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Welcome to episode #101 of the Morning Upgrade Podcast. In this week’s episode I spoke with EA Csolkovits, founder of Givers University.

Top Talking Points

  • The importance of having a good mentor in your life.
  • How to shake up conversational norms to help brighten peoples’ day.
  • How to deal with people that are difficult clients.

Resources & Links

Connect With EA at GiversUniversity.com.

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Thank you for listening to this episode of The Morning Upgrade Podcast. If you enjoyed my conversation with EA, be sure to subscribe to the podcast and please leave a review.

Episode Transcript

Announcer  

Welcome to the Morning Upgrade podcast with Ryan Cote, where we feature casual conversations with entrepreneurs about personal development and growth.

Ryan 

Hey, EA. Welcome to the Morning Upgrade podcast. How are you?

EA  

Doing great, actually exceptional. Thank you, Ryan, for having me on your great show. And I love your format, I think you know, short, sweet to the point, as many gold nuggets for your listeners are a great way to go. So thank you for having me on.

Ryan  

That’s what I strive for. And thanks for saying exceptional. That’s the first time that a guest has mentioned that. I like that you’re having an exceptional day. Love it. So why don’t we start off by just telling everyone who you are and what you do for a living? I think give us a win that’s happening in your life right now.

EA 

Well, I’m the founder of Givers University. And my win is actually what I do every day I get up every day winning, I have to say there were three times today this morning, and there were three times I was wishing I was me. So I mean, I gotta tell you, it was great. So the winners genuinely every day, and I’m blessed to be able to teach something that simply Ryan is not being taught anywhere else, you know, then 185 interviews in the last one and a half months, not one host that said, I know somewhere else that has been taught, in fact, usually just the opposite. And this is what we teach. And I share it in the most simplistic terms. And it’s the when it’s the thing that I do. And that is, first of all, I say to your listeners, we love everybody. I say it again; we love everybody. But we teach a skill that’s not being taught. And that is, we teach people how to separate the person who we love from their deeds, which we may not love. And buy an observation skill and awareness skill we teach people don’t listen to what they’re saying, watch what they’re doing. Because your talk talks and your walk talks. But your walk talks louder than your talk ducks. So we teach people to watch what they’re doing, watch their deeds, we even have actual checklists to follow, and one’s called the 25 dues. Watch them doing these 25 things. And from that, you can begin to discern, should I pull them closer into my life and become a part of my giver community? Because givers bring with them the three W’s of wisdom, wealth, and wellness, or because of what I see them doing, should I begin respectfully distancing myself from them that rude or nasty, just respectfully distancing myself because if I bring them closer, based on what I see them doing, they’re gonna make me collateral damage. And I ask your listeners, think about when your stress level goes up. Think about when you’re stamping out fires each day. I guarantee you both of those have names attached. What would be the value if we knew upfront how to decide and discern which people we should pull closer to and which should we respectfully distance? So when we say giver, we’re not labeling a person, we’re labeling giver deeds, and we say taker, we’re not labeling a person, that person’s a taker. We’re labeling taker deeds. And we teach people how to discern so that they have the best possible people around them every day.

Ryan  

I’m going to pivot away from my normal. I’m gonna ask you to map out your morning routine. But I want to get clear on this. Are you teaching people how to sew? You’re very big into masterminds? We could talk about that. You’re basically teaching people how to build a community around them of givers. And my assumption is that because I was gonna ask you where you get your energy, your happiness, you can feel it. And so where does that come from? Does that come from the community around you that you’ve purposely crafted? Is this the right word?

EA  

Yeah, I mean, that’s a great word. And the answer is yes. And then some part of it was, you know, things that were taught to me by my mentor, who I met that was very fortunate and blessed at an early age, to meet a puritanical genius, which made me an advocate for mentoring with people, you know, get a mentor and, and he taught me how to reframe things, how to look at things in my mind, how to have my intellect, control my emotions, and that my emotions control my intellect. So he taught me that happiness is not energy but not the absence of stress. It’s the proper management of it. And he taught me how to manage those things. So I get up every morning, and I gotta tell you, it’s a blessing. And that’s 65 years old. I’m already way past all the people that said he would never make it that far. So I’m doing great.

Ryan 

Have you always been like this? Like, what was the turning point? We go back to your day. You mentioned you were in the fleet business before we started recording. Were you always like this?

EA  

Well, I can definitely say no. I mean, I learned from people way smarter than me again, going back to my mentor, who I met when I was 16-17 years old. And you know, and I made a commitment to him, and he was a puritanical genius. I mean, a real genuine genius and a real genuine mentor, and I share with people, again, sort of jumping ahead to go backward, and that is, I am such an advocate for mentoring. And I tell people, if you don’t have a mentor, in my world, we call that naive. That’s what we call it, right? You need to meet someone. And when you select a mentor, don’t get an educated idiot. I’ve met 1000s of them. And educated is the one that has all the book knowledge and spews it all back at you. But zero execution and zero implementation skills, a true mentor, which I was blessed to have, did it; you want to have a mentor who’s done whatever you want to do because, with them, they bring all the things that didn’t work. And that’s where the wisdom is, be selective with your mentor and ask them, What have you done? Don’t be afraid to ask that question. Show me what you’ve done. And then from that, you can begin to discern, is this someone who I want to have as my mentor? Do I need someone that’s really done it? And then they can teach you, and there’s so many available, Ryan, that want to help? That’s where I learned it.

Ryan  

Well, who are you personally following right now, whether it’s an author or a podcast, obviously, you teach this stuff, too. But is there anything that you’re personally following?

EA 

Well, I have to say, genuinely, I’m at the point in my life with my spiritual growth, part of my morning routine; if I can segue into that for a minute because that answers your question, you and I get up at 5:30. Every morning, during that right after I get up, I update my computer, make sure all the programs are updated. So nothing gets goofy during the day. And then I do something every day, which is very important for me. I read the Bible every day, cover to cover. Once a year, I read the bible cover to cover. And I tell people I said you know, it’s easier than you think two chapters from the Old Testament 20 verses from the New Testament. That’s it 15 minutes and every so every day I do that. That’s what I follow. And I’m at the point in my life where I have found that the answers really are in that when you study that. I mean, it is really, really spectacular. So the answer is yes, I do follow. And that is specifically at this point in my life, what I’ve chosen to follow, because I know the answers are there at a much more elevated level that I’m reaching for. And then, I work out five days a week to six days a week as part of my daily morning routine; I usually get up at 5:30 to update that computer, do Bible reading, work out, and work out six days a week. And that, of course, as you well know, has a huge impact on energy levels. Also, the more energy you expend, the more you get back; that’s the way it works.

Ryan  

How long is your routine for when you’re exercising?

EA  

Exercising during the week, you know, Monday through Friday is sort of my maintenance, if you will. So those tend to be like maybe half-hour workouts, some days of cardio, some days are weights. And then Saturday, I have the big kahuna. You know, that’s two hours solid, no more than one to two-minute breaks in between sets for two hours solid weights hitting the whole body. So Saturday is my as the big kahuna workout, you know, and then Sunday’s a full recovery day in, and quite candidly, I enjoy that full recovery day after Saturday.

Ryan 

I’m sure, like an ice bath or something? 

EA

Yeah. 

Ryan

Just curious. Do your kids have a positive attitude? I don’t know if you’re married or not, your wife? If you’re married do they have your positive attitude?

EA 

I would say, first of all, yes, my whole family does. And secondly, you know, I really do encourage that and only donating limited to those family members around me. And you know, but when I meet people during the day, you know, I mean, one of the things we say what givers university, you know, there’s, there’s so many salutations and things we do by route every day that is they become trite and meaningless. And so when someone tells me I have a good day, I said, I’m sorry, I’m not gonna be able to do that. And they look at me because I stopped him. And I said, something usually you don’t say when someone says I have a good day, sometimes I’m not compelled to do that. And they look at me, and I say because I only have the best day ever. And it gives them pause and makes them think, and then that’s what, and you know, it’s funny, right? They remember a person that does that. Because you’re not by okay, you too, you know, everyone walks out, and it’s all by Rutan is meaningless and senseless and, and I want to give every opportunity I have on this planet, I want to give out something great, that is going to help someone’s day maybe give them pause, maybe think you know what, that’s a pretty good thing right there.

Ryan 

We try to do that with everyone we meet, like not that same question or that same statement. But when you’re at the food store, when you’re at the bookstore or wherever, are you always looking for ways to brighten people’s day?

EA 

Initially, I did look for ways, and I can tell you genuinely now, that it’s a habit. You know, it’s just a habit, you know, it’s so much easier. You know, I see someone having a hard time, and I was at the grocery store a couple of weeks back, and this man and this woman were just railings on the guy at the cash register for no reason he didn’t do anything wrong. You know, and I felt sorry for the guy. So when I got up, I was the next person in line. I got up, and said, so I’ll let you know that his name was Taylor. I even remember his name. I said, Taylor Swift. You know, I said, you know, some people brighten up a room by leaving it. And I think you just met that couple. And I said, I just want to comp I just want to compliment you. You’re not letting them get to you, your rose above it. I said, blow them off. And I said and let me know because I got a smile on my face. And I think you’re great, and I think you’re gonna have a great day. And he looked at me with a smile, and he almost got a little teary-eyed. And he said, Boy, I really needed that. And I said, Hey, man, we’re all here together. We’ll work on it together. So you’re doing a great job; I’m proud of you. And I gotta tell you; he packed away my groceries in the best, most orderly way I’ve ever seen in my life anyway. But it’s so simple to do that, you know, it just takes a minute. And that really sort of leads me if I can share with you something that has to do with life in general and the meaning of life that my mentor shared with me. And at 19 years old, he said, Let me tell you about this thing called life. To picture in your mind is a huge scale. And on the right side of the scale are all the things you’re going to get in life, the income, the benefits, the joys, the blessings; everything you’re going to get comes from that right side of the scale. He said, from the left side of the scale, are all the things you’re going to give contribute time, effort, money, all the things you’re going to give and contribute to your life. Here’s what’s amazing about the giver’s scale of life, it’s never out of balance. He said It’s dried for balance. And even at a static moment when it things like it seems like it’s out of balance. It’s not. He said, so what I’m going to say next is the hard part of life. He piqued my interest, to say the least. He said, When you get your head around this, though, he said you will be unstoppable. He said, Here it is. Forget about the right side. He said because everyone goes there. He said, Forget about what you’re going to get. And he said, and since you know up front, the scales are never out of balance, your job every day is to heap so much on the left side of that scale, your new job is to get that scale out of balance. That’s your job, he said. And when you do that, you’ll never have to worry about what you get from the right side of the scale. And I can share with you, Ryan, as absolute truth. And I was blessed with many early life successes Nina and millions and millions of dollars as a direct result of not being me. I just did what this puritanical genius told me to do. And I did that I worked at scale of life the way he said, and I can share with your listeners. Listen, if you’re not a millionaire, and if you haven’t earned a million in one year, then maybe you should listen up. Not because I’m saying that. But because I was taught by someone who did it. And then shared with me, I emulated him, and I did it. So there must be something to it. The Giver scale of life works.

Ryan  

And this is gonna be very hard to keep this episode to 15-20 minutes that I tried to because you’re giving me you’re firing off so many questions in my head. Can you just tell my audience has more concrete to visualize? I understand the meaning of life, through your lens, is giving, and that’s givers University, giving back? What are some ways that you personally give back, obviously, of givers university, you try to brighten people’s day up when you meet them? What are ways that you get back so we can make this very concrete?

EA  

Yeah, for sure. And very granular. And it was like a stock went down a couple of days. And it’s right to your question. I said, you know, what’s the biggest challenge you have? And he said I need more clients. Now, when the call was over, I was talking to an associate of mine. I said, Do you hear what he said? He’s got it backward. What he should be saying? How can I solve more people’s challenges and the biggest challenges they have in their life? And then he never has to worry about having more clients. But he came from a place of I need more clients, right? I need more clients. It’s backward; he approached it backward. And guess what, it also becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. He’s always gonna need more clients, as long as they keep saying that. But I have to rework that and reframe it and say, in every instance, how can I help that person? And my mentor said, when you have a challenge in life, solve someone else that has the same challenge that you have, he said, and watch how yours gets out. He said people, look at it backward, that everyone always wants the answer. Give me the answer. Give me the wrong backward. The answers are around us. They’re omnipresent. They’re always there. He told me to focus on the right questions because the answer will always be there. People get the wrong answers because they ask the wrong questions, then they’re surprised when they get the answer. They actually asked to a focus on the right questions in life, not the answers; the answers will be there. They’re always there. They always have been, and they always will be.

Ryan

And then, if you don’t know what questions to ask, I think that if correct me if I’m wrong, but the formula is, stop thinking about yourself and think about how you can help the other person and craft the questions from their point of view and not your point of view. Is that correct? Or do I have that readily?

EA 

Totally. I was at an event a few events back, and this one-line speakers was sort of talking this one guest said, You know what? She said she said two things back to back. She said she’s, you know, I don’t like to work with small clients. Because, you know, that’s not where the money is. And she said, and also, I don’t like to give away my stuff, because I’m afraid they’re going to steal it. And I And of course, me being me, I’m going to say, Well, I gotta tell you, you’re not gonna like what I’m gonna say, and you might not even like me after this, I said, but I gotta say it. Number one. Every great business started as a small company. Every great enterprise started with an idea. So, you really want to just only do that. And I said, secondly if you’re concerned about people stealing your stuff, you need more stuff. And that was it. She never talked to me again.

Ryan  

So, for some of my clients, I’ve got a couple more questions for you with clients. When you’re taking on a client, we work with a difficult one, because, you know, with client work, some are easy, some are difficult. We work with difficult clients, thinking that they just need a guide to help them think more positively. Or do you just shy away or just push the hard clients away? The difficult ones away? Because you want to focus on the ones that are better to work with?

EA  

Well, the first thing I do is identify the elephant in the room. I don’t pretend like I don’t know. And I say I’ve done it. We’ve had some great conversations here. But you know, I feel resistance in the emotional phrase here a little bit. Now. Do you want me to help you with that? Or are you happy the way that is? I want to let you know upfront? God bless you; I love you. If you are happy with the way, the emotional way you look at things right now, and you’re good with that. I just want to let you know, that we’ll be parting ways, friends. If you want me to help you with that, I can help you learn how to reframe that your happiness level will double and triple. But you’ve got to be willing to listen and do the thing, get the thing, do not the thing, get not the thing, but get something else. If you want me to teach you to do the thing, not because I know it was because I learned it. I said if you want me to, I’m happy to stay there with you. Your choice, what would you like to do? Well, it’s, you know, either way, great for me. So I identify it. I don’t just back off from it. I tell him to square very kindly. And I think that was general I don’t think that’s, you know, would make someone mad or anything, but then I find out, and sometimes, you know, I’m just sort of happy the way I said, God bless you, I love you. No problem. I wish you success. And I hope our paths cross. I can help you in any way I can. Right now, you know, I need to be focused on the people so that I can help to the greatest extent I can. So thank you. It’s awesome.

Ryan  

Makes a lot of sense. Ah, I’ve got one last question for you. And then we’re going to wrap up with you telling everyone how they can learn more value, which I’m sure they’re going to want to have to listen to this conversation, I think, well, I know it’s gonna help a lot of people after they listen to this. So my last question for you is, I want to talk to you about challenges that you face, funks that you make it into your energies high, and you very positive person, you give back a lot. But we’re all human. We’re all imperfect human beings, and you obviously run into challenges and bad moods sometimes how do you hit How do you handle that you personally handle funks challenging situations, challenging situations, etc.

EA 

I realized that I have the power to choose to God-given right we have the power to choose. And part of those things includes choosing our thoughts. And my mentor again said to me, he said, you know, he said you’re gonna get tackled 1000 times in your life. Get ready for it. He said, if you meet someone says they haven’t been tackled yet in life, distance yourself. He said because they’re next. He said, and if they haven’t been tackled yet, they’ve been saving up, it’s going to be a whopper, make some distance there. But he said, here’s what you want to keep in mind. He said in the medical community if they’re giving you some kind of drug or some kind of treatment, they’re saying, you know, if a person is reacting to it, that means it’s not working for him right there. I’m a problem with it. He said, If they give him a treatment and said they’re responding to it, he said, that means it’s helping, it’s working well. He said You want to be in responsive mode, not reaction mode. And there’s only one way to do that. And it’s the secret he taught me, right? He said, Never allow your intellect to rule your emotions. Here. I mean, the other way around; I’m sorry, I actually said that backward. I apologize to your listeners. He said, always make sure that your intellect rules your emotions. When your emotions rule, your intellect, you are reacting, nothing good is going to come out of that, including the way you face the day. Look at the day, your thought process, everything. Because your emotions are ruling your intellect, learn the skill of having your intellect control your emotions, then you’re always responding. And when you’re responsive, and you know you’re responding, you’re going to be more in control of your thought process. You’re going to end when rather than just turning it over to other people. You know, I teach people, I like to teach them how to become independent thinkers instead of independent thinkers. I’m not going to think a thought right because of what someone else thinks. If someone else says something to me, I don’t like if I don’t like it, that’s on me that’s not on them, then we’re not gonna get rid of all the people that don’t know when to shut their mouth in life, you know. So we have to learn ourselves the skill of being an independent thinkers, and maintaining our own counsel. And when we control our intellect, we can then control our emotions, and that controls our moods. It controls how we look at things, and how we look at the day. It is true that a lot of people complain that rose bushes have thorns. I happen to be one of the ones that are thankful and so blessed. That thorn bushes have roses. Which way do you want it?

Ryan 

And just so my audience is clear and on next quotations, I’m assuming this, this approach is a mindset. It takes time. You can’t beat yourself up over it if it doesn’t come naturally, you know, give it time to marinate and to work for you.

EA  

It’s never fully mastered, Ryan. It’s we’re all in a work in progress. And that’s one of the exciting things about it. Today I get to better my best.

Ryan

Yeah, absolutely. Well, this is great a love the advice you gave. I know this is gonna help a lot of people love your energy. I personally took a lot away from this conversation. So people are gonna want to reach out to you. Where should we send them?

EA  

First, go to our website, giversuniversity.com. It’s plural – giversuniversity.com. Sign up for our newsletter. It’s absolutely free. Now, we’re not spammers. So as soon as they do that, they’re going to email it saying, Do you want to talk to Givers University? If they don’t respond, they will get nothing else from us? If they do and say yes, I want an email from givers University. Two hours later, they’re going to get the checklist I mentioned when we first started talking; we want him to download it, print it off, and use it. It’s the 25 do’s, the 25 deeds to watch for when discerning when who we should have close in our lives and who we should not. And then, once a week on Thursday, we sent out a newsletter called the giver’s toolbox. Give a brand new tool for them to add to the relationship to a box every Thursday morning. It’s about a five-minute read. And that’s it. We’re not gonna blow up their mailbox when an apogee signs up, and I was only getting six emails a day and unsubscribe, unsubscribe. So one email a week, from the givers to a boss. The other way, which we highly recommend, is absolutely free. Go to our YouTube channels Givers University. No space, it’s one word. Go to the playlist that says how to form your own Givers community. It’s two-minute clips 21 step-by-step. If you want to learn how to have the right people around you will walk you through it very granularly, not nebulous and innocuous. Specifically, step by step. This is what you do. If you want to form the right community around you and just it’s all there for you on our YouTube channel. And it’s really simple, Ryan. We believe in the giver scale of life. So every day when I get up, my goal is to get that scale out of balance by having so much on the left side. And all the people I’m associated with do the same thing. 

Ryan

Great way to end this EA. Thanks a lot for your time.

EA

You’re welcome. Thank you so much for having me on your great show.

Announcer  

Thanks for listening to the Morning Upgrade podcast. Please subscribe and review. And don’t forget to visit us at morningupgrade.com for more content.

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