407 | Guest Michael Hyatt: Win at Work and Succeed at Life

Today’s episode is guest Michael Hyatt: Win at Work and Succeed at Life!

Feeling run-down and tired? Feeling stretched between your obligations at work and home? Can’t seem to find balance between the two? Then, today’s show is for you!

Joining me on The Chris LoCurto Show today is long-time friend and founder of Michael Hyatt & Co, Mr. Mike Hyatt! Today we’re talking about Mike’s new book, Win at Work and Succeed at Life: 5 Principles to Free Yourself From The Cult of Overwork.

Folks, this is what we teach here, in our Next-Level events, our StratPlans, and on this podcast week after week. We teach how putting the spheres of your life into proper order and priority makes sure that what matters most in life stays healthy, protected and productive. 

“Success has got to be multi-dimensional in order for it to be sustainable.” – Mike Hyatt

Listen as Mike and I talk about learning from our failures, the deep rooted psychological needs we all share for work that matters and a home that nourishes, as well as finding sustainable balance between work and home. You won’t want to miss this impactful discussion! 

I know you’ll be encouraged by today’s episode as we explore what Mike calls “the double win.”

Grace and peace,



work, life, book, people, business, michael hyatt, home, megan, gail, chris, thinking, bonuses, constraints, vacation, talked, family, check, company, focus, day


Michael Hyatt, Chris LoCurto


Chris LoCurto  00:00

Welcome to the show, folks. Today we've got a special guest and a personal friend of mine for many years now; Nashville's own Michael Hyatt is joining us right after this.


Chris LoCurto  00:19

Welcome to the Chris LoCurto show, where we discuss leadership and life, and discover that business is what you do, not who you are.


Chris LoCurto  00:31

Hey folks, we have a great show today. We've got Mike Hyatt, the founder and chairman of Michael Hyatt and Company, which helps leaders get the focus they need to win at work, and succeed at life. Formerly Chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, Michael is also the creator of the Full Focus Planner, and a New York Times bestseller, and a Wall Street Journal bestseller, and a USA Today bestseller, of several books; including Free to Focus, Your Best Year Ever, Living Forward, and Platform. And his latest book is entitled, "Win at Work and Succeed at Life: 5 Principles to Free Yourself From the Cult of Overwork". That is what's coming up on the show right after this.


Chris LoCurto  01:09

 Hey leaders, what is this past year taught you? For many of you, the events of 2020 opens your eyes to core challenges and struggles that are deep within your business. I'm sure we can all agree that business as usual just won't cut it this year. But as a leader and a business owner, you may not know where to go from here. So I'm here to tell you that it's time to make a change. As a leader, it's time to pour into your business and your team, by learning and implementing new core skills that will make an immediate impact. It's time to sign up for the Next Level Leadership Live Event this April. This event is tailor made for small business owners and leaders just like you, helping you to move forward even in a climate of fear and uncertainty. This is not a positive thinking session, but a strategic thinking workshop, chock-full of insightful teaching and impactful learnings, that's going to equip you to return to your business and your team ready to implement and immediately impact their growth and stability. Go to chrislocurto.com/liveevent or text "liveevent" one word, to the number 44222. For more information and to get your tickets again, that's chrislocurto.com/liveevent. It's time to change your business and your leadership for the better. Don't miss it.


Chris LoCurto  02:36

Alright, folks, we are back and we're joined by Michael Hyatt. Mike, welcome to the show. Good to have you back on.


Michael Hyatt  02:42

Thanks, Chris. Good to be with you. Good to see you, man.


Chris LoCurto  02:44

I know it's been a while, I usually used to see you all the time down there at Frothy Monkey we've moved away a little bit, but you still go down there and hang out? I know I see you and Megan down there from time to time.


Michael Hyatt  02:57

Yeah, I'm in downtown Franklin. And so you know, everything's within walking distance for me. I'm just, you know, a few blocks off the square. So yeah, Frothy Monkey, Starbucks, all that stuff.


Chris LoCurto  03:06

Oh, that's so good. So good. Well, brother, it's so good to have you back on the show. You've got a lot going on. We want to jump into your latest book. But you've got some exciting news, and something that for me, I think is just the coolest thing. You've recently installed your daughter Megan, as the CEO of the company, what's going on there?


Michael Hyatt  03:27

Yeah, so about three years ago, we were at an all team retreat. And we had the spouses with us. And we've got about 50 employees now, about that time we had about 30. And one of the wives of one of our employees stood up and said, "Hey, what happens if something happens to you? Because this company is pretty much built on your brand?" And I didn't have a very good answer to that question. But boy, did I dig in, in the months following that. So we came back, I guess that was about four years ago. So we came back the next year, at our all team retreat. And we said to everybody, we said, "Okay, here's the plan. We're going to make Megan, the CEO of Michael Hyatt and Company. She was the CEOO at the time. And we're going to do that on January the second 2022." So we're all working methodically toward that. You're always making sure that you got training and everything she needed training, because I was really going to hand off the reins to her. Well, last summer I was on my sabbatical. I take a month long sabbatical every summer. And I was on a sabbatical. And I thought, why am I waiting so long? She's ready now. And so I talked with her when I got back from my sabbatical. And I said, Hey, how about we accelerate the schedule and do this January the second 2021? She said, Yeah, I'm in. So we did it. And it's been awesome. So I'm now the chairman, which means that I have no operational responsibilities. I'm writing, I'm speaking, I'm creating content. But Chris, I'm only working three days a week.


Chris LoCurto  04:58



Chris LoCurto  04:58

Oh my gosh. And it's not like you've not put in your time. I mean, obviously running Thomas Nelson, running Michael Haytt and Company, you've had a lot of time of being in that role. But my gosh, it's got to be. It's got to be, A) freeing. I mean, you're working three days a week. So that's pretty fantastic. But also the prideful moment of somebody you've been raising for so many years, that's stepping into this fantastic leadership role. I mean, what is that like?


Michael Hyatt  05:26

Oh, my gosh, I could not be more thrilled. I mean, Megan and I are so close. We've been working together since she was about 17. And by the way, I have five daughters. But she started working with me in some capacity when she was about 17. We did a bunch of things together, on and off. But she's the kind of person, much like my wife, Gail, to whom I've been married for 42 years. But Megan can kind of complete my sentences. She knows what I'm thinking. She knows kind of my philosophy and my point of view. And she's just awesome. My youngest daughter, Marissa also works in the company. She's the marketing director for our full focus planner brand. But it's just, you know, when you got good family relationships, family and business can work well. If your relationships aren't good. It's a nightmare.





Chris LoCurto  06:11

That's awesome, brother. That is so cool. I love it. And again, like I say, when I saw the email come out, that you guys are moving in a direction. I mean, it was like, that's a no brainer. I mean, Megan's just a rockstar anyways. But that is so cool. Well, today, we are talking, we've been talking lately on the show on the Chris Locurto show about failure and learning from failures, you've got a fantastic new book out that we want to hit, which is, "Win at Work and Succeed at Life, the Five Principles to Free Yourself from the Cult of Overwork", which I love, you just mentioned something that still to this day, you've been doing this for so long, and I still kick myself in the butt, I'm like, every year, Mike takes a month off and goes on sabbatical. LoCurto, you got to get out there and do that. I mean, it's just, it's great. And the key is, is that you've obviously, you've worked the team and the company into a place where you can step away for a month. When we went to Israel, I took my leadership team to Israel for a couple of weeks, we got four total emails between us. And it was great that we could step away and come back. And it was funny when we came back. So many clients, were like, "How many fires did you put out?" It's like, "Literally none." Like, "What are you talking about?" It's like, "Well, if you do the stuff we teach, trust me, you could do this." But man I need to just say, "You know what? I'm taking that one month." Because I know the moment I do it, I'm gonna go "Yep, this is gonna be a yearly thing."


Michael Hyatt  07:37

Totally. Well, Chris, so check this out. So not only do I take a month off, but one of the benefits that we give to our employees is they get a month off paid every three years. And, and we tell them, Look, we don't want to hear from you. We're not going to send you anything, we're not going to bug you. Whatever happens happens, we'll take care of it, but we want you to be free, so that you could really experience rejuvenation, and be refreshed, and come back and be the best version of yourself. And that's, that's been our most popular benefit.


Chris LoCurto  08:06

Oh I love it. I love it. I love it. Well, again, today we're talking about learning from failures. I know you've never met any failures.


Michael Hyatt  08:12

No, no, not at all. I failed my way to success.


Chris LoCurto  08:17

That's it. That's


Chris LoCurto  08:18

That's literally what I say, this business that we have here, is literally from failures. We've just learned, you know, God has been so gracious to teach us how to overcome the failures. And what we do with those, and then how do we use that to teach other people and train other people? But you've made some bad decisions in life, right?


Chris LoCurto  08:37

I have. Can I tell you about one?


Chris LoCurto  08:41



Michael Hyatt  08:42

So I opened the book with this one. So about 20 years ago, I was given responsibility for one of Thomas Nelson publishers, 14 book publishing divisions. So I got one division, Nelson books. And it turns out after I got into the job, I didn't know this before I accepted the job, that that division was dead last, in every significant financial metric. It basically was not only growing, it was shrinking. It was the least profitable. In fact, the previous year lost money. The divisional morale was terrible. It was just awesome. And I realized I couldn't screw it up. You know, I can only make it better. So that was the good news. But the CEO said, "How long is it going to take you to turn this division around?" So I thought about it for a little bit. I thought I said, "You know, I think it's going to take three years." And he said, "Well, that's kind of what I was thinking so you know, have at it." So I went back to the team got them all fired up about the vision. We rolled up our sleeves. We worked hard, Chris, I was working 70 to 80 hours a week, no weekends or barely any weekends. I'd even work on my vacations, all that stuff, but, not in three years. But in a year and a half. We went from 14 to number 1. Fastest growing division, most profitable division, best company morale, you know, just everything was great, everybody got huge bonuses, I got the biggest bonus I'd ever gotten in my life, which was more than my annual salary. So this is where it gets interesting. So I'm thinking to myself, Gail is going to be elated. I can't wait to get home and actually show her the check. So I drive home, I bounce into the den, I show that check to her, "What do you think?" And she just seemed a little less enthusiastic than I thought she should be. And she looked at me and she said, babe, we need to talk. So I took a deep breath. I knew this, you know, a great talk. And we went to the den, we sat down, and her her eyes welled up with tears. And she said, You know, I love you. And I appreciate so much everything you do for our family. But she said, "You're never at home. And honestly, your five daughters need you now more than ever." Well, I knew she was right. I kind of wanted to defend myself. But I knew she was right. So I just kept listening. And so she said, "You know, even when you are home, you're not really here. You know, you're constantly on your devices, and you're just not present with us." And she said the worst part, at this point, she choked up and started crying. She said, "Honestly, I feel like a single mom." And Chris, that was a gut kick. Because I thought I had reached the pinnacle of success. But what I discovered was, it was a false summit.


Chris LoCurto  11:34

Yeah. I think that is something especially for us men. Right? So let me speak to the men right now. We put so much identity and we put so much worth in a number. In a success in man's eyes. Did I build the division high enough? Did I make enough money, do enough of my friends think I'm highly successful? And when we look at it through the eyes of God, God's saying, you're never going to get to heaven, and I'm gonna go, "Great job on your bottom line. Well done. I'm so impressed. I'm so happy. Your family's falling apart. But man, you really kicked it into gear there." And I think for men, it's so difficult for us to understand that there are so many spouses out there that are going, just like Gail said, "I appreciate what you do. But that's not your greatest worth to this family, you bringing in a big check isn't your greatest worth. It's the health of your family. It's your leadership on raising five daughters who look to you as the most important male in their lives." And now look at where we are. Megan's taken over the company, you know, you've got, obviously things have turned around, you've done some things right. You made right decisions in it.


Michael Hyatt  12:55

Yeah. And it was, it was not easy, because honestly, I felt like I was faced with what we call in the book, "The Impossible Choice." You know, you can win at work, or you can succeed at life. You can't do both, pick one. And sadly, today, Chris, we have a lot of celebrity entrepreneurs who are advocating for working 80 to, Elon Musk says 100 hours a week to get ahead. If you want to make a dent in the universe. That's what it requires. And, you know, meanwhile, I think sometimes we don't ask the hard questions about these people that we're following. You know, and not to judge him. But just the facts are, it's all public. You know, Elon Musk has been through two marriages. He's got five kids that don't talk to him, by his own admission, you know, his whole life is his work. And I think that, you know, some people think, "Well, you know, if I'm faced with this impossible choice, I'm just gonna hustle harder, you know, I'm gonna work really hard. And I'm going to get to the place where I can relax and really get my health and my family and all the other things, the attention they deserve." The other alternative is what we call in the book, "The Ambition Break", you know, just throttle back my professional ambition. I'll give attention to my, you know, personal priorities. But the problem is, that's a bitter pill to swallow for people that have a lot of ambition, and really feel like they've got something you want to contribute to the world. But the good news is, and this is what I've really spent the last 18 years focused on, is trying to develop a system, a third option that allows you to win at work and succeed at life. So you don't have to throttle back your professional ambition, but you also don't sacrifice your personal priorities on the ambition. You know, the altar of ambition.


Chris LoCurto  14:41

Yeah, absolutely. I gotta say that I've experienced that myself. We go all the way back to I think when we pitched, it was either Financial Peace Revisited or Total Money Makeover, back in the office. You know, we went in with funky jackets. We had those remote control cars. We did this big ol sales pitch. That was a long time ago. And there was a 10 year span of my life, that I put my head down and just went ballistic. Because so much of what I thought was, this is what success is, this is what a successful guy does. And, man, I tell you what there, you know, just as you've learned, I mean, there is a regret. You cannot look at the mistake and look at the fix. And just regret the mistake, you gotta be proud that God brought you to a place where Gail said, "Hey, we need to have a discussion." Because it shifted you into greater priority. But it still doesn't change the fact that you can look back and go, "Man, I regret the loss." You know, I look back at the time that I put my head down. And so it has been ridiculous over this last seven, eight years, where this hustle mantra has been screened from the mountaintops. And I've been turning a lot of our clients for the longest time, like our clients just know, hey, it is not the hustle, it's not going and you know, losing your life so that you can prove to somebody that you've done something successful when you lose everything else. So for me, it's not the hustle, it's the doing it the right way. It doesn't mean that you don't you know, if the ox is in the ditch, we get the ox out of the ditch, if there's something we got to do for a short period of time, we bust it. But when it becomes every day, you know, every day, every week, all the time, then what happens is, is you lift your head up, and you see all the other things that are paying dearly for it. And like you said, you know, there's a lot of people out there who've been chasing this work life balance, and we use the term work life balance, there's no real true work life balance. It's all different areas have different types of balance. And you know, we focus a lot on wheel of life on that stuff. And some of them have just given up the search. What's keeping them from finding a decent work life balance?


Michael Hyatt  16:59

You know, one of the things that we talked about in the book, you know, the subtitle says it all, 5 Principles to Free Yourself from the Cult of Overwork. And one of those principles is embracing constraints. Now, when I tell you what my life was like, back in those days at a very granular level, so what I would do back when I was running Nelson books, and I was in that, you know, working 60, 70, 80, hours a week, basically, what would happen to me, Chris is in the afternoon, I would realize that I wasn't going to finish my task list by the end of the day. But I would say to myself, that's okay, I'll just go home, eat a quick dinner with the family, pop open my laptop and continue working. And if I got to Friday, you know, I would say to myself, well, I didn't finish everything I meant to accomplish this week. But that's okay. Because I'll work on Saturday, and I can work Sunday evening. Or if I go into a vacation, I'd say you know, I didn't finish what I needed to before I take this vacation, I kind of feel guilty taking it. And I don't really deserve it. But I'll just work in the mornings while the family's down at the beach. And I'll accomplish some things. And I'll be uber productive during that time. Well, I got an executive coach. And it was Daniel Harkavy, with whom I wrote the book Living Forward on Life Planning. And Daniel said to me, he said, Look, buddy, he said, I want you to embrace some constraints. And I said, Well, what do you mean? Because I'm thinking to myself constraints means, no freedom. I want the freedom to do what I want, when I want. He said no. He said, constraints are the ticket to freedom. He said, So when are you willing to stop work at the end of the day? Now this again, was 18 years ago, so I was just a baby and starting this. So I said to him, I said, Well, I can see myself finishing by 6pm each night. He said, okay, no, opening the laptop, you're closing it up. You're done for the day, right? I said yes. And he said, what about the weekends? And I said, Well, I'm willing to not work on the weekends. He said, okay, and vacations? I said, same thing. I'm willing networking vacations. He said, Okay, great. He said that I'm sure you won't mind, if I call Gail directly periodically to check in on you. That was that was like, that took accountability to a whole new level. Because I've always thought of accountability, you know, that he would check it on me occasionally. And ask me, so how are you doing with your commitments? Well, of course, you know, I'm going to spin it to my benefit, right? And so, but calling Gail, he got the true story. And, boy, that kept me really honest. But that freed me up, because in the middle of the afternoon, you know, previously I'd  say I could do this later in the evening, if I don't get done. Now I'd say whoa, six o'clock is fast approaching. So if I don't get this done, I gotta buckle down and get focused and get this done. So you know, I'm not checking social media. I'm not talking with friends. I'm not getting you know, caught up and fake work or busy work. I'm focused on the things that have to get done that really move the needle. And so that was kind of the constraints or the secret, really, to making that move forward and being able to have both, you know, winning outwork and succeeding in life.


Chris LoCurto  20:02

Yeah. I don't remember what the study, I need to go back and find this thing. I saw it, gosh, over a decade ago, I think. But like when I was back at Etrade, I mean, a 90 hour week was, that's normal, you just this is what you do, we're growing, you know, we're growing this business, you know, we want to take this thing public, it's just, you know, this is what you do. And I remember seeing a study that showed that when a person has a set number of hours, like if an entrepreneur knows he's going to work until 7pm, then he actually slows down the process, because he knows he's going to work that late. But if you put that constraint on a, no, you're working to five, or you're working till six, so you're working till four, you don't get a 12 hour day, you get a 9 hour day or something like that, that amazingly, they get the same amount of work done in that timeframe of 9 hours that they would 12 because when you know you're doing 12 hours, you slow yourself down because you've got 12 hours to get it done.


Michael Hyatt  21:09

Well. So, Murphy's Law, right? Or not Murphy's Law, but Parkinson's Law says work expands to the time allotted for it. So, Hyatt's corollary is work contracts to the time allotted for it.


Chris LoCurto  21:24

I love it, you, you will actually make the focus on what's most important. Instead of maybe taking some of those conversations or spending time on email or doing some things that aren't as important, you'll prioritize, man, I've only got this amount of time get these things done. And they tend to be the most important things we teach with killing leadership crazy cycle, what we teach people is is, the sooner you can see what you need to be focused on, the sooner you can delegate the things you shouldn't be focusing on, allowing you to focus on the most important things. In the book, you say, you know, I asked myself, What if I could win at work and succeed at life, it took several years of research, experimentation and self discovery. But I'm happy to report I found that elusive third option. We call it the double win. I want to talk about that double win in just a moment. But first describe the years of research, experimentation and self discovery that led up to that.


Michael Hyatt  22:22

Yeah, well, it's about 18 years, I tried every possible, you know, mechanism to do that. And it's really hard when you're in a corporate culture, even if you're running the frickin company. It's hard in a corporate culture that's against that. Right? So, you know, changing corporate culture is hard. It's possible. But it's hard. And so, you know, I was in an environment where everybody kind of had that same old school mindset, you know, that we had to work late. You know, Thomas Nelson, we were publicly held, when I became the CEO, we sold it to private equity, the private equity guys, the guys that were on my board, were guys that were sending me messages at all hours of the day and night expecting a response. And Chris, I can remember one, one point in the Great Recession, this probably would have been about 2009. And we'd been slugging it out in the trenches for months, just hand to hand combat, just trying to keep the ship afloat. Right, so I hadn't taken any vacation. And I had one scheduled up. And Gail and I, we don't even tell the story, the book, but we were scheduled to go to Colorado to spend a week. So we're on the airplane, going to Dallas, where we're going to change planes flying to Denver, and then drive up into the mountains. So as we're coming down, in Dallas, I get this message on my Blackberry at the time. And it was from the partner at the private equity firm, who said, Hey, we need to talk. I know, we gave you approval to go on vacation, but you really need to turn around and come back. We need you back at the office, because we're gonna come in on Monday. And I showed that to Gail. And I mean, I just I wanted to cry. I was so exhausted. And we needed the time, Gail and I needed the time together. Right? And so I showed it to her and she said, Well, babe, you do whatever you think you need to do, I totally support it. And so I just sat there for a minute, I thought, Nope, I'm not doing it. And so it was a very scary moment in my career. I've had a few of these thankfully, not many, but where you kind of have to put all the cards in the middle of the table, all the chips in the middle of the table, and kind of bet the farm on it. And I didn't know if I was gonna get fired or what. But I just said to this manager, I said nope, I said you guys approved this. I need it. My family needs it. And I'm going I said I've already alerted the staff. They'll take care of you when you arrive on Monday. And I'll check in with you when I get back. And I turned off my Blackberry and I did not turn that thing on for the entire week. Now here's the kicker. So I get back to the office. Of course I know this is kind of playing in the recesses of my mind even during my vacation it kind of killed my buzz. Do I still have a job? What's gonna happen? So I walk in my CFOs office when I get back and I say, Hey, you know that that thing about, you know, the board coming in this last Monday what, what was up? And he said, he said, Dude, that totally could have been handled by phone, it was nothing, they were just asking some information, he said you didn't miss a thing. So I would have scuttled my entire vacation for nothing. But here's what it illustrates, we have to take a stand for ourselves. And, sometimes that's going to involve making courageous decisions, uncomfortable decisions. And even when I shortened my, you know, workweek, or workday to 6pm, that I was going to leave from nine to 6pm. That took a little bit of courage, because I'm thinking to myself, you know, I'm a enneagram, three, if that means anything, so I care what people think about me. So I'm thinking, what is my employees going to think if I'm leaving at 6pm, and I got people down the hall that are working till seven or eight. But then I realized that as a leader, I'm going to replicate myself in the lives of those I'm leading. And if I can't lead myself, I'm not worthy of leading anybody else. And my life, my decisions, may be just the spark, people need to make a courageous decision for themselves. Yeah. And so you know, we just kind of started a revolution there. It wasn't really fully realized, Chris until I started Michael Hyatt and Company, because, you know, then I had, you know, total control. And I banked in from the beginning, thankfully, the very first year I was in business, I've only been in business for a few months. And I decided every year I'm going to take a one month sabbatical, because I don't want to create a business that is so dependent upon me that it can't run without me. And I wouldn't be smart enough, creative enough to try to invent a business that can work without my direct involvement for at least one month, a year.


Chris LoCurto  27:00

You know, I've never asked you what you do on that sabbatical? Is that something you share?


Michael Hyatt  27:05

Yeah, it's always different. It first of all, it's no work. You know, so there's no work like, the summer before the pandemic, we we stay home last year, because the pandemic, but the summer before we went to Jackson, Wyoming, and I'm a big trout fishermen, fly fish, and my wife has gotten into it. And so we spent probably every other day out on the river out of the Snake River fishing. Either in Wyoming, or in the north part of that in Idaho. And that was great. You know, that was the year that I really got serious about Native American flute playing. Yeah, met with some flute makers, and teachers and so forth. And so yeah, it's usually hobby related, something that I want to learn, I want to grow in. Last summer, because I was home, I got certified in neuro linguistic programming. And it was just you know, completely different diversion from, you know, normal work. And that's what I like it to be, we've gone to Europe a couple different times, and just spent four weeks over there. And the first week is always tough. You know, you kind of decompressing, and then by time you get to the second week, you start to let go. And then by the fourth week, by the end of the fourth week, you're ready to come back. But it's like the best thing ever. I'd really encourage you to do it.


Chris LoCurto  28:28

Yeah. Yeah. No, it's definitely when we're done with this here, that's gonna be something I start really looking at. What at what time can I discuss that? And, by the way, fly fishing on Snake River, did that this past summer. Insane. Absolutely insane. Oh, my gosh, we got, we have 15 in the boat 10 that were to the boats. And then probably like another dozen that were hooked. It was just insane. It was the best time of fishing I've ever had. It was awesome. So back to the double wind concept. Unpack that. What does that mean, what does that look like?


Michael Hyatt  29:13

Well, the double win means that you're winning at work. So that's buttoned up whatever that means for you. And I think it's really important that as business owners, as entrepreneurs, as business leaders that we define what the win is, what does winning look like for you? So winning in business, what's that going to be? Because what you don't want to do is just be on the treadmill of you know, success is just right beyond the horizon. That's what leads to the 70, 80 hour workweeks, but what does success look like for you? So you're winning at work, you're crushing it work, but you're also in great health. Your family's in a good place in a healthy place, that you've got friendships outside of work, and for years, I can fuse the people I worked with you know, thought that they were my friends. And they, you know, it was friendly, certainly. But it was basically the advantage of proximity, not true friends, not friends outside of work. And so, you know, having all those other things is kind of the other part. So that's the second part of the double win. And you talked about the wheel of life, we've got a version of that, where we talk about these 10 domains of life, but it's basically realizing that life is multi dimensional. And if it's true that life is a marathon, this isn't a sprint, it's not a short term race, but it's a marathon. If that's true, then you can't afford to settle for success in just one of those areas. You know, success has got to be multi dimensional for it to be sustainable. Because, you know, if you have a health crisis, it's gonna back up in your business. If you have a crisis at work, that's gonna back up into your marriage. You know, all these things are interrelated. They're not like these sterile compartments that are separate from each other. No, they bleed into one another. And so you've got to pursue sort of a full orbed 360 degree, vision for success. And that's the double win.


Chris LoCurto  31:10

I love it. I love it. I love it. Another quote from the book is we fool ourselves. If we think work is primarily about mere substance and meeting our physical needs, it meets deeply felt psychological needs as well. So we talked a lot about leaders finding their worth at work, you know, we mentioned that earlier, and usually everything else in life suffers. What have you seen along this line?


Michael Hyatt  31:38

Well, you know, when I talk to people about this idea, initially, people that are, you know, doing what you're doing, or people that I coach, that are entrepreneurs and so forth. You know, they say, "But I love my work, my work is my hobby. It's like going on a vacation, if I get to go to work, it's like going on a vacation." Well, you know, I'm thinking you need to get out more, you know, there's a whole lot more to life than what you're experiencing at work. But here's the thing, Chris, I think we're we sort of the psychological aspect of it. Yeah, let's just acknowledge if you're in work that you love, it is fun. I love what I do. You know, do this interview with you, I'm eating this up. I love this. I get paid to do this, not by you. But I mean, this is what my company pays me to do. I love this. The other thing about work, is it's measurable. You know, we can look at it, we can say, oh, I achieved this outcome, that outcome, this outcome. And you can mark your progress, you get a tremendous sense of progress. And all the research I've done about goal setting and happiness is that happiness does not come from achieving goals. Happiness comes from making progress against significant goals. And at work, you get that sense of progress. Not so much at home, you know, raising kids, how many kids do you have? Five. Yeah, raising kids that's a long term project. And sometimes it's three steps forward, two steps back, sometimes it's three steps forward, four steps back, you know, it's hard to see the progress. And especially when you're caught right in the messy middle. And so it's easy, and I'm gonna just, true confession. I lied to my wife for years. It wasn't conscious. But I in essence, lied to her because I would say, oh, honey, I have got to work this weekend. The truth is, I didn't know what to do with myself at home. It was, you know, trying to sort out the girls, you know, I have five daughters, but trying to sort out their problems and listen to them. And all that stuff is just like, I felt totally incompetent. I didn't feel like I was good at it. I didn't feel like I was helping, you know, I'd get angry, you know, thank God. And it is the goodness of God and the kindness of God that it all turned out. But in the middle of it, it was just so much easier. And I use this word very deliberately, it was so much easier to escape to work. It's really what I was doing. That's where I was getting lots of rewards. And by the way, that's another marker, you know, rewards at work. Nobody gives you a badge, or a raise or promotion or a bonus at home.


Chris LoCurto  34:21

That's one of the things we discover all the time in Next Level Life is that we will choose, wherever we're getting the greatest amount of worth from, that affirmation or identity. We will choose to spend more time there. And you can see that becomes the greatest area of focus. Because once again, like you said, there's a bonus. There's there's almost in an instant affirmation, where when you go home, it's this expectation. You're supposed to be a great dad 24/7, you know what to do, you know how to lead things here. And sometimes we just don't, sometimes we gotta learn how to be a great dad and how to raise you know, great kids. The key for me, I think is if, as always, I mean, I'm always gonna say, if we're putting God first, he's going to help us in this process. But if I will spend as much time learning how to be a great dad, as I will being learning how to be a great executive, I'll have phenomenal kids, if I will spend as much time-if I will take a month, which again, I'm always loving the month sabbatical idea, you know if I will take this time and go spend it with my wife, and put that time into her and unity, then I will have a phenomenal marriage. And so I think, you know, we become, it's a very selfish thing. But I'm getting input from work, I'm getting reward from work. And so we did, we did a show on the on where, when you're looking at willpower, those who do great with willpower, and the prefrontal cortex of their brain, they focus on great decision making the decision making area of the prefrontal cortex, those who are focused on not being able to have good willpower, self-control, the area that their brain focuses on is the desire and reward area. And so what you will find is, is whenever they're not able to focus on willpower, self-control, making good decision, go be, you know, spend time at home do all these things, then what happens is, is that their ego deflates, because they're focused on I'm not getting the reward, I'm not getting the desire. So, so many folks will look at work and go, I get reward, look at home, I don't get reward, let me go back to work. So it definitely is a big piece of people's worth and identity. The subtitle of the book talks about the cult of overwork. Tell us what the underlying myths or misconceptions that allow this belief to exist.


Michael Hyatt  36:59

Well, I think we have a whole culture that, you know, people want to get ahead, you know, they want to provide for their families, all these motives are good, you know, they start out good, they get perverted, unfortunately, by a culture that wants total work, and I think, you know, there's a very fine line between ambition and greed. You know, there's nothing wrong with being ambitious, even in the Bible. You know, there's a passage, I think it's in 1 Timothy chapter three talking about, you know, the the role of elders in the church, and it says, anybody who aspires to the role of an overseer desires a good thing. There's nothing wrong with aspiring to leadership or any of that. But where it gets perverted is when it becomes sort of the total defining point of your life. And that's kind of the definition of an idol, right? Where work becomes an idol. And I think you've got a lot of people who have nothing else. You know, they don't have a relationship with God, they're not in a relationship with a church, they're not that close to their family, and what's left is work. And the weird part about this is the whole thing is reciprocally reinforcing. So in other words, the more time I spend at work, the less time I have to develop those other areas of my life. And so it becomes self-reinforcing. And so, you know, we're in a position now, where, again, we've got so many celebrity entrepreneurs advocating for this hustle, you know, hustle, hustle, hustle, you want to get ahead, you gotta hustle. And you know, I could name names, we could all think of them. But it's very detrimental, particularly to young entrepreneurs with young families, they will destroy or burn out their families. And it's happening all the time.


Chris LoCurto  38:41

Yeah, it is just sad. And I love that you point out and again, you know, when you take a look at somebody who is advocating this, the great mark, is take a look at their personal life. If you see that thing they're advocating is blessing their personal life, then might be something to listen to. If it is something that is not, then ask yourself, is it worth it? And I will tell you, you and I both will stand on the mountaintop and scream, nope, not worth it. Don't do it doesn't mean you don't bust your butt, doesn't mean that you don't work hard. It doesn't mean that you can't, you know, kill it in the timeframe, you know, in the constraint that you should have. But just understand, whatever you're saying yes to you're going to say no to something else, don't let it be the the more important things of your family.


Michael Hyatt  39:35

So true. I remember reading a book by Andy Stanley years ago where he talked about that very thing. You know, you just got to be careful what you're saying yes to what you're saying no to, because with every yes, there's an implied no. And the reverse is true also.


Chris LoCurto  39:49

Yeah, absolutely. So we talked a lot about healthy boundaries. Here. You're talking about constraints. What does that look like when it comes to not just constraints on work time. But what about the right emphasis on relationships, team members, you know, desiring more time? Or how does it look outside of just that area?


Michael Hyatt  40:15

Well, first of all, most of those other areas, the way you cultivate those is with additional time. And that's the value of having constraints around your work so that you've got the time to invest. You know, it's not money that makes relationships flourish, it's time invested. You know, that's, that's how kids spell love is t-i-m-e. You know, time with them. And, you know, we're so committed to this, not only for us, that are leaders in my company, but for all of our employees. One of the things that happened to us when the pandemic began back in March, we were about two weeks into it. And we had all these young employees with young families who suddenly had no childcare, no daycare, they were going crazy, plus all the environmental stress from the economic uncertainty. And you know, we moved into the summer with all the protests and so forth. And so we decided, as an experiment, we said, what if, so that people have time to be with their families and cultivate these other areas that you mentioned, what if we reduced our work day, from eight hours a day to six hours a day, so we're going to work from nine to three, we're not going to dock anybody's salary, we're going to continue to pay them for 40 hours a week, or the equivalent of 40 hours a week, full time job, but we only want them to work 30 hours a week, what would happen? So I got up in front of the team, and I said, Look, we're gonna try this as an experiment. But the key to us continuing is that we got to maintain the same level of productivity, we got to do in 30 hours, what we were doing in 40, because I'm not backing off the budget, you know, the budgets a budget, we had a very aggressive budget for the year, but the budgets, the budget, and so we're not backing off this, but let's just try it, you know, may not work. So we tried it. Two weeks later got together as an executive team, every checked in we said, kinda is going pretty well, we can't notice any difference in productivity. So you know, we tried it for another month, and then we decided we're going to do it through the summer. So again, 30 hours a week, we found that, number one, our employees, of course loved it. But their personal lives were flourishing, they were able to do things with their family and with their health, things that they'd never been able to do before. And so when we got together for our strategic planning meeting in September, the executive team, we said, Guys, we're on track to have an amazing year, we don't see anything you know, that's slipping as a result of this new schedule. Let's make this a permanent benefit of Michael Hyatt and Company, which is exactly what we did. And we're still doing it to this day. Now the proofs in the pudding. Right? So we finished 2020, 15% ahead on the top line, at about 101% ahead of the bottom line already highly profitable. But we were more profitable, and still continue to grow at double digits, despite the fact there was a global pandemic. And we cut our ours by you know, 25%. So this stuff works.


Chris LoCurto  43:04

Dude, that is so impressive. So is that across the board or leadership, everybody is working that timeframe?


Michael Hyatt  43:12

Every every single person in our company. Now, here's here's an added benefit that we didn't think about. Imagine what that does, when you're recruiting. Like we have none open positions right now. The last position we hired we had 400 applicants, but with a sabbatical every three years, with, you know, 30 hour work week, we have, oh, another thing we do, too, is we have unlimited paid time off. And have never, never had anybody abused that. We've been doing that for like four years.


Chris LoCurto  43:45

That's just so powerful. What if somebody wants to work eight to four?


Michael Hyatt  43:53

Yeah we discourage it. Now, you said something very early. You know, earlier, when you talked about the ox being in the ditch, there are gonna be seasons. And I had one just recently where I had a webinar come off the rails, and it wasn't what I expected. I had to work through the weekend to do it. That's fine. As long as it's truly temporary. The danger is that we deceive ourselves into thinking something is temporary, when we've made it permanent. We you know, we careen from one crisis to the next. And because I for years, I would say to Gail, I would say, well, babe, as soon as I get acclimated to this new position, then I'll give you in the girls the time you deserve. Or flash, I just had a marketing director quit. And now I'm doing two positions. As soon as I get that position filled, I'll give you in the girls the time you deserve. And one crisis bled into another one, into another one. And pretty soon that temporary became permanent. And you don't want that.


Chris LoCurto  44:49

Famous last words right?  We did not do what you did. We experienced with as soon as we hit the pandemic, we had a couple of our moms that were now working at home, their spouses working at home, their kids, one of them's my oldest daughter, who's working in the business, I don't think she wants to take over the business. But she does a phenomenal job inside of the business and what she does, but we started to hear this, hey, I'm struggling with how do I take care of all of my kids, but you know, and it wasn't a, "Hey, Chris, fix this." It was just "Hey, I just want to let you know, we're struggling." And so we just sat down, and we said, okay, well, what can we do? And I like the nine to three idea, what we did is we went into sets of time. So we cut down and say, hey, be with family work for these hours, be with family work for these hours. And, you know, take a little chunk off, but man, I love the concept of the consistent, you know, focus in one set of time. I love that. I love that. All right, I want to take a little bit of a turn, because we've talked about men in this, you and I both have many daughters. You and Gail have raised five daughters-speak to the business woman, I know, for me, we have a lot of ladies in our group, that are business owners, but they're also moms and they're trying to take care of everything, you know, and they have, there is this natural expectation that if you are going to be a woman in business, that you've got to do all the other traditional woman stuff. It's all on top of you. And you've got to do all this and and, and, and, which is virtually impossible. I always ask whenever we do our events, I'll ask like the the entrepreneurs, they'll say how many y'all have somebody who's cleaning your house, since you're doing full time? And the hands will go up. And then I'll say, how many of y'all cleaned your house for the first four or five times they came over? And like all of them, the hands go up. It's like because you feel like that's your responsibility. What is it like through this concept? You know, everything that you're talking about here? What is it like for the woman leader, the woman executive, the woman entrepreneur?


Michael Hyatt  47:04

Well, the fun part about writing this book, Win at Work and Succeed in Life, is that I had Megan, my daughter, our CEO, co-write it with me. So she gives her unique perspective to. So, Megan has five kids, including three adopted ones, and two of them with special needs.


Chris LoCurto  47:22

Oh, wow.


Michael Hyatt  47:23

And she's doing great. So when I offered her the job, Chris, to be our CEOO. So this is, she came on basically as a person as a copywriter, then a marketing director. And then I came to her and I said, I want you to be the CEOO of the company where, you know, once we got past about 35 people, I felt like, I need somebody to help me with this. And she said, Well, Dad, I could do it. And up till that point, she was part time. She said, I could do it. But only if I can work nine to three. I want to be the one that picks up Moses and Jonah at school. And she said, are you willing to do that? And I said, yeah, I'm willing to do that. That was kind of our first experiment with is actually, if you look back on it, and that's kind of been her pattern. Because I think that the workload falls disproportionately to women. And it's just flat out not fair. They are taking the brunt of this, you know, there's certainly cultural explanations for why we are where we are. But it's not fair. You know, there's got to really be a concept today. And I didn't grow up with this. So I guess, you know, in a sense, it's easy for me to criticize it. But there's got to be a co-parenting relationship, there's got to be a sharing of household responsibilities. You can't expect, especially if the wife has a job outside of the home, you can't expect her to do all that, and then come home and do all the traditional wife things. And she's gonna resent it. So I think it's it's time to rethink work, and ask ourselves, what is it that we're after? And I remember Dr. Stephen Covey, and seven habits, says begin with the end in mind. And I think that's such a powerful, good advice. You know, what is the endgame here? What do we want? You know, do we want to preserve our marriage? Do you want to be in good health when we're, you know, in our 60s, or 70s, and 80s? You know, if we do, then we're going to want to invest in those relationships. And in those activities that lead to that.


Chris LoCurto  49:25

Absolutely. Final quoteI've got from the book, "The key is to spend the appropriate amount of time in each of the major categories of life." So last question I've got for you. If you could go back to a young Mike Hyatt, what would you tell him on anything?


Michael Hyatt  49:44

Yeah, I think I would say-because I was pretty arrogant when I was young-I would say you're not as smart as you think. But you've got more potential than you can imagine. And honestly, I would say that to most young people.


Chris LoCurto  49:57

Yeah. That's so powerful. It's so powerful. Well brother, so good to have you back on the show. Miss hanging out with you. How can people get the book? Tell us what to do. We're gonna put links and everything in this, but what can they do? How can they get more?


Michael Hyatt  50:10

Well, first of all, thank you for having me on the show always great to be with you, we got to hang out some, you know? So you can go to this website, it's called winandsucceedbook.com/locurto. Okay? So, winandsucceedbook.com/locurto. And if you go there, there's a whole bunch of bonuses that if you buy the book from any retailer, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, wherever you want, come back with a receipt. You'll get those bonuses for free, including the double win cheat sheet, which is a downloadable, beautiful infographic that you can frame and put on your wall that will remind you of these double win principles, these five principles to free you from the cult of overwork.


Chris LoCurto  50:54

I love it. And the bonuses aren't, these aren't tiny bonuses. This is a whole lot of great stuff to help you walk through this process and implement and do a bunch of great stuff, so fantastic. Mike, thank you so much. We appreciate it. Folks. There you have it. I mean such great information stuff I'm definitely going to be sitting down with after this and going, "How can I make that work right there?" Such good stuff to change your life, such good stuff to prioritize well, such good stuff to you know, make you succeed not just in one area, but to succeed in life. So, as always, take this information, change your leadership, change your business, change your life, and join us on the next episode.




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Meet Chris LoCurto


Chris has a heart for changing lives by helping people discover the life and business they really want.

Decades of personal and leadership development experience, as well as running multi-million dollar businesses, has made him an expert in life and business coaching. personality types, and communication styles.

Growing up in a small logging town near Lake Tahoe, California, Chris learned a strong work ethic at home from his full-time working mom. He began his leadership and training career in the corporate world, starting but at E'TRADE.