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Welcome to episode #98 of the Morning Upgrade Podcast. In this week’s episode I spoke with Mike Van Pelt, a men’s life coach and host of The True Man Podcast.

Top Talking Points

  • The importance of having a physical calendar to plan with.
  • How to overcome denial from the people around you.
  • How to have personal growth by leaving your comfort zone.

Resources & Links

Connect With Mike here and check out his podcast here.

Subscribe to The Morning Upgrade Podcast Today

Thank you for listening to this episode of The Morning Upgrade Podcast. If you enjoyed my conversation with Mike, 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, Mike, welcome to the Morning Upgrade podcast. How are you?

Mike  

Awesome. I’m doing great. Thanks for having me on. Appreciate it.

Ryan  

Yeah, I’m excited to talk to you. We’re gonna go over personal development, your routines, habits, and some business stuff. Let’s start off by you 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.

Mike 

Sure. Well, my name is Mike van Pelt. I am a men’s life coach in Atlanta, Georgia. And I also have a podcast called The True Man podcast. So I’m focused on helping men be better men, be better dogs be better husbands and just achieve more in their lives. So a win that’s going on in my life right now. I’m in the process of writing a book. Ryan, I’m sure you can appreciate this. It doesn’t feel like a win when you’re in the middle of it. But I think the end result is going to be pretty awesome.

Ryan 

Yes, nice when it’s done, and you just, you just have to promote it and get in people’s hands and share it with people. That’s a nice spot to be in.

Mike 

Right? Yeah.

Ryan  

What’s the book about?

Mike  

So the book is going to be called A True Man’s Eyes, achieving a midlife comeback. So it’s going to be about how we can become a true man in our life.

Ryan  

Excellent. Sounds great. So what do your mornings look like, Mike?

Mike 

My mornings start pretty early. This is some routine that I got into a handful of years ago when I realized that trying to get my morning we’re trying to get workout in was pretty difficult. I didn’t care for it. At the end of the day, I didn’t care for it in the middle the day. So I started getting up at about 5:15 in the morning. And I usually, you know, get up, grab a protein bar and some water and got a nice gym set up in my basement and head down and get about an hour workout in. Then I go into some morning meditation and prayer and check in with my calendar and get ready and start today.

Ryan  

How long does it take you?

Mike  

Generally speaking, it just depends on how quickly I’m moving. Right. But two, two, and a half hours in the morning it is usually at that point. You know, I’m in the office and raring to go on a typical day.

Ryan

And I’ve asked this question before, but why do you do it? What made you start doing the morning routine? And why do you stick with it?

Mike 

You know, for me, physical fitness and doing something athletic has been a part of my life, almost my entire life really. And so I believe that physical fitness helps me be more mentally fit and more mentally alert. And I’m not going to kill anybody, it can be a grind. But I love that feeling when I get done knowing that I’ve started my day off doing something good for my body. And then you know, for my mental fitness, you know, I like to roll right in the morning prayer meditation, which really gets me settled down and focus for the day. And I just do it because I love how it makes me feel. And the fact that it gets me in the right place to start my day.

Ryan  

I agree with everyone listening, you know, if you don’t have a morning routine, give it a try for 30 days, you’ll find that you start to look forward to it, it took me a little while to get to the routine that I do look forward to it. I’ve got a quicker 20 to a 30-minute routine that checks off a lot of boxes. And now I have no excuses. But I’ve had longer routines to it. There’s something nice like, you know, especially when it’s warmer here in New Jersey, I for a while I would go outside in my backyard, and just sit on the chair. And just it was nice out and just journal and there was something very relaxing about it. There’s something about starting your day off like that, and eventually, doing it long enough. And it just becomes who you are, what you do. And what you look forward to. Once that habit cemented in, it’s really it’s hard to break it, which is a good thing because it’s a really nice pillar habit.

Mike  

Yeah, I agree with that. 100%. I mean, periodically, I do something similar to what you’re talking about, especially when it warms up. I mean, just go sit out on the deck and enjoy quiet time in the morning. Just a great time to set yourself up for the day. Yeah.

Ryan 

100%. So what are their habits do you have, personally or professionally that you execute every day?

Mike  

Well, I try to be diligent by using my planner journaling as well. But you know, I think that starting the day off with some stuff in my gratitude journal I tried and make sure that I’m writing down three things that I’m grateful for when I started Oh, that gets me off into a feeling of just being grateful for everything around me. And I like to make sure that I’m checking in on my calendar, and writing down any thoughts that I need to put down at the beginning of the day, but I’m a big calendar guy and I’ve tried them all. I like having stuff down. And in writing more so than electronic, I do electronic because it’s important to have that calendar on my phone in case I need to change something. But I love writing stuff down.

Ryan 

Yeah, pen to paper. I’m the same way. You talk about a comeback, though. Did you say the books about a comeback? Is there been a challenge in your life that you’ve had to come back from? And what are some of the takeaways? And if not, maybe one of your clients that they overcame?

Mike  

No, yeah. So you know, I think, if you’re doing life to its fullest is a lot of times always a series of comebacks, turns or turnarounds, and pivots. For me, I went through a period where I decided to go back to college, finish up my college degree, and get my master’s degree, I was doing a lot of volunteering. There was a point there where I went through a period professionally, where it felt like nobody wanted me. And, you know, I was taken a lot of noise and I internalize that, and really became a pain point for me until I was, you know, able to realize that, you know, I had all the knowledge, skill and ability that I needed to do my own thing and become an entrepreneur. And so that that’s what I’ve done. And, you know, what I see with men, commonly, right, is that there’s a couple of questions, we’re always going to get us one, what’s your name? And what do you do, and when you’re not happy with what you do, and I wasn’t for a while, it can really put a hardship on you. And if you internalize it as I did, it can create quite a word and a hole in your life. So that’s one of the reasons why I got into coaching was that I really didn’t want to see other guys go through that pain point that I suffered through, because to some degree, it’s unnecessary because your capabilities are limitless. You just need to be able to take a look at the mirror and see them.

Ryan  

How did you personally get through it? Like, how did you get you said, you were internalizing it, you’re hearing a lot of noise? How did you push through that and get into it and get into the spot you’re at now.

Mike  

You know, really it comes from being around a lot of great people, the encouragement, I was doing a lot of volunteer work. And so I was very well respected in any of the nonprofit work I was doing so I knew that I was capable. And in my faith life, I discovered that I was valuable from the men that I was around the listening that I did to them the advice maybe I was able to provide them. And so what I found was that I learned about myself, over time, I was able to, I don’t know really erase some of those doubts that I had, about the nose that I had gotten, I came to realize that I was much more capable than I thought I was I didn’t need, quote-unquote, a corporate job to prove anything to anybody that I had what it takes to be an entrepreneur. So here I am.

Ryan 

You mentioned relationships being around people, I think that’s a huge thing. I mean, some of the podcasts I listen to like Ed, my let even Tony Robbins actually talks about this a lot too is hanging around people that are going to challenge you that inspire you that that raise your quote-unquote, temperature, the temperature of the person you are. And I think there’s something to that. And I think it’s two things, I think you they inspire you, they challenge you they raise your temperature, I think there’s also just something about being around other people that have similar goals and interests, the brain chemicals you share and whatever, you know, whatever’s happening, happening subconsciously. It’s, you know, masterminds that’s why I’m a huge fan of masterminds, because that, that does help with that, you know?

Mike  

100%. I think that you need to be and we, I talk about this a lot, because I’ve been a part of men, small group. Women are really, really good about being in the community, and they love to be in the community, men, not so much. And I’m a big encourager of men, finding small groups of men to be around so that they have support around them away, man, if you will, around you at all times. Some people call them accountability partners, just another group of men to be around so that you can be in a positive environment and be around people that care about you and it’s just important need to be in environments that are positive that can, as you’re saying, kind of raise your temperature, raise your attitude and keep you where you need to be not down in the dumps.

Ryan 

Definitely. And also, there’s something like when you’re in a part of masterminds, and you’re trying to come with a full cup and show up as the best person you can because that helps the group, there’s something very rewarding about that I found as well it first of all challenges, you pushes you out your comfort zone, because it doesn’t feel comfortable, to push yourself in that direction, and try to be as helpful as possible, because you have impostor syndrome, or whatever the case is, to count that, that challenge pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, that I’ve found just based on personal experience that helps you grow as well.

Mike  

I would say it this way, and I’ve had to learn this, right, because I didn’t want to always go outside my comfort zone. If you’re living comfortably, you’re probably not stretching yourself.

Ryan  

To be comfortable, though, isn’t it?

Mike  

Well, it’s nice to be comfortable. But and I don’t, I don’t mean that that that might sound kind of harsh to some people. But if you’re putting yourselves in positions to grow, I’m doing a little rehab on my neck, for example. And I like to think I’m in decent shape until a physical therapist gives me 10 minutes of exercise to do. And I’m laying there gasping for air thinking holy cow, like what just happened, but she’s taking me outside my comfort zone in order to get some muscles in shape, that need to be dealt with in order to, you know, get my neck back to 100%. It said the same thing in life, you know, find ways to stretch yourself and expand yourself so that you grow as a person, or maybe a business owner. And when you do that, I think you’d be shocked at really how far you can go.

Ryan  

And I agree with you like what I when I was I was just joking around. I said it’s nice to be comfortable. I mean, it is nice and comfortable. But you think about it, if I equate it to going to the gym, you wouldn’t expect to get strong by LIS lifting the same weight. Every time, you have to increase the weight to get stronger. That’s how it works. And so while it’s nice to be comfortable, if you’re too comfortable for too long a period of time, you’re probably not pushing yourself, you’re probably not growing, and you probably aren’t as happy as you could be. And so while it is uncomfortable to push yourself out of your comfort zone, that’s really where the growth happens. And so yeah, I think that’s really good advice. So Mike, let’s talk about what do I want to ask you I want to ask you about in terms of impact, the impact you’re trying to have? It sounds like you’re writing the book, you’re helping Coach Ben and make comebacks. It sounds like you’re trying to live a life of impact, like what else do you do and like what I want to you share with my audience, like what your plans are, just to get their wheels turning? If they’re thinking about man, I need to do more, or I want to do more, or I want to have an impact on the world, make leave it a better place? What are some ideas you have in terms of like what you’re doing and how other people can apply the same thing to their lives?

Mike  

Start where you are. What do you have knowledge, skills, and ability in? And what are you passionate about? You know, I was working with a client recently, and he’s in the middle of some job transition. And he said to me, Well, here’s my elevator speech. And then I said, Well, what do you really want to do? And he went on for about five minutes. And I said, Did you see the difference between your head and your heart? To find out what you’re getting in touch with your heart and find out what it is that you love to do? Is it a volunteer thing is it being a part of a nonprofit? For me in the circles back to the community, I was on a call with the book company that I’m ready to book with yesterday. And all of a sudden things went from writing a book to well, we need a true man magazine and blah, blah, blah. So there were several other things that came out of that. And, you know, what I got out of that conversation was, and I don’t know how much of that will really happen. But the point is, is that what I was on that call, they were really thinking. And that caused me to start thinking a little bit bigger. And so what are the capabilities, what’s ahead for the Truman brand? There are a lot of things that we’re talking about and building on. Because it’s important for me to get in front of men that may be asking themselves questions like, Is there more to life than this? A mind the man I really want to be I mean, those are hard questions to ask in your midlife, which is really, you know, kind of my target audience and so on. It’s also at that point where men are asking a lot of those questions, those deep questions because they’re at a point where they’re far enough along in their life that they don’t want to live a life of regret. But, you know, you start thinking about how can I make a difference in the world? How can I lead the world? How can I leave a legacy? And those are things that I want to be a part of entrance Using other men to they’re not already thinking about that, or if they are thinking about it, how can we bring clarification around what that looks like? And those are things I hope to be a part of, in the future.

Ryan 

Sounds like an excellent mission. Mike, I’ve got one last question for you. It’s going to be relevant to what you do, speaking to the men that listen to my show, my last question for you is, what are one or two character traits that you think are really critical for a man to have?

Mike  

Well, integrity? Integrity, for sure, do what you say you’re gonna do, and, and do it truthfully. And honestly, the other word that just really, I don’t always say this, but probably should. I think love is such an important word or word. It’s so one of the most used words in the Bible as a matter of fact. And, you know, we’ve kind of gone through a period of time in this country, and maybe even globally as we see some of the things going on around the world, where things don’t always feel very loving. But love is really the driving force behind all our relationships and everything that we do. And if we love and care for each other, we can be the best giver we can be versus a taker. But those are the two words that come to my mind.

Ryan  

I love it. A fantastic way to end this conversation. Mike, thanks for your time. Where should we send people that want to learn more about you?

Mike 

So yeah, you can send me an email to Mike@startyourcomebackstory.com Or you can go right out to the website, startyourcomebackstory.com. And of course, you can always catch me on the podcast, which you can find on any major podcast channel, but you can also catch it on truemanpodcast.com. So that’s how you can get a hold of me. 

Ryan

Perfect. Thanks, Mike. 

Mike

Awesome. Thanks for having me on. Appreciate it.

Ryan  

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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