Episode 149 – How To Find True Success & Happiness with Alan Taylor

Rob: All right, welcome back to our Becoming Your Best podcast listeners, this is Rob Shallenberger your host for today and we welcome you from wherever you’re at in the world. We have an exciting guest today and this is going to be kind of a weird reverse interview almost. We have with us on the podcast today, Alan Taylor, who I’ve had a chance to get to know at a more personal level which is always nice because I can tell you that Alan is a truly genuine, amazing human being that has impacted, and it’s not understate it, millions of lives. I’ll just give you a little bit of a background on him. You know, there’s things that we don’t tend to say about ourselves. And he’s just a very humble person, but he’s had a pretty amazing career along the way. He is currently the host of Entrepreneur Weekly. It’s a weekly show for Entrepreneur Magazine. He also has his own show called The Drive with Alan Taylor, which is featured on more than 100 different radio stations around the country, it’s on Saturday morning.

So really, I mean, he’s reaching thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of people on a weekly and monthly basis. He’s working with Motor Trend, Car and Driver magazine, which I know many of us have heard of. More than all of this, you know more of all the things that you see on the front, we had the chance to meet Alan for dinner at Snowbird Ski Resort just a couple of weeks ago and it was so fun to connect on a personal level with someone and say, you know, truly like I said, what an amazing human being both on the outside and really on the inside. So I’m confident Alan’s going to have some good things for us today on our show that can make an impact in our business, our lives. And with that being said, Alan, welcome.

Alan: Thank you, Rob. Appreciate that. I hope so, right?

Rob: I’ve got to tell you, Alan, you’ve got to at least hit one of these buttons. At some point we’re going to get our show to the point where I have all of these buttons like this, but he’s got…

Alan: Wait a minute you mean this one.

Rob: See that’s what we’re talking about right there. He’s got all of these sound effects that he can whip up at a moment’s notice and at some point we’ll get to that to that level on this show. Well Alan if you don’t mind just give them a nutshell version on a little bit more about your background. You know, where you’ve been. You have a lot of experience and if you don’t mind just share with us the nutshell background on you so that they can get a little better feel for who you are.

Alan: Well, I was born in Houston, Texas, should I go that far back?

Rob: As far as you want to go?

Alan: I’ll start there because I’ll zip through it. There’s five kids in my family. My mom and dad are 90 and 87. They’ve been married 65 years.

Rob: Wow.

Alan: I think the youngest of us is 53 and the oldest is 63, I think somewhere in that range. We moved to California, Southern California, in like 1962, so I don’t really know, you know, ever living in Texas. My sister although lives in Texas now and loves it. But really, I grew up in Southern California and I grew up on the beach. My dad loved the ocean. He was kind of the old man of the sea. My dad is a bit of a guru. He’s written all kinds of books on self-help. His most famous one is How Your Mind Can Keep You Well. But he’s written 22 books. So I grew up with a guru of a dad. As a matter of fact, my friends, when I moved to Oregon in 1980, the friends that I met in local Oregon, in 80 if you remember, there was the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh that was going on here.

Rob: Well, I’ve got to say, you asked if I remembered Alan, I was five years old at that point.

Alan: Yeah well, you may have not remembered. You were my age. Anyway, the friends that I made in town used to call me the Bhagwan. They literally, because my dad was this guru from California that moved to Oregon. The reason why we moved to Oregon is because my dad bought John Wayne’s ranch after John Wayne died.

Rob: So awesome.

Alan: And he always wanted a ranch. He wanted a place we could do lectures and things. But I grew up under this this very interesting character that came from England to America in like the early 50s with only 100 bucks to his name. He was a diamond cutter. So he was a hardcore entrepreneur and here I work for Entrepreneur Magazine, I’m the voice of the magazine right now. And so to be the son of an entrepreneur, a person who was in search of the meaning of life. You know, in those days he was living in a travel trailer traveling around. He would go cut diamonds in a jewelry store window. So in New York City and Chicago and Houston. Well, then he met this cute little gal from Alabama, and of course my dad’s British, so now if you realize my dad has the British accent and my mom is from Alabama, talks like this, you can imagine how confusing that would be to a young guy growing up with those two characters.

So my dad is a hardcore entrepreneur. I mean, he came to America with, you know, just a couple of nickels to rub together and made his way through being an entrepreneur, taking pictures of kids and selling them to the parents. He sold furniture. I mean, my dad’s stories are that he did whatever it took to get along and ended up having five kids with this little gal from Alabama. I’m number four.

And so having a dad that is an entrepreneur changed my life. I didn’t know any other way. So when I when in high school, I was already working on cars with my buddies. I learned how to paint cars. So when I got out of high school, I went straight into ROTC to learn the trade of painting cars. I’m 58 years old, I spent 40 years…My 40th high school reunion was just last weekend. I spent 40 years playing around and working on cars, but being just like my dad. It wasn’t just cars that I could make money on. I did make money on cars, but I had to do whatever else it took. You know, buying and selling real estate, buying and selling even airplanes. Whatever it took I was willing to do. I was always willing to do, Rob, the worst job. I would do whatever the worst job was because nobody else wanted to do it and I’m like, I’ll do it. To me I always figured, to whom much is given much is expected.

Rob: Absolutely.

Alan: So I know that no matter, when they say, “Who wants to do this job?” And nobody raises their hand. I look around, I go, “I’ll do it.” That’s actually served me well, because people are like, “You know, that guy will do anything.” So that was one of my traits I got from my dad.

The other one was, since we do radio, we live by the clock, right? Because you’ve got to be on time. If you’re on radio, you’ve got to take your commercial breaks on time, you’ve got to be thoughtful of timing. Timing in life is the same way. So I’ve learned how to get up early. What is the old saying? Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise. I believe that. The other one that I learned when I was a young kid, sticks and stones will break your bones, but words will never harm you unless you let them.

Rob: Yeah.

Alan: So I learned how to not react when people would make fun of me. You know, my dad would always teach me, you know, don’t worry about it. Let it roll off your back like water off a duck’s back. And I remember all these little sayings and I love my dad, he’s a wise man. I went to dinner with you and your dad, I know you love your dad too.

Rob: Absolutely.

Alan: We are very fortunate to have great fathers and that is as we know, what is such a missing element in so many homes for so many young men and women these days, is they didn’t grow up with a noble dad. They didn’t grow up with any dad. I mean, he wouldn’t even pay his child support payment. I have a relative that has literally lived under a rock for 20 years to keep from paying his child support payments. It’s horrible. So I just thought to myself, what are the core virtues that I can have in my life as a young man and have that be the foundation? I mean, if you watch somebody build a house, they don’t build the walls on the dirt and then try and slide the foundation under it. They build the foundation. They dig into the dirt, they dig down and they lay the foundation in the dirt and they make sure that it’s strong and they put steel reinforcement and concrete. They really make sure that that foundation is something that’s going to hold that house for a lifetime.

So what I look to do is to create a foundation of my core beliefs that were, you know, based upon the 10 commandments. Of course, you know, do unto others as you would have them do unto you. All those types of things that were important to me as a young man and still are today. But I then just built my life on top of it. Now, did I fall? Oh, yes. Oh, yes I fell just like everybody falls. The shiny object goes by, the beautiful car, whatever it is that tempts us away from, you know, the path that we’re supposed to be on. And I fell as a young man, I got greedy, I got ambitious. What happens is ambition blinds us, and it blinds us to what we need to see about ourselves, about our business, about our family. So yeah, when I was like 30 years old, I was so…I was so… I don’t want this to sound wrong. I was so good at what I did that I got really, really wealthy at a young age. But you know what? What happens is, that then you lose track and you lose sight of the path that you’re supposed to be on. You know, the lamp under my feet was out. I snuffed it out. I didn’t know which direction to take so I took the gratification road. You know, self-gratifying is a horrible thing that we do. Buying ourselves the best of everything. Not denying ourselves anything, whatever it is. So I fell, I fell onto my knees. Economy took a little bit of a dip, I was overextended. I didn’t really have a plan in place. I just live day to day with my luck, I call it. I was one of those guys, everybody says, “You’re so lucky.” I’m like, “Yeah, you know, luck and a lot of hard work.” But then still I was arrogant and I was being blinded by my own success which is a big problem that happens to many people.

Rob: Happens to many people.

Alan: Yeah. So the economy went bad and business just kind of started going away. I remember I had a pile of cash in my safe and one day I reached to the back of the safe and it’s like I really had to kind of reach because, wait a minute, the safe has deepened. There was one last little pile of like 10 grand and I was like, “What happened? I had like 150 grand in there. Where is it going?” This was 25, 30 years ago. So I was like, “Oh my god, all my reserves are gone and I still owe a ton of money. What am I going to do?” I remember that day, that aha moment of, oh my gosh I’ve got to start selling assets when you know you’re in trouble. And then when I came to the end of all my assets, because I was one of those guys, I didn’t believe in bankruptcy because too many of my friends were, you know, involved with my business.

So I sold everything I owned, Rob. Everything. I remember I paid a guy for fixing a car for me with my grandfather clock in my front entrance way of my house. That was all I had. You know, he came to collect and I go, “Dude, I still don’t have the money. I don’t know what you want me to do.” He goes, “I want something out of your house,” and I go, “Come on down.” So we went down. We walked in the front door and there was like a $3000 grandfather clock. I owed him 600 bucks. And he says, “I want that clock,” and I go, “it’s yours, take it.” I remember watching my wife come down the stairway which was…Like the front door and then the stairway going up to the upstairs and right in that entrance was that grandfather clock. And she hears this bong, bong, bing, bong, you know, because it was a grandfather clock, right? The guy is trying to muscle it out the front door by himself. I’m not going to help him because he was just kind of an angry guy. My wife’s like, “What is going on?” I said, “I’m giving the grandfather clock to the mechanic who fixed our car.” And she looked at me like, “Oh my God, where is this going to end?” But God bless her. I mean, I have a good wife, we’ve been married 32 years, together 37. I think at that time we had a small child. I remember thinking to myself, “Man, I’m such a failure.”

And then the bill collectors came, Rob. And then the bill collectors came. They’re like the purple people eaters from Jason and the Argonauts. You got to watch that movie. Jason and the Argonauts. These purple people eaters, they’re like giant human creatures with big bat wings and they would steal from this old blind man. It was a horrible…I never forget that. It’s burned into my memory. It’s like the bill collectors were coming. Look I owed them money and that’s their job to collect the bills. There’s nothing wrong with the bill collectors but man it was a torturous time for me because here I have these little kids and a wife and I’d given away everything. I gave this house to this guy to pay that debt and sold this building and that building. I mean, I went from being a millionaire to a nothing-aire.

I had nothing but my tools. I had a toolbox, roll away toolbox and I thought that’s the only thing I’m not going to sell. You know what? Everything that I earned took me away from God, so God took away from me everything that took me away from Him. So I had nothing. When I was all done, I had nothing and I had paid off over a million bucks and I still had nothing and I still owed more money of which I paid on for years but I never chose the path…The attorney said, “Just go bankrupt. You can just go bankrupt and you can keep all your stuff.”

You know what? The good things in life are not things at all. That’s the problem, is that people want to keep their stuff, their things. I didn’t care about that. I wanted to find out what is the meaning of all this? Why is this happening to me? It was such an interesting time in my life because just before all this happened, I had a little sign. It was actually quite a big sign. My wife was pregnant when I was 30 years old. I’m 58, so this was 28 years ago. She was seven months pregnant and one day she says, you know, “I’ve got these pains and bleeding a little bit.” The doctor said, you know, “You’d better come in.” So we went in to see the doctor and we had a three-year-old child at the time, my oldest son. I had my oldest son on my shoulder and everything was happening in light speed. The baby started…They said, “This baby’s coming.” The baby started, the baby came. The baby died on my 30th birthday.”

Rob: Oh man.

Alan: So here I am, 30 years old, it’s my birthday, my son is sleeping on my shoulder. The doctor tells me the baby has passed. If this wasn’t a wakeup call, but you know what I did Rob? I ignored the wakeup call. I called my father and my father said to me, “You know what son?” He says, “This is such a sad thing,” he says, “But the good Lord knows what he’s doing and there’s a purpose for everything in life.” And he said, “And just like a tree if it has an imperfect leaf it drops that leaf and it makes another perfect leaf.” He says, “Because that’s how our creation works.” Is that we only want, you know, perfect human beings. Sometimes people live with, you know, babies that aren’t quite so perfect. You know it happens, but God wanted for me a perfect baby. So my dad said that you next child will be perfect. You’ll see. Just wait. He says, “Don’t worry, this will pass. This too shall pass.”

I was okay with the answer he gave me and I just thought, “Wow, this is so heavy. Why me God? Why? I thought I was one of your good ones.” We all think that, I’m living a good life, I’m a good guy, I’m an honest guy but you know what, it was the wakeup call. I didn’t listen to the wakeup call. Now, our next baby that was born, who has just given me a grandchild as a matter of fact, five months ago. She was perfect. And so was the next one and the next one. So what my father told me came true.

But back to me and my day of awakening. I didn’t wake up. I actually went deeper into a denial and I think a lot of us business people live in this place of denial. We don’t want to face the truth. We don’t want to face it. We want to run from it. We want to distract ourselves from it. We want to smoke, we want to drink, we want to party, we want to drive fast, we want to drive airplanes or hot air balloons or surf or ski. Any distraction not to feel the pain of the truth.

It reminds me of a joke and it’s not such a good joke but it’ll paint the picture. There was a flood and we’ve seen these floods, right? The flood is up to the front porch of this person’s house and a guy goes buying a boat and he says to the guy on the front porch, he says, “Hey, jump in the water’s rising. Jump in. Come on. Let’s go. And the guy says, “No. God will take care of me.” So a little while later, the water rose up and now he’s on the balcony of his second story. The guy in the boat comes back by and he goes, “Come on, come on, get in. Look, the water’s rising.” You’ve got to get in. The guy says, “No. God will take care of me. I’m not worried it.” A little while later he’s on the roof of his house and the water’s, you know, in the eaves of the roof. A helicopter comes by and drops a rope down and says, “Come on, grab the rope the water’s rising.” And the guy says, “No, God will take care of me. God will take care of me.” The guy drowned and he goes to see God, he says, “God, I thought you were going to take care of me.” And God said, “I sent you two boats and a helicopter.” And so we get chances, Rob, to wake up. We get two boats and helicopter but we’re prideful, arrogant.

Rob: Let me ask.

Alan: Go for it.

Rob: Let me ask you this Alan because I hope everyone’s really been listening to this because there’s been some hidden gems that I picked up and I’ve been typing as I’ve been listening. I think this is very relatable to a lot of people in a lot of different ways, in that number one, life can get busy and are we really focused on what matters most? I mean, we just finished a two-day, our signature, conference at Becoming Your Best last week, Alan. It was interesting because there were several people there who had gone through different challenges and it’s amazing to think where we’re at in life and why certain things happen and what we can do from those experiences. Rather than share some of those experiences that happen to other people, since we’re here on this show together, you’ve been through all of this stuff and what we didn’t get to yet is hear you on the backside being very successful. What’s maybe one or two lessons that you’ve learned from this entire experience that you went through that, you know, some might call the refiner’s fire. From all of this, if you were to look back…I mean, now you’re in your late 50s, so if someone has come to you who’s 20 years old or 25 years old and say, “Hey Alan, you’ve been through all these things, you’ve learned all these lessons, what would you tell me as a 25-year-old or in that age? You know, for any of us, what would you say?”

Alan: Well, you know, I have a 30-year-old son, I have a 26-year-old daughter, I have a 23-year-old son, I have a 22-year-old kid that got dropped off at my house and his parents never picked him up, so he’s turned into my son. He’s been with me for 12 years. And I have a 19-year-old son. So I have to hopefully convey to my kids these same principles that I’m about to share with you and they’re pretty darn simple. First of all, we over complicate our life. We really, really do. I mean, there’s a principle that most of us have heard it, it’s called the KISS principle. Keep It Simple Stupid.

Rob: Yeah, absolutely.

Alan: We overcomplicate ourselves. I mean, my kids actually call me a hoarder because after I lost everything and I started rebuilding, I started to like…You know, I got my security a little bit in the beginning from having some things even though I could…I always used to make the excuse, well, if I need them, they’re a currency, I can trade them for this or trade them for that. So my kids used to call me a hoarder because, I mean, there’s a tendency, it’s an insecurity thing. We become very insecure and so we end up with a lot of things. And that’s why I even said, “Even at this late stage of my life, I am still learning and I’m learning the same lesson over and over and over again.” You know, it’s just like with Bruce Lee. He does something perfect once but he had to do it perfect 10,000 times to be able to do it that perfect time that he needed to actually use it. So practice, practice, practice. Not that I want to practice the same stupid mistakes, but I do need to hear these principles over and over and over again as a constant reminder of really paying attention to life.

So I tell my kids, “Look, you’re going to get signs. God is not going to throw a brick through the window with a note on it that says, ‘Listen up, stupid.'” He’s going to whisper in your ear. That’s that quiet, little voice. The little, quiet angel on your shoulder. The devil on the other shoulder is yelling and screaming and hitting his drum and making a noise with a bugle and the guitar. So you really have to be willing to listen. What does it say in the Good Book? You know, “Be still and know that I am God.” So you have to learn how to be quiet and you need to learn how to…You know, whether you want to call it meditate or just be quiet every now and then when you’re in your car, this has worked for me, turn the radio off. Be with yourself and learn to be quiet. I tell my kids this often. I’ve driven, you know, 1000 miles without turning the radio on. And I sit with myself and I listen and I watch. I watch my thoughts.

So the one piece of information I want to give your audience is, the day you’re born, two of you are born. There’s a body that’s born and inside of that body are two. There’s your spirit and the other one. I think there’s that battle between good and evil inside of all of us that is going on all the time. You have to remember that all the thoughts that go through your head are not all yours. They are not all your original thoughts. They are, I guess, the sounds of the world you might say. Temptation. You’ll hear something, “Hey that sounds good. Why don’t you do that?” And you go, “Wait a minute where’d that come from? I know that’s not right, I’m married.” Or whatever the case may be. “No, I’m not going to steal that $10 bill that that guy just dropped. I’m going to tap him on the shoulder and hand it back to him.” There’s always that second voice. Where does that come from?

So the first thing you have to do in life is realize that there really is a good and a bad side of you and you have to learn how to say no to yourself. You really have to learn how to listen to the higher nature part of you and not the lower nature.

Rob: That deserves a sound effect. Can we have a sound effect, Alan?

Alan: Oh geez, where’s a good sound effect? Hold on.

Rob: All right, there we go. That deserved a sound effect. That was good. You know, you’ve probably heard that poem or that story about the good wolf and the bad wolf.

Alan: Right. The one you feed.

Rob: And which one’s the one you feed. That’s so true of our life. I know you know this, we’ve talked about this, our listeners know this. We spent decades researching what sets apart great leaders, high performers, and this is one of the traits that you see in the best of the best. We’re going to assume that when we’re talking about high performers and great leaders in the full sense of the word…and I love this definition of success. That how you feel about yourself when you’re by yourself is how successful you truly are. So I’m not using by the world’s standards, but someone who’s founded on the 12 principles, having character, they have a vision, one of the things they focus on is living their life in peace and balance. Part of this, and this is from our dinner conversation at Snowbird I remember this, is learning how to still and calm and quiet the mind.

There’s a virtue and a principle in there that is very powerful in great leaders. If you look through history at some of the greatest, George Washington, and none of these people are perfect by the way, let’s clarify it and we all acknowledge that. But nonetheless, they had some of the most substantial influences in history because of their leadership. George Washington, Mahatma Gandhi, and many others. What was some of their hallmark traits is they would take time to go out in the woods, they would take time to still their minds and quiet their minds and listen to this voice that you’re talking about and feed the good wolf. It begins with our thoughts. I just can’t agree with you more, Alan. I mean, we could talk about this forever because our thoughts determine our actions, our actions determine our results. When we can learn to still and calm and quiet our minds, whether it’s driving the car or going out in the woods or nature, there is something very, very powerful about that that can truly influence our lives. I hope we will listen. I hope we’ll make the time to listen because there is and there are really two voices out there and which one will we listen to and feed. And the one that’s quiet is the one that’s also the most powerful if we will still ourselves and listen to it.

Alan: Yap. So the other thing that I tell my kids and young people and people in general, is you need to learn how to forgive. Because look, at this point in my life I am over living for my ego and that’s really a big thing. I always say to my kids, you know, who are you doing this for? You know, are you doing it because all your friends think you’re going to be cool and you look cool and you sound cool? Or are you doing it because it’s going to move you forward in life to what the ultimate goal is in life, to be happy? To be successful, but to be happy. So that to me is the same word, happy and successful. Those go together.

I mean, if you just take Jesus when he was on the cross and he was he was being crucified, the last thing he said, the most important words that everyone on earth knows. He looked up into the heavens while he was being killed and murdered and he said, “Forgive them, Father, because they just don’t know what they’re doing.” If they knew, they wouldn’t be doing it in essence, right? So when my kids start fighting, and I have three boys and a girl…Actually, the fourth is a boy also. So it’s like four boys and they get into some pretty good fights. I said to them, “Hey, hold on, hold on. Do you really think he knew what he was doing when he accidentally stepped on your toe and smashed your foot and whatever? I know you’re angry, I know you’re pissed off, I know it hurt, but you know what, what did Jesus say? They were killing him. Can’t you just forgive the guy?”

So forgiveness to me is the doorway to freedom because what we want to do is we want to kill somebody that has hurt us. Inside it’s like, “Murders in our heart,” when somebody does something wrong, right? Well, the first thing you got to do is say, “No. You know what, that person really doesn’t know what they’re doing so I’m just going to forgive them on the spot with calmness, kindness, and patience.” That’s one of my dad’s things that he taught me. Forgive on the spot with calmness, kindness, and patience. And actually what you’re doing is killing the devil part of you. You know what I mean? Because that evil side of you is going to drive you to do, say, and think things that you really would never do in a conscious mind. You are becoming unconscious and that that dark consciousness is going to take over.

So really you got to correct the problems. “First of all, you step on my toe again and I’m going to punch you in the throat. That’s all there is to it.” And you can do that with a smile and the person will go, “Oh my gosh, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to.” Or, “Yeah, give it a try.” Well, you know, if it’s kids, you’re going to have some fun but the reality is that people are not just wicked by nature. They do things, you know kids and young people, they do things because they can’t help themselves. So what I try and do is stop them dead in their tracks. Say, “Hold on, hold on. Do you realize what you’re doing? Because if you continue on this path, you’re going to really make me mad and I’m going to have to retaliate either through my lawyer or if you step on my toe again, I will push you off.”

So I actually learned, if you can forgive in advance, forgive in advance, without having to be told to forgive, you can teach yourself to forgive, you can then see clearly how to deal with the problem. And guess what, you may make a friend out of a potential, what would have been an enemy. And all of a sudden that person becomes an ally because you didn’t judge him, hate him and hurt him. So I’ve taught my kids, first of all, learn how to forgive and if you can’t forgive your loved ones, then how are you going to forgive somebody you don’t even know. So you got to learn how to forgive your family and your loved ones and people in your office and whatever. Sit down, have a talk with them. Say, “You know that really hurt.” And man, you’d be amazed what comes out of these conversations if you can muster up the strength of character that it really takes the leadership skill that it takes to forgive.

Rob: That’s it. Yes.

Alan: Forgive in advance just because it’s the right thing to do.

Rob: That is exactly it. Right there, it is a test of leadership and character and I call that the liberation principle. Because, think of what our world would be like if we really truly had the ability to forgive and move on, because in the end if we don’t…I just love that and it’s something that we will all face at some point in our life to certain degrees, different degrees. If we don’t forgive people, in the end it’s going to cause us to really lose ourselves. And that’s why it’s so important to have a vision because we go back to the vision. I mean, think about this, we’ve all done this where we’ve held a grudge against someone. Who’s the one that really gets hurt by holding the grudge? Isn’t it us? It’s wasted time, it’s wasted energy. We generally can’t control the outcome. We might influence it, but can’t control it.

So it’s the liberation principle. It’s like when we were in Rwanda. 1.1 million people killed in a genocide, and we did entire podcast on this, but the bottom line is, it was neighbor killing neighbor and they didn’t have any way to put them through the judicial system and so ultimately, what was required is the perpetrator had to go tell the family member who they killed in their family, where their bodies were and how they did it. And it was the family’s job and responsibility to forgive them. And when we we’re over there, we watched a couple. The mom described what happened. She said I had five of my children. They were killed by a machete. She told her story and everyone’s just in awe and then right next to her was this man and he said, “I’m the one that killed them.”

Alan: Man.

Rob: My dad was there for it and everyone’s just sitting there jaw dropped, thinking, “Could we even do that in our culture?” He said, “Yeah, now we’re close to best friends. I help her in her garden. I help her take care of her home.” He said, “I was a young man at the time and just was doing what I was told.” But the point was, they truly forgave and it liberated them and now their country is the second fastest growing economy in all of Africa. It’s because of what you just said.

Alan: In our world, in the USA, you don’t hear enough about learning how to forgive. It’s like not something that is taught. Parents don’t even know how to teach their kids because unfortunately, the parents of theirs didn’t teach them. It’s like a forgotten, you know, a trick. It’s like, “Oh, that’s a trick. No, forgiving doesn’t really work. I need revenge.” Wow! Are you serious?

I want to read you something that I just put on Facebook the other day. “I am strong because I’ve been weak. I am fearless because I’ve been afraid. I am wise because I’ve been a fool and I’ve been foolish.” The thing is that it’s like, Wow, we need these things. We actually do need these things to have that contrast in our life so that we understand. It’s funny. My wife and I have traded places lately. I’ve been so busy for 25 years running around, running around, and running and all of a sudden my wife is becoming kind of successful and very busy and she’s flying here and going there. You know, we’re laughing at each other because now I’m at home, and I still travel a lot too, and she’s gone. She goes, “See, I’ve been telling you this for 25 years. See how it feels.” So sometimes we need to know how it feels and so that’s why we need to be down because then we can appreciate being up.

So when you are down, people, realize that it’s an important part of your being up and your getting up because it gives you compassion, it gives you understanding, gives you depth and width of your understanding. That’s why I think you will not find many leaders that haven’t endured being down, being down and out. So many of them. Actually, their stories are the best. I interviewed the former president and CEO of Calvin Klein just yesterday and he said that, you know, when he was a young man, he worked on an oil derrick out in the Louisiana…You know, in the ocean out there and it was the hardest work. He did 12 hours a day. And all of a sudden he goes from an oil worker, the hardest job in the world, to being, you know, the head of a fashion company. And he took it from under $3 billion to $8 billion in sales. But had he not had that experience of the hardest work, he couldn’t appreciate his team, he couldn’t appreciate and have that contrast that he needed to be able to do his job. So being down, being out, you’re not really out unless you are out. You’re really just down, pick yourself up.

Rob: Well, I mean, this has been fabulous. I hope this has been beneficial to our listeners in the different facets of these stories that we picked up some gems that can certainly have an impact in our lives. No doubt, I have gotten something from this. I would invite all of our listeners to do something, and that is to share this with a person who you think would benefit from it. I don’t often ask that during these shows. But there’s some gems in this story that there’s a lot of people out there in the world who could benefit from this. We all could. And I would just invite you to consider one person to share this show with who you think might benefit from this. Alan, as we get ready to wrap up, it’s just amazing how fast the time goes by sometimes.

Alan: I know.

Rob: How could people find you? You mentioned to me before the show, If you could just briefly give them a couple of ways that people could find you if they want to learn more about you, your story and just to you in general. Would that be all right?

Alan: Sure. Listen, I work for Entrepreneur Magazine and I do their radio show. So you can go to and my show is called Entrepreneur Weekly. It’s actually a Saturday show and a Sunday show. I do two one hour shows with interviews. I’ve interviewed Rob on the show, and you did a great job, Rob. So that’s entrepreneur. My car show. I have a very fun weekend car show. I love cars. I grew up on cars and have never stopped, is called The Drive with Alan Taylor. I’ve done that show…Actually, it was it was Motor Trend radio show and then it was Car and Driver radio show and then when I decided to go out on my own I thought, “Gosh, I’m on 100 radio stations. I don’t really need the magazine anymore. I’ll make more money as an entrepreneur.” You never stop thinking like that. “If I just come up with my own name.” So I came up with

Other than that, Rob, I’d like to do more with you. I respect what you guys do greatly and I think that these stories need to be told more often. At the end of the day, I went from being just a hard working guy to the voice of these magazines. I worked with Time Inc., with Fortune and Money. I worked with Inc magazine and right now I’m working with Entrepreneur Magazine. How does that happen? It happens through having, you know, I think a lot of faith, following your heart, following that quiet voice and not being discouraged by the squirrel or the shiny things. You know that cartoon squirrel. But I appreciate you having me on your show, man, I really do.

Rob: Alan, it’s been fabulous. Can we get can we get one more sound effect before we wrap up here?

Alan: Oh my gosh. What do I have? I got my favorite one. Sure. We should take it out. My favorite movie, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

Rob: Oh yeah, here we go.

Alan: I’ll let this play and you can end your show.

Rob: Well, thanks for everyone for being on the show. Alan Taylor, hope you have a fabulous day wherever you’re at in the world. Thanks Alan.


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