures. You can find people like this in your backyard. You just have to reach out and start figuring out where they live, where they exist and what you’re going to do about it. My challenge to you is to get outside of your current circle. If you’re not inspired by your current circle, then figure out ways that you’re going to get out and find a new circle to be around. And the question that I constantly ask is who do you have to become in order for that circle to let you in? So, I challenge you.

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