My next guest was the image of a confident business owner, living a successful life, but he felt stuck in the hamster wheel, busy, distracted, and disconnected. He says that a greater adventure and purpose awaited him, but he had no idea how to find it.
Welcomed back to the Author Hour Podcast. I’m your host Hussein Al-Baiaty, and my next guest, John Stix, is here to talk with us about his newest book, I’m In! Discover Your Who. Let’s get into it.
Hussein Al-Baiaty: All right, everyone, welcome back. I’m super excited to have this amazing conversation today with my friend, John Stix, who you know, we’re just bouncing some stories, you know, just before the recording, and I’m super excited because the question that John lays out is fundamental I think to just who we are as people, and I’m really excited that he, you know, decided to put this into a book.
Put his wisdom, his stories and be vulnerable with all of us, but more importantly, I’m excited that the fact that he’s here with us today. John, welcome to the show, I appreciate your time today.
John Stix: Oh my gosh, Hussein, it’s my honor. Thanks so much for having me.
Building Yourself Up and Losing Yourself on the Way
Hussein Al-Baiaty: Yeah, absolutely. So first of all, what I like to do with our guests is, introduce you to our audience and, you know, can you share a little bit about your background, where you grew up and how you got into this telecommunication business but I want to know a little bit about you, your background, sort of where you grew up.
John Stix: Yeah, for sure. So, I’m Canadian, born and raised in, at the time, what felt like a town called Waterloo. It’s certainly not a town anymore, it’s become really Silicon Valley of the north, very vibrant, amazing tech ecosystem here. We’re about an hour west of Toronto, and yeah, born and raised here and, you know, really how I got into business was before I ever got into business, you know, I met my best friend, and after we met, we just, you know, we’re always hanging out.
Having a good time together and when it came time for us to start making decisions like everyone else at that age, you know, to get a job and go off to school, we realized early on that, you know, we didn’t say, we wanted to go to work. We would say, we wanted to go to passion, and for us, it was both being able to figure out something that we both were passionate about so we could just honestly say, just keep hanging out with each other and from there, you know, deregulation happened in 1994 here in Canada.
So what that means was simply the communications industry opened up to be competitive, and we realized that, you know, that’s obviously a big giant market, and we only need a tiny little sliver for us to be able to keep hanging out and having fun and feeling like we could be passionate with what we were doing. So we kind of went for it.
Hussein Al-Baiaty: That’s amazing, man, and you know, this idea that you merely, the goal was, “Look, we got to do something we want to go to and hang out together and really share in progress,” right? Share this journey. You know, there’s nothing better than teaming up with friends or colleagues or people who are just as passionate about that thing and enjoying that journey together.
However, though, it sounds like, you know, from what I read in your book, it sounds like built it up, you went from like a couple of people to like 50 people, then a hundred, then 200, and this company just obviously ballooned. That’s your commitment, and that’s what happens when you decide to kind of live from that place of passion and go somewhere that you really want to build with someone else, but even with all that, something happens, right?
You wake up one day, you say this in your book, you wake up one day, and you realize, “Man, what am I doing? How did I get here?” And I got to tell you, dude, I felt that a few times in my life, and I…and writing my book really helped me decide to change my trajectory but can you tell me a little bit about that story. That time in your life where you felt like, you know, something you needed to kind of change.
John Stix: Yeah, absolutely. You know, I mentioned that it was just the two of us, and you mentioned that it ballooned and really grew. Those times when it was just the two of us or three of us or four of at a basement, those time were incredible when I look back, and we wouldn’t have had any clue that it could have led to what we’ve grown into, and it started out that we didn’t know what we were doing but boy, our dreams were aligned, right?
We knew we wanted to create something that would deliver value that was not seen before in Canadian telecommunications, and we felt like being in a basement, being the four of us or two of us at the time, depending on the timeline, a small group, we were able to be this nimble team to be completely aligned with the dream of being able to make that difference and, you know, we failed.
I’d say going at least eight or nine good failures, but we were okay with that failure because we were learning from them. So failure really wasn’t a word that we would hide from, it was more of a word that just meant that, “Hey, we just tried something, and we went for it, and we’re going to keep going.” And then finally, we hit one and, you know, when we hit that one, it was something we could never have really thought of doing unless we would have started on the path in the first place, right?
It was about at least 30 steps forward on the path, right? Like completely was invisible to us as a possibility until we got to that point in the journey, and what was a real game-changer is we discovered that we could give free long distance here in Canada, but you had to listen to a 30 second ad, and so we redoing ad-based freemium-based type services back in 1995 before the word freemium was really even around, and we exploded into hundreds of millions of calls.
We ended up actually selling that business, and I remember selling that business, you know, like the entrepreneurial story, it’s like everyone can’t wait for that moment where, you know, someone’s going to buy you or take you out or the exit strategy or the check, you know, the dream of the check passed across the table, and I remember, you know, my dad, my good old dad, he said, “You know, you guys got…” as he put it “hijacked” and it just didn’t turn out the way we had imagined it would turn out.
Six months after that I had to peel myself kind of off the floor and realize that I had given up my dream and, you know, we put all our shackles back in the middle of the table, and this time, we said, “Okay, we’re going to really go for it,” and we laid out what does it mean for us to go for it, and we set big goals, and Jody and I and some others got back into the basement, started up again and then we grew like a rocket ship, and if we would have filed every year really to be fast, you know, the fastest growing companies, I think we would have been, you know, a winner of a lot of those years.
We’re doubling every year in revenue, and then all of a sudden, you know, 10 years of being a part of building the very dream that we dreamt, and I’m walking into the very building that was just a figment of our imagination early on, I hit a personal wall, and I couldn’t figure out what that wall was. That’s what was so hard about this is, is you know, like you hit a personal wall, and you’re like, “Okay, I can see the wall, I know what the wall is.” And it hit me hard.
I couldn’t figure out what my wall was but what I did know, Hussein, was that, I was incredibly disengaged from the very dream that I helped create, and I didn’t know why and that was so lonely, and I was so scared, and I couldn’t figure out how to tell anyone and I couldn’t tell anyone that. I remember one time I was going into our HQ, our head office and again, I’ll say this, the very dream that I helped create with my best friend, other friends, family members, and I remember putting my hand on the front door and I lifted it, my hand off the front door, and I went back into my car and reclined the seat and turned the music on.
I went, “Uh-oh, why do I not want to be in this dream, in this company anymore?” And then, to make a longer story kind of shorter, Hussein, I remember asking myself this question. I remember saying like, “Who am I?” And the answer I got when I ask myself that question was, “Oh my gosh, I have no idea who I am.” My identity is my company’s identity, right? I poured so much into the company that my company was my identity, and my company’s identity was me.
There was no clear line of delineation or healthy line of separation between it, and in that moment, I also what really made me go back into my chair was if I don’t know who I am, how can I possibly expect the people that are closest to me to love me for who I really am?
Finding Your Who
Hussein Al-Baiaty: So deep and, you know, I got to be honest with you, when I read that part of your book, it resonated so deeply with me because when I owned my little print shop, and I had a few people, you know, things were going well, we’re getting contracts, all this good stuff, I too, like, there was a few times where I would go to the shop, and I’m like, “I don’t even want to be here today.”
Like, it just felt a lot, it felt like a lot and especially after like, my father passed, and I was really thinking about what, where, who, you know, like all the questions, you know? And it was very intense, and in that moment, I realized, “Okay, I got to sell this thing because it’s just not where I’m supposed to be anymore. So I’m not going to stick around.”
So when that happened with you, you decided to kind of take action. You decided to kind of like, figure out, really go deep with yourself, and you kind of lay out the rest of the book as almost a methodology. Like I said earlier, you know, I’m very introspective, I love people who ask me questions.
You know, my father did this quite a bit growing up, but he, you know, he really asked me questions to figure out more of my characteristics, you know? And you talk about this really well. You know, a lot of people, including many people that are listening, whether they like to admit it or not, you know, we seek to try to find our purpose outside of our self, and so, we do these things.
We build these huge companies, or we go out in the world and kind of makeshift a purpose, but then we realize that that’s not ultimately the right path or the right way perhaps, and then there is this reverting back to who we are and try and figure out that component but reality is, I too found my purpose within and it sounds like that’s where you ended up but how did you get there? How did you get out of that funk and realize like, “Okay, the direction I want to go.”
John Stix: You know, oh my gosh, Hussein, like in that moment, and I felt like I couldn’t really talk to anyone about like I said, about the disengagement and all of that. I felt it’s this alone feeling that you have and, you know, looking back at what I tell other, you know, help other leaders with or, you know, in my keynotes when I’m speaking is the first thing that we actually do is having the awareness of that we don’t know what we’re to do next, but we know that we must start discovering it.
That’s actually the first thing I call it jumping out of the hamster wheel. We have this all of a sudden, this eureka moment that, “Oh my gosh, the hamster wheel I’m in, does not only does it go anywhere, it doesn’t end unless I jump out.” And so you know, what I did in that moment was I jumped out and I took the time to turn the arrow inward.
You know, up until that point in time, I was asking certain people like, you know, I wasn’t vulnerable back then, so I’d be asking people, “Hey, you know, I feel this way.” And someone would say, “Hey John, you know, do you ever take a vacation? Take a vacation.” I take a vacation, I’d come back Hussein, I’d be like, “Hey, the vacation didn’t work. Well, you took the wrong vacation, John, it must be that.”
They meant well, they meant super well, but nothing was working, and then finally, it was like, “Okay, if I want to know who I am, and if I want to know what I truly desire, and if I want to know what really matters to me, then I must realize that the journey, the actual journey I’m looking for is inside me, and then I must go on a path to discovering who I am if I want to know what I truly desire in my life.”
And now, one of the first things I ask people is, and this is, you know, our education system doesn’t teach us these things, but like generally, I find no one that has really written their own prosperity definition. What does prosperity mean to John or Hussein? And not, you know, the dictionary’s definition or, for that matter, Wall Street’s definition but like, how do we define prosperity?
Do we include things like joy and equanimity and peace and forgiveness and giving? Do we include these in within our own definition? Unless we take the time to turn the arrow inward, to find out what we truly desire, then how will we ever know, you know, what prosperity definition we should be going after. I found out early on that as you turn the arrow in, the answers that we truly all seek are already within us.
You know, we have this incredible amount of wisdom, a sense of knowing that is already in us, it’s just a hamster wheel keeps us distracted. One of the things I love is, and hopefully this helps someone that maybe listening to this is, “You know, John, what’s the hamster wheel?” This is all the day-to-days that we fill all our hours with that we never ask ourselves why we’re doing what we’re doing, right?
We get into all these habits, but we don’t really ask ourselves why are we doing this, you know, what we’re doing? Are we playing tennis because we really love to play tennis, or are we playing tennis for other reasons? And then on top of all that, you know, someone once said this to me, and it stuck with me, I’ve never forgotten it as a mentor of mine.
He said, “Hey John, every distraction is indeed an attraction. So ask yourself, why are you attracted to it,” right? Not only do we fill our days, our hours, our minutes with all of these habits, and we don’t ask ourselves why we’re doing these things. You know, we’re gauging our success on how busy we are, but then we’re also distracted at an unprecedented level nowadays with so many people and so many companies vying for our awareness and time.
And so to answer your question, I just went on a journey. I went on a journey, and for me, I became incredibly thirsty, and the thirst took me to ancient wisdom. It took me to studying leaders of our past. For me, it wasn’t modern day books, there’s nothing wrong with that, and I love all books, but it was more in that iteration or journey, you know, timeline season of my life. It was about, what enabled these leaders.
What enabled these individuals to live fulfilled lives or to lead others when there was no technology that they could use to bind people together? Like, what makes people really feel fulfilled and then, be able to lead others to that fulfillment? And I never stopped, and as I dug more into it, the more of these things, more of these wisdoms lit up inside me, and instead of reading, I really wanted to take the time to try to say, “Okay, that feels right to me, how do I engrain that into my actual life?”
Hussein Al-Baiaty: One hundred percent. I mean, any time I feel like, when we are sort of searching within ourself, you know? You need something to reflect on, and I think you know, there’s something really beautiful about ancient texts. It just captures that essence because it comes from a place where you know that individual, whoever was writing it, whatever, you know?
They’re tapping into something way deeper than we can get to right now because we’re – like you said, we’re so distracted, and that person speaking to you from a non-distracted place, a place that was…in our minds, may have been, not necessarily simpler, right? Because they also had busy lives and working hard and doing all the things, but it’s different.
It’s a different time where they can really speak to the essence of what you were searching for. But still allow you to do that dwelling. There wasn’t an answer per se, it was more of like, thoughtful questioning, and I think I can resonate with that a lot in my own search, definitely, you know, listening to things or reading things that are much older, especially like poetry, like roomy and things like that.
It always gets you to really think outside of your own state of mind and go deeper. Like you said, like, it’s where our deeper essence is lying there. It’s waiting for us to ask those questions and go deeper but then, you also kind of have this practice.
You have a, like a meditation almost that I feel like you developed, assuming from this deep work that you did, and you know, you talk about it, and you describe it very well. Can you share that with our community, with the idea of just sitting there and asking yourself this specific question? Can you share that with us a little bit?
John Stix: I love your comments there, and you know, it’s like, you know those moments when you know, maybe a grandparent or an older person is able to share stories from the past, and you just, you lean in because you’re like, “Oh my gosh. You know, like, the story’s so interesting, where is this going, and what can I learn from it?” It’s just seems like people, you know, that are older and have had a lot of life experiences, the wisdoms are simplified, and they seem to just hit home because, you know, we’re all storytellers, and we all are evolving stories, right?
Like, all of us are a story that’s evolving, just different season, different chapters, and so I just wanted to comment, you know, on that aspect because of what you said, and you know, that ancient wisdom to me is just these great storytellers, right? Where the wisdoms are simplified, and we feel like we can really, you know, engrain it into our life and take the time to respect it and understand how it could impact our decision-making and who we are.
But in terms of some of the practices, yeah, you know what unfolded from it was as my life changed and as I started to really align with who I am and realize that I need to change my actions to align with who I am and started to make those changes, you know, others start to notice that and, you know, others started saying, “Hey, John, I’m noticing these changes in you.”
That led to, you know, wanting to communicate some of the steps that I had gone through with others, and then obviously at that, you know, it really amplified from there with, you know, leaders, et cetera, et cetera.
Last year there was, with the YPO, it was over, I think it was over 450 leaders from around the world representing 57 countries that were going through some of the steps of discovery who, and I can’t believe how far it’s come, but there’s really a series of steps that one can take that is in our platform but to start, really it’s the making the decision to jump out of the hamster wheel and remember, that decision is taking the time to start to listen and get to know who you are and what really matters to you.
You know, the first step I always communicate to everyone I speak to is I call it the 10-minute spot, and so what it is, is I myself is saying that I needed something that was going to be something that I could do easy, and that I didn’t feel intimidated by it and you know, I didn’t know how to meditate or anything like that.
So it was like, “Well, how do I ask myself these questions? You know, where do I begin?” and so I just went down to a spot close to where I live, which is along the river and started spending some time just walking and listening to the sound of the water and really paying attention to actually nature itself as opposed to just walking through it and so the first step that I ask leaders or others to do that want to really take the time to figure out who they are is you need to find your 10-minute spot but have fun with it.
You know like, remember those times when you were a kid, and it was like, “Okay, I’m going to my tree fort” or maybe my imaginary tree fort or you know, my hiding place, whatever those, whatever that spot was as a kid, this is the time where you know, you could be a kid again. You could find that place where you get to be just Hussein, where John just gets to be John, and I call it the 10-minute spot because you don’t need a lot of time.
So step one is go on an adventure. Here is the rules, it’s got to be close to where you live or go to work. So it’s got to be accessible, and even if it is a park bench like put your foot on your park bench and say, “This is my spot. You know, claim it.” And when you go there, it is about leaving everything else behind. It is about leaving everything else behind and just being in that spot and having a journal with you and simply asking yourself this question, “Who am I?”
“Who am I?” and repeat it and just listen. Just close your eyes and just listen for an inner voice, just what do you hear, and start journaling it. Start being a good listener of who you are, and the only thing I always tell everyone is as you do this, remember it’s a practice. So it is not about going and doing it once, but you keep doing it, and here’s the key, Hussein, there’s no judgment and no expectation.
So for all of you that maybe listening that want to jump on this and it is resonating with you, go find your 10-minute spot. It has to be accessible, something that you can get to pretty quickly, and you claim it. You literally claim that spot and when you go to it, take the time to just ask yourself, “Who am I?” Listen, journal it down, but have no judgment about what you hear and no expectation from the practice. Just be in that moment and listen, and that’s where it all begins.
Hussein Al-Baiaty: Yeah, that’s so powerful. I remember, I mean, almost to the “T” doing something similar, honestly especially after my father passed. I just needed time away to just declutter my mind and just be in the moment, and I remember there was like literally a nearby park to the shop, and I would just go there, and I just – my phone will be ringing, and I’d just be like, “I just need a 15-minute break.”
I just need to breathe, and that’s what I would do. I would just do some deep breathing, and it would just calm me down, and I could be collected, and then I could go back and deal with what I needed to deal with, but that breaking away, that breaking the cycle, slowly getting off of the hamster wheel, and then asking yourself and you take it another step further for sure, which I feel like I would have loved to have done and just really sat there with myself.
Like, you know, which I feel like I did in other ways, but I love that so much because it is a simple practice. It is one that you can constantly do to kind of realign yourself and slowly come off that hamster wheel and go deeper into your purpose because that is the first initial question to many others that follow, that get you really going towards your purpose, yeah.
John Stix: A hundred percent, and as you start to learn more, I mean, there is subsequent steps in the discovery process, and by the way, I am super happy to announce that alongside the book launch is also a full digital platform with all the steps for anyone that is listening, but the next step and I won’t get into, you know, it too much is you know, I call it surrender is our greatest victory.
So you know, we think about surrendering as I’ve given up or I am waving the white flag, right? You know, I have failed, or someone’s taken over, but really, when we start to learn to surrender to what we’re hearing, to what gives us some shivers, surrendering to a conversation that we have been holding back with a loved one or surrendering to trying a hobby that for some reason, I don’t even know why it keeps coming into my mind over the years.
But I always say I never have time for it but like surrendering to that. The surrender aspect of it is our greatest victory because guess what? It’s step one, it’s where we’re actually taking a physical step and listening to what we are hearing. Now, we don’t know what’s going to unfold. We really don’t. You wouldn’t believe all the stories I’ve heard from individuals that, and I feel so blessed where they have come back and shared with me.
But it is that first initial step, and when we take the first initial step, and it’s something that we feel we desire, or we have a deep level of intrigue for where we just were hearing it again and again in our journals from our practice, that’s when our actions are starting to get aligned with who we are. When we start to get our actions aligned with who we are, what happens is all of a sudden, all of these potential and purpose starts to get lit up inside.
You know, when we feel motivated it’s one thing, but when we feel inspired, it feels like we’ve been lit up inside and, you know, we all have dreams. Those dreams are unique to who we are, and I truly feel like if everyone that’s listening to this looked at one of their fingers on their hands and looked at their fingerprint, that fingerprint is unique to you because you have, we are all these beautiful creations that are incredibly unique and guess what?
So are our dreams, and because those dreams are unique to us, guess what? We have the unique abilities to bring those dreams alive into the world, but if we never take the time to listen, and then if we don’t take that first step to see how we feel inspired inside, then our dreams stay as dreams, and we don’t get a chance to really bring them alive into the world and experience this journey that can lead in so many ways to such great fulfillment and our potential realized in the world.
Become a Blindspot Detective
Hussein Al-Baiaty: Yeah, that is so powerful, man, and I think, you know, I think everything you’re saying it just lines up with, I feel like just the heroic journeys that I feel like we’re all called on, and there is always this fear, right? That I am going to lose something when I go do X, Y, or Z, right? Or go fulfill my dream or go figure this thing out and that fear of failing or, you know, it could be a multitude of fears, right?
Which, I am literally writing my next book on creative fears and the things that they’re not trying to hold you back. You call the fear for what it is. It is this idea of it’s lying to you. It is saying something else to you. To people out there who are, you know, even if they own businesses, right? Even if they are doing great, they are doing fine, but there is still a sense of this hamster wheel.
If you were to give a tip or two to someone like that to help them I guess face the fear and renegotiate those terms, I guess, what would that be like? What would that conversation look like?
John Stix: Yeah, you know, great question. These fear, doubt, bitterness, shame, regret, the list goes on, I call them the villains. So you bring up the hero’s journey, right? I kind of imagine all of these characters in, you know, kind of like their hideout, and I call them the villain and where the villains’ hangout is in our blind spots, right? So our blind spots, what are they? Well, a blind spot is simply something that we just don’t have the awareness that we do yet, right?
A blind spot is something that I find that a lot of people are fearful of, leaders are fearful of, people are fearful, I don’t want to know what I don’t know, but in that blind spot lies the opportunity for epic growth within us and so what I actually like to say is we need to be blind spot detectives. We need to look for those spots inside ourselves that might be, you know, a way of thinking that served us in a different season of our life but doesn’t serve us now.
You know, how do I view my relationships, how do I view the world? How do I view the company that I lead? Being a blind spot detective puts you in a path of growth, and with growth, you are going to have villains that are going to pop up. It is the natural progression of growth. When we are feeling super comfy, and we’re not growing, and we’re kind of being complacent, you know, we don’t hear a lot of the villain’s voices.
When we’re pushing the envelope following our dreams and going for something that we feel like we desire and that matters to us, that’s when the villains are going to show up with their voices and so, you know, one of the things I like to say to, you know, I remind myself of this too, Hussein, like you know how it is. I’m sure you remind yourself of these things too, but one of the things is I just turn it around now.
When doubt comes into my head, when the thought of doubt comes, “Oh John, you can’t do that.” Or like, “Hey, you’re going to be in this amazing podcast with Hussein, like who are you to be talking about this topic with others?” Right? Doubt comes in. You know what I say? I just say, “Hey, I recognize that thought doubt, you’re a villain doubt, thanks for reminding me to be the opposite.”
I am on the right track. I am qualified. I am doing what I am supposed to be doing and living my dream, and so you know, what I like to say about fear is, you know, some of these villains is just turn it around and realize that they are showing up at the time and use it as a reminder, not a debilitator, and with fear specifically and it is also in the book is think of putting fear in the passenger seat of your car. Just never let fear grab the steering wheel.
Hussein Al-Baiaty: Very powerful. I love that so much.
John Stix: Take fear for a ride, right?
Hussein Al-Baiaty: Yeah, and maybe scare it for a change, right?
John Stix: Realize it’s okay. Be easy on yourself whether you’re – oh, by the way, I keep saying leader. I should crystalize how I define a leader. If you influence anyone in life, you’re a leader in my book, right? So for all you moms out there, dads out there, you know, brother, sisters, grandma, grandpas, you know whatever, if you are influencing someone, you’re a leader in my book.
So anytime we’re really pushing the envelope, really looking to change, really looking to grow, we’re going to hear the villains’ voices, but if we recognize the villains’ voices, we’re actually reminding us that we are on the right track and that every thought is our own choice and here is something I really want to leave your listeners with is that every thought is actually our own choice. We get to choose our thoughts.
We have that kind of power, but we wake up in the morning avalanched by thoughts, and our thoughts dictate our day, but we’re seldom taught that we can actually choose our thoughts. So if you wake up feeling fearful, you know what’s amazing, Hussein, is you get to choose if you are going to be fearful or not, right? So we have that kind of power. We have that kind of authority, we get to choose the thoughts.
So what I’d recommend is as we’re discovering who we are, we get to choose the thoughts we keep. If we really want to do what we desire and align our actions with what matters to us then also what we get to do is choose the thoughts that power us on our dream, not disable us.
Hussein Al-Baiaty: That’s very powerful man. You literally jam-packed this book with a lot of these ideologies again and stories and experiences that not only you went through but how to really go a little deeper, go to those nooks and crannies, figure out whether they’d be villains, whether they’d be heroes in your journey, whether all these good things you at least get to identify and from there, you can start making decisions that will lead you to I believe just a healthier version of yourself.
I think anytime anyone takes a step closer in, there is a healthier version of ourselves laying there that we get to pick up, and that becomes a part of us. John, I want to say congratulations to you on your book. It is so needed right now. I mean, I feel like the wisdom that you know, you can impart with, and like you said, whether it helps one person or hundreds of thousands of millions, you know, through this idea of igniting.
You know, sparking those fires within those answers. I love that so much. So congratulations to you. I mean, writing a book is no easy feat. I know you are already working on another one, which is amazing, and I am glad because your type of wisdom is fundamental. You know, whether you’re running a business, whether you’re doing the family thing or all four or all five, people who can share that wisdom are to me, important.
It’s crucial, that passing down of knowledge. One message, if you were to compact this entire book, if one person would want to walk away with this one lesson, what would you hope that lesson is?
John Stix: Well, first of all, yeah, thanks for everything that you said. I would say this, you know, this book, a lesson from this book is that all the answers that you seek for knowing who you are and what you want to become and who you want to become is already inside you. Just realize the incredible reservoir of what you truly desire and the answers you seek are in you and that the exact same path of discovering who you are to live that life also lies in what you want to do in terms of how you want to transform your company.
So if you are a leader that is looking to create an incredible culture, an impactful culture, a dynamic company, the same process is articulated in the book. So what I believe is, is that there’s a discovery who for the person, and there is an actually discovering who for your business and understanding the identity of your organization, the business you lead allows you to be able to lead it in an authentic way and creating a separation between the leader of who you are and the leader of your business.
Remember what I said at the beginning, that I didn’t know the separation. My identity was my company, and so you know, the real big lesson here is that the answers that you seek to run your organization, your business, your community, and your life lie within yourself, and as we discover who we really are, all of these answers and what we truly seek and desire, ignite in us, and we get this incredible opportunity to then line up our outward actions and who we may be blessed to lead in our life, empower them to live fulfilled as we live our fulfilled life itself.
Hussein Al-Baiaty: That is so powerful. Again, I am one of those people that you know, I was very fortunate to have grown up with an artist, a poet. You know, my dad was very involved in those kinds of things, so he, in a way, passed that down to me, you know, through his actions, through his prayers, through all these beautiful things, and I admired him so much for that, and you know, even after he passed, it made me go deeper.
It made me want to go deeper and really pull more of myself out. Anytime I – I will tell you this, anytime spent doing any of that, you just made our entire world better. So if there is anyone out there that helps do those kinds of things, which is literally why I am in this line of work, right? Where I help people write books and then talk to them about this wisdom, talk to them about their stories.
I truly feel like anytime anyone spends just getting to know themselves, you have just gotten to know your truest essence, your powers, your incredible, you know, like you said, reservoir, infinite reservoir of abundance. It is all tucked inside, you are 100% right. I love this book. If you are all out there seeking ways to go a little bit deeper, you got to pick up John’s book, Discover Your Who: Ignite the Answers Within and Reinvent Your Life. Besides checking out the book, where can people find you, John?
John Stix: Yeah, thanks, Hussein. Discoveryourwho.com is my website and all our information regarding product, services, and you know, obviously the book is there. I welcome speaking and getting in contact with anyone that is reaching out — and one last thing if I can Hussein, if we have you know, a few seconds, another lesson that I like to leave with everyone or just in my hub with this, my own perspective is we’re in this age of everyone looking for purpose, right?
We’re taught that, get on this path, we’re looking for purpose, maybe this thing will create as my purpose, maybe even the person I might meet one day might be my purpose, but I believe actually all of us have the exact same purpose. I believe all seven and a half billion of us actually have the very same purpose, and our purpose is to discover who we truly are and then align our outward actions with who we know we are, and that is our potential realized in the world.
Hussein Al-Baiaty: Man, that’s so powerful.
John Stix: So that thing, that thing you create, that business you build, right? That thing, that thing you create, that business you build, that person you meet one day, they’re all beautiful, beautiful aspects of our life, but to me that’s our potential realized, but our purpose is knowing who we really are.
Hussein Al-Baiaty: Deep and real, and I can’t agree with all of that more. It is so powerful. I love that sort of revelation, you know, that you talk about deeply in your book, but this is why people got to go pick it up. It does lead you to that idea, and it takes time. Like you said, it takes a practice. It is a lifelong thing, but you know, if you are going to build something, you know, there is this old quote.
I made a t-shirt about this a while back. It was really funny, but you know, there is an old quote like the mind is a terrible thing to waste, and I thought that was such a powerful, amazing quote, but it has that kind of a negative connotation to it, right? Like that it is a negative thing. So I say, you know, I said the mind is a beautiful thing to build, and I think the way we build our minds is asking ourselves those thoughtful questions.
I think your book sort of in a way reminded me of that quote and how it all comes together in our lives. So thanks again for sharing your journey, your stories with us, John. It’s been amazing just getting to know you today. Yeah, I appreciate your time.
John Stix: Such a pleasure. Thank you so much, and again, it was such a pleasure to be here.
Hussein Al-Baiaty: Yeah, thank you so much, and congratulations on your book.
John Stix: Thank you so much. Talk soon.
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