Episode 266: Life Lessons with John Fitzpatrick

Episode Summary

The human mind has infinite fuel to create millions of thoughts, yet it can concentrate only on one at a time. When we find a challenge in our way, we can either focus all our energy on that particular problem or step back and see the easiest way to solve it and keep thinking about our primary goal.


Joining me today is John Fitzpatrick, President, and CEO of Force Marketing, a company dedicated to transforming the brand-to-consumer buying experience in the automotive business. We talked about his personal and professional life, why he gets involved in philanthropic activities, and how he handles the onboarding process to newcomers in his company. We also talked about keeping the trust meter healthy in business and how the pandemic affected the industry.


Rob Shallenberger: Alright, welcome back to our Becoming Your Best podcast listeners. I’m grateful for you and all the good things that you’re doing in the world, especially as we’re going into 2021. Well, here I have on our show today an incredible friend, a great guest. He’s been successful in so many different things he’s done, and I really just look up to him as a good friend and someone who has influenced a lot of people for good. So, I’m going to give you just a very brief personal background, and then I’ll let John tell us a little bit more about him. But I’m confident that he’s going to share some great lessons learned with us that will impact both the personal and the professional side of our lives.  


Rob Shallenberger: So, I’ve known John Fitzpatrick now for several years through an initial meeting, through YPO, an organization, Young Presidents’ Organization, and then been back with his company several times to meet with his leadership team, really the whole company. And that’s where I’ve just had a chance to observe John in different settings. And he co-founded a company called Force Marketing in 2006, and since then, I’ve watched it be disruptive through the automotive marketing services industry. And they’re using software that’s disruptive and the way they help different automotive agencies and companies market their services is just awesome. It’s awesome to watch and see them disrupt that particular industry and do things that are really not being done by anyone else. They’ve grown their team, and he started a realty group. And so, he has all these accolades. But more than that is where I want to say, I’ve watched him in the background. He has three children and he’s devoted to not only really being a leader inside the organization, but he’s also devoted to being a great father. Of course, we’re not perfect, but I’ve watched him playing baseball with his son, trying to really show up with his wife and be with his family and make time for these different areas of his life that really matter. He’s been involved in some different philanthropic efforts. And so, all of that to say, none of us are perfect, but man, John is one of those good guys out there. And just, I’ve been so impressed with you, John, through the years, and welcome to the show. 


John Fitzpatrick: Oh, thanks. I appreciate that. That’s one heck of an opening. And I think the same thing about you and your organization. You guys have been an important part of keeping business leaders and CEOs grounded and understanding how we can retire. And I’ve got a ton of gratitude for the learnings throughout the years – and the friendship has been probably even more key. So thank you. 


Rob Shallenberger: Well, and I appreciate you being here, John. I know you have a lot of insights, and that’s what I really want to tap into. And I would love for our listeners to learn from some of your experiences and background as well. And so, we’re going to really do this in two parts. One is, we’re going to start for a few minutes to talk about the business professional side of things. And then we’re going to move into your personal side, as far as what are some of your experiences through life that has taught you and some of your lessons learned. And I know you have a lot of those on both sides. So, as we start on the professional side, if you think back through all of the years now, what are some of the things that you’ve seen, that have helped you be successful, that helped others be successful? Some of your lessons learned in business, if you will. 


John Fitzpatrick: It kind of goes back to I read a book right out of college, and I’m so glad it was handed to me, and you might be familiar with Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements. It’s a simple philosophy. And for those that have not read that book, The Four Agreements are sort of rooted in and around these four: be impeccable with your word, don’t take anything personally, don’t make assumptions, and always do your best. And then I know you know that one, “Good, better, best, never let it rest until the good is better, and the better is best.” And so, for me, as I think about business, it’s sort of rooted in those four things. When you’re talking to a client and you tell them you’re going to do something, do it. And if you don’t, tell them why you couldn’t do it, and then tell them what you’re going to do as a result of the follow-up. And that’s the same thing with your employees, your stakeholders, or your shareholders. They want to know at the end of the day that they can trust you. Your family wants to know they can trust you. Say you’re going to be home for dinner – be home for dinner. If you didn’t, have a really good excuse, and then try to figure out a way to make up for it. I think there’s just – well that seems super simple, it is sort of what has been successful for me – is understanding how to live life through sort of those simple blocks and tackle moments that the sort of The Four Agreements have given me and provided me. And then more recently, I’ve learned – probably more in the last five years and really in the last 18 months with 2020 – is the power of gratitude. And just always understanding and looking through the lens of how grateful you already are. When you are able to do that and step back, every challenge that you then have doesn’t really seem that hard. Someone else out there has got a tougher go of it. My grandfather used to say, “If you put all your problems in the middle and there are 10 people in a circle, and you’ve got to pick one to take back out, you’d probably take your problem back out.” That’s helpful. That’s certainly helpful. Maybe I threw a lot at you there, but that’s sort of how I think about the success we’ve had, the failures that we’ve had, how do we get through them. They’re sort of rooted in those things. 


Rob Shallenberger: Let me have you expand on that if you don’t mind – and when I say that, I mean, gratitude. And the reason I’m asking about that, it’s interesting you would say that, John, particularly all these things on the professional side. We could say, “Get your data, check your KPIs”, and yet you go to gratitude and The Four Agreements of being impeccable with your word and doing your best. And it’s interesting with gratitude, I’ve kind of found the same. I started keeping a gratitude journal in recent months. And there’s a lot of science behind the power of gratitude and the impact that can have not only on our mental and emotional health but in so many different aspects of our lives. So, I’m just a little curious, can you go a little deeper on gratitude? Why would you say that? What impact have you seen that have? Just expand on that a little bit. That’s interesting you would say that. 


John Fitzpatrick: I mean, it’s everything. This morning, we had plumbers in here because we found that there’s a leak in the basement. Now my office is in the basement, and that could ruin someone’s day. But if I step back for a second, and I go, “Wait for a second, I live in a gorgeous house, I run a successful business, I’ve got a busy work in front of me, I’ve got beautiful kids. It’s a leak, it’s first-world problems. What are we talking about?” And get the leak fixed, and you fix it and you move on. And so, I think there’re just moments throughout the day that if you can step back, and have gratitude for all that you have and not focus on the things that are bothering you or the thing in front of you that’s halting you or the thing that’s causing friction in your life. And I’ll tell you, working with organizations – I’ve been super honored and blessed to be asked five years ago to join the Board of Directors for the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation – you see what some of these families are going through, and if you can’t find gratitude in that with three healthy kids, you’ve got bigger problems. And so, it’s moments like that. And then the same thing, I’m also on the board of Bright Futures Atlanta, where we have a private school in a rough part of town, and we’re trying to, through education and guidance and there’s a spiritual aspect of it, get these kids on the right track, and we do a good job of that. The problem is we only touch 100 families. We need to be bigger. But that, seeing the families and what they go through and their challenges are much different than the challenges that we have, at least in my household. And so, it’s all of those moments that you’re able to collect these tokens of gratitude, that really help. And if you can just sort of stay in that moment of constantly being blessed, then it’s sort of hard to be stressed. And it sounds cheesy, but that’s the reality. 


Rob Shallenberger: I couldn’t agree more, John. And it’s interesting that we’re focusing on the leadership side of the business and still talking about gratitude. And it’s interesting because, in my opinion, one of the roles of a leader is to move people forward, to give us a direction, to give hope, inspiration. I’ve been fascinated with the mind throughout 2020, I’ve really been studying a lot about the mind. Whether it’s anxiety or depression or gratitude, what’s going on up here? And I think maybe that’s because my mom had early-onset Alzheimer’s, and so there’s this real vested interest in the brain. But one of the things that I’ve learned is what you said, and that is the mind can’t think two thoughts at the same time. So, it’s either going to be focusing on a problem, which creates anxiety and fear and all kinds of emotions that go with that, or we can focus on gratitude, which inherently brings hope and direction and so many other things. So, I just love that you said that. We hadn’t talked about this before, and it’s a pretty interesting direction. 


John Fitzpatrick: And just our business lives and our personal lives are constantly intertwined. And so, John Gordon does a good job in one of his books of talking about framing your mind around the things that you get to do instead of the things you have to do. As parents, you’ll get that moment where the kids are just going crazy, and you’re thinking, “You know what, I get to change this diaper.” There’s a moment of gratitude in that, right? There are people that can’t have children, there are people that have not experienced that in their lives. There are people that are on the other side with the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation and nurses changing that type. There are so many areas where you can say, “Oh, man, I’ve got a crying baby in the middle of the night”, or you can say, “No, I get to do this.” 


Rob Shallenberger: I love it. I love that perspective, John. Let me shift gears and ask you a different question. One more question on the professional side, and then we’ll switch over to the personal, even though that kind of has been a little bit touch on the personal. If someone was joining your team, Force Marketing – you know, they’re brand new, whether they’re season coming from another company, or whether they’re just coming out of college, or they’re just finishing high school. What would you say to them? What would you give them as one or two pieces of advice, starting out with your company? As “You want to be a great team member in my organization? Here’s a couple of things to focus on.” 


John Fitzpatrick: Yeah, great question. And we do this, this is a big part of our onboarding. Within the first 48 hours, I have a meet and greet with each person and get to know them. And I usually catch them off guard because I say, “Well, I want you to start – let’s speed date – and I want you to start with where were you born, how did you grow up, what did that look like, siblings? Bring me all the way to today.” And they’re not expecting that right off the bat. So, throw the resume out, I don’t care what you did in the last job, I don’t care what you did in college. I mean, I do, but I want to get to know you. What are your hobbies, what makes you tick? That’s the first thing that we go through, but the questions, the sort of framework I want to give them into how to be successful, in my opinion, is one, dive in and get involved early and often with all of the people you work with. Understand what your role is, but how you can help your colleagues in their roles. And the quicker you can understand – if you remember in constitutional law in high school or whatever, how a bill becomes a law – figure out how a bill becomes a law at Force Marketing from when a contract is signed all the way through to the interaction with the client and then the longevity of the client and understand how that’s successful in our team behind the scenes. And the deeper knowledge you have in not just your role, but how your role fits within everyone else’s role, will allow you to be a better team player, will allow you to have a bigger view of what we’re doing. And then that goes into my second thing, which is to understand why a client hires us and more importantly, why does a client keep us. 


Rob Shallenberger: Great thoughts. I love that. And I love the fact that you’re getting to know people’s stories. We’re with a company, I won’t mention the name, but it’s a Fortune 50 companies, a name everyone will recognize. And we’re talking about what builds trust. And one of the things that build a deep amount of trust with someone is just getting to know their story personally. Getting to know them at a personal level inherently raises the trust meter, we call it. And there was this mid-level executive, we’ll call him, he came up afterward and said, “I just I had this kind of epiphany.” And his thought was, “I realized that I’ve been in this office next door to so and so for almost 10 years, and I don’t truly know their story.” And I just love the fact that that’s one of the things you shared is getting to know people personally is such a big deal. And then everything else you said is great. I think that’s something though, that all of us can take and do right now, with the people who are close around us. Do we know their story and what makes them tick? Because then we can talk about things that are motivating to them. So, anyway, great thought.  


Rob Shallenberger: Let’s shift over to the personal side, John. I’m going to ask you a couple of different questions. And our listeners need to know that this is not pre-scripted. There’re some questions we’ve talked about, but there are also new questions. And so, I’m going to ask you a couple. And one is on the personal side, first of all, let’s stay with this lessons learned theme here. What’s one or two lessons learned through life that if you had to pass those on to your kids, you’d say, “Kids, this was really important.” And then to follow that up secondly, we’ll talk in between that with a question of what’s one of the biggest challenges that you’ve ever experienced in your life, and how did that impact you? So, let’s start with the lessons learned side of it. If you’re talking with your kids, they’re a little bit older, and you’re saying, “Hey, kids, these are one or two things that I really learned from my life that really impacted me”, and you would hope that they would learn those lessons or take them to heart, what would you share? 


John Fitzpatrick: Practice and patience. Practice does find a way to maybe not get to perfect, but it is incredible how you look at high achievers, and then you look at how they’ve practiced their craft, whatever that is. And the amount of time and dedication they put into that to get the outcome. Oftentimes you don’t have to have LeBron James’ talent to make it to the NBA. That’s why there’s only one LeBron James. By the way, LeBron James is different because he tapped into his practice element with the talent. And now you have this superstar. But there are time and time again – and sports are easy to go to, but I think business has them all over the place too – where you look at people that did not have the best hand dealt to them from the get-go, didn’t make that a factor in their life, looked at ways to overcome, looked at ways to stay dedicated to what they were passionate about and practice their craft, and all of a sudden they’re a pro. You just see it time and time again in life. And so, I would tell them – and I do; on the basketball court tomorrow I’ll probably share some of this with James and in ballet or gymnastics, or just friendships or whatever they’re doing – we’re talking about, well, you’re frustrated because you didn’t do a good job at whatever that was. When did you practice last? Do you really want it that bad? And if you do, dedicate yourself and it’ll be a weird way how that works out.  


John Fitzpatrick: And then patience because that’s the other thing that kids want. They don’t really tend to have patience, so it’s like, “Well, I practiced yesterday, so I should be great today.” Well, that’s not really the way it works. You’ve got to put in the time, you’ve got to be dedicated and you’ve got to have the patience in that journey and you’ll eventually get to the destination. By the way, when you get to the destination, the journey isn’t over. You’re going to want to go further. And you should want to go further, as part of what makes it great. That’s what makes the journey exciting, that’s why the thrill is in the hunt. So, I would sort of root it probably around practice and patience in terms of… At least at this stage. I’ve got young kids five, three, and 18 months. Maybe it’s different down the road. I haven’t gotten there yet. So, if you ask me five years from now, I might have something different.  


Rob Shallenberger: So, from your own perspective, why would you say practice and patience? I mean, as you look back now in your life, you’d want your kids… And I 100% agree it’s interesting how those are close cousins of each other, aren’t they?  


John Fitzpatrick: Yeah, that’s right.  


Rob Shallenberger: I mean, practice over and over. But man, there’s a book called Mastery, and what it illustrates – and people can visualize this – is this line that goes up at a 45-degree angle, and then it plateaus. And that’s our human growth pattern. Now, it varies, of course, but the point is, say we go skiing and it’s the first time ever. There will be massive growth the first five to 10 times skiing, and then there’s kind of a plateau period. And then if a person continues on, practices, continues, there’s another growth phase and then there’s another plateau. And part of the point of the book is that most people quit or give up on the plateaus.  


John Fitzpatrick: That’s right.  


Rob Shallenberger: And so, there is a combination of practice, whatever it is, and then being patient while still grinding at your craft, right? Whatever that is, that can even be parenting. We can’t give up in parenting but there’s going to be plateaus and times where it’s like, “Man, maybe I suck as a parent, I don’t know.” But we keep at it, we keep practicing and we’ll get better. We’ll have some epiphanies, we’ll have some “aha’s”, but those are two great thoughts. I don’t know that I’ve had that shared ever before, John. And do you mind if I ask you on the personal side – again, not pre-scripted – if you look back at your life, what’s one of the biggest challenges that you’ve ever faced, whether it’s now at this point in your life, or whether it was in high school or college, wherever? As you look back, what was one of your biggest challenges and how did that help you grow? I mean, how did that shape who you are? 


John Fitzpatrick: I’ve had a really blessed life and it’s hard for me to find big monumental challenges. Look, I grew up though, with a single mother – so my parents divorced when I was really early. You could dwell on that and see the bad, I sort of see the good. I think that especially when you get to know your parents further on in life and who they are, and what makes them tick, you’re like, “Oh, man, I’m glad y’all broke up early on. Staying together probably would not have been good for anybody.” And they’re good friends now, so it works. And they’re grandparents and happy with where their lives are and both remarried. But I don’t really go there because I think it got us to sort of grow up quicker and realize changes are going to happen, and you’ve just got to adjust and adjust the sails and keep going. I don’t really know. I’ve probably had a more recent one. I guess what comes to mind because we’re coming off of 2020 is where we were in March. We’re in the automotive marketing business. The number one thing to go in a crisis is the marketing budget. You get 1000 dealers all over the country – franchise dealers – that call you pretty much within 48 hours, and say, “Pause my ad spend.” Well, we’re a technology business, so there’re some SaaS fees in there and then “Oh, by the way, if I’m not using the SaaS, then I don’t want to pay for the fees of that either, so bring my fees to zero, pause my ad spend.” We also make a percent of ad spend. Okay, that means you go from whatever your revenue was to zero, but you’re still looking at 100 families. What do you do? We are also, we started in 2006, so the first one was the financial crisis getting through ’08, ’09 Cash for Clunkers. We all remember that General Motors and Ford and Chrysler were all at the Capitol begging for the ability to stay open from the government and we granted them that. It was a good move. It was a good move then, it’s a good move now. We had to save the auto industry. But that was a challenging time too because marketing dollars went to zero. They were just trying to stay alive. Got through it, and then we didn’t think you’d see another scenario like that, and then you saw a much different scenario where this wasn’t financially related; this was everybody around the globe had to halt and say, “Okay, we can’t even interact with each other. And if we do, we’ve got to wear a mask and be six feet apart and people are dying at a high rate. Whoa, what is going on? Forget about business, we need to stay alive.” For a moment there, that’s sort of where our mindsets were. Maybe I’ve had crazy challenges in life that I just can’t think of because that is so still real, if that makes sense. That moment is not far enough away. And how did we get through it? We just tapped into our culture, our people, over-communicating, “Here’s what we’re going to do step by step, day by day. We’re going to get through this.” We had a positive attitude throughout it all. One of our core values is “glass half full” because not only do we want to be positive, we want to be optimistic about how things will turn out. And I was just incredibly amazed at how well everybody was able to do that through that time. And we stayed together, we hunkered down, we became tighter than ever before. We thought we were a pretty tight company before, but we’re even tighter now.  


Rob Shallenberger: Interesting.  


John Fitzpatrick: And we were able to get through that sort of tough time. So, I don’t know if that’s exactly what you were looking for for an answer.  


Rob Shallenberger: Oh, yeah. 


John Fitzpatrick: But that’s a recent hardship that we are now sitting here, and again, when you tap into gratitude, you’re like, there’s not a problem on the planet you could put in front of me right now, within some degree, that is going to likely overcome March and April of last year. 


Rob Shallenberger: Yeah. Well, hopefully, one of the things that I hope people dial into and are catching here is your mindset. We all have different challenges, we all have faced different things in all shapes and sizes. I mean, whether you’re talking about the board of watching these people who go through cancer in their families watching their children – which I can’t imagine something more grueling than that, watching your son or daughter, especially young ones – go through something like that. And so, you’ve got that side of the spectrum, you’ve got COVID, you’ve got all these things with business challenges, and yet, what we’re saying here is “You know what? The glass is half full.” And it’s not that we ignore the problems, right? We can find problems. There’s an old saying that says “You find what you’re looking for.”  


John Fitzpatrick: That’s right.  


Rob Shallenberger: And if you’re looking for problems, and you’re looking for the negative, there’s plenty of places to find that. But if we search out the positive, we search out where can we be optimistic, where can we succeed, that’s where great leaders are made. And I think it’s important for all of us to remember that when we talk about leadership, it starts right here within each one of us. That’s a choice for us. I mean, Elon Musk is certainly not a perfect person – like none of us are – but he continues to defy all of these people when they keep telling him, ”It’s impossible, you can’t do it. You can’t go to Mars by that date. You can’t create SpaceX and do that in that amount of time. You can’t do this with Tesla.” And yet he does it. And you’re doing the same thing with Force Marketing. And there are so many other people that have this choice right now, of what are we going to do, and where are we going to spend our time and attention? And I just think it’s good for all of us to go back and look at, hey, whether it’s in a relationship, whether it’s in our business, if you focus on the problem, there’s negative energy that surrounds the problem. 


John Fitzpatrick: That’s exactly right. And I like to say that – I’m a big quote guy, so you’ll probably hear more of these – “Obstacles are what you see when you take your eye off the goal”. And that is so true. Think about a hurdler, how the heck do they get to the end of the line if they were just focused on that first hurdle? It’d be very tough. The best ones understand rhythm and repetition and how to sort of not look at each… I don’t even think they look at the hurdle at all, the best; they literally are just looking at the end role knowing their repetition, every two steps up. And I think that’s a big piece that we often will miss when we go through the challenges of life, is being intentional about focusing on the outcome that you’re looking for and positive that you can make it there. 


Rob Shallenberger: This is one of the powers, John, because we’ve talked and we’ve done the training of Do What Matters Most and vision goals and pre-week planning. And this is part of having a vision. It becomes our Northstar, it becomes our internal compass. And when challenges arise, we can either focus on the problem, or we can go back to the vision. And I love what you said about a goal. It’s hard to see an obstacle when we’re focused on the goal. And there will be plenty of obstacles. Again, use Elon Musk as an example. How many obstacles are there in going to Mars?  


John Fitzpatrick: Oh my God. Yeah, exactly. 


Rob Shallenberger: Or to the moon or developing what he’s developed with SpaceX and Tesla and doing what others said was impossible. It’s just not in his DNA to look at the problems. It’s like, “I don’t care what you say, what’s the solution?”  


John Fitzpatrick: That’s right.  


Rob Shallenberger: And this is something that any of us can do, whether it’s in our house, relationships, business across the board. So, maybe one last thought before we wrap this up. We’re already at 26 minutes, I can’t believe that. 


John Fitzpatrick: Wow, that was quick, man. 


Rob Shallenberger: I know, it goes by so fast. We’ve been on this topic right now for the last few minutes. And so, we’re going into 2021. A lot of, I’d say hope and optimism right now that we’re hoping that things will get back to normal and we’ll control what we can control and that won’t dictate our happiness one way or the other. But what would you say going into 2021 to our listeners? What’s a tip, what’s a thought that you may share with them as we go into this new year? 


John Fitzpatrick: I don’t want to be overly repetitive but it would be tied to gratitude and maybe if I took it a step further, I would say be intentional with your gratitude that you hand out. Telling people they did a good job, or reminding them that they’re a key part of the team, or telling someone you love them. It could be a big meaty thing, it could be a really small, simple thing. If we’re intentional with it, I think we will get through years like 2020, we’ll prosper in years like 2021 because I believe 2021 has got all the makings for a fantastic year. And I think that would just be – just be intentional with your gratitude, in your own mind and your own thoughts, and then how you’re handing that out. 


Rob Shallenberger: I like that. It indirectly reminded me of something that a lot of us have heard before, it’s a story. It’s about that starfish. Two people walking on the beach and this beach, because the tide has gone down, is littered with starfish. And he reaches down and picks up a starfish and throws it back out in the water and his partner walking next to him asks him, “You think you’re really going to make a difference here? I mean, there’re thousands, hundreds of thousands of starfish. Do you think you’re really going to make a difference?” And he looks and he said, “Well, it made a difference to that one.” 


John Fitzpatrick: That’s right.  


Rob Shallenberger: And as we look at gratitude and being – I love the word you used – intentional, as we look at intentional gratitude and focusing on the things that we can control and being grateful and helping where we can help, it’s that one little starfish, it’s maybe… Do you mind if I share a quick thought here, John? 


John Fitzpatrick: Just love what you said. Of course. 


Rob Shallenberger: There’s one time, and I remember I was in North Carolina on a trip, we were really focusing on principle five, “Live the golden rule”, we talked about how do you create that customer experience, and we focused on that all morning. And I thought, “I’m going to test this throughout the day, and use this” It sparked a thought in my mind, I remember stopping at a gas station, and I walked in, and there was this lady, and you could tell that she had put a lot of time and effort into her hair. But she didn’t look very happy at the moment. And I just said to her, “Man, I love your hair, you have beautiful hair.” And she got like this spark and this smile, she’s like, “Oh, man, thank you so much.” And I don’t know how she felt the rest of the day, but I know that that simple 10-second interaction changed my trajectory for the rest of the day. And you said whether it’s saying thank you to someone, or whether it’s giving them a compliment, these little things that are intentional can impact our lives way deeper than I think we may realize.  


John Fitzpatrick: That’s right. And what you put out there you tend to get back, it’s weird how the universe works. So, if you’re having these micro-moments of being intentional with your word, or your gratitude, or your connections with people, watch how that comes back tenfold over time. It just starts to add up, the connections are deeper, the trust is more real, their ability to look at you as in whatever role you are. You’ve done a phenomenal job with me and my organization, talking about the importance of roles and goals, and being intentional with those roles. And when you think about it, and you write it out, as you guys do in the workbooks and everything and it’s like I’m a CEO, I’m a father, I’m a husband, I’m an uncle, and you realize, “Okay, what’s my goal in each one of those roles of life? And then how can I be more intentional about being the best version of that in each category?” And then do it again and again, and again because you can’t just do it once in the workshop. You’ve got to do it throughout. And then I’ve found where – and you’re probably like, “No, don’t do that, write it down.” – I’ve gotten myself into a rhythm where I don’t have to write it down, I go through a checklist in my mind. I know the importance of writing it down, so I’m not getting off on that. But the daily interactions of seeing someone or seeing an email from someone, or seeing a picture in your house, and then saying, “Oh, I should probably call mom because I’m a son too.” I’ve sort of tried to train myself in the roles and goals as I go through my day. Yeah, it’s important to write it down, we’ve got to go back to that, but if you can do it in the day, as you’re walking down the hall as I said, and seeing a picture and then go “I’m going to text mom real quick.” It took me five seconds, but to her made her day. Or dad or whoever, or a grandma, if you still have a grandma. And so, being intentional and having those roles and goals are important. 


Rob Shallenberger: I love it, John. Well, we’re going to wrap up. So, thank you so much for coming on here, John. I love the thoughts. I hope that this has sparked some ideas in people’s minds. I’m confident that it has, that we’ve covered a lot of different things from gratitude to a wide swath. So, any final thoughts you want to share with our listeners before we wrap up? 


John Fitzpatrick: Nope. Just wanted to say thank you. You’re awesome. We love what you’re doing. Everything that you do is amazing and there are times that I channel our conversations and I also know I could pick up the phone and call you at any time. And I appreciate you greatly for that. So, thank you for all that you’re doing including things like this. 


Rob Shallenberger: Well, thank you, John. And for anybody that may be looking for him, trying to find him, you can find him on Facebook, Instagram – John Fitzpatrick. You can look at You’ll find him there with a little bit more information about what they do as a company.  


John Fitzpatrick: LinkedIn. LinkedIn has been huge. I’m very active on LinkedIn, I’m on it every day posting different stuff.  


Rob Shallenberger: So, yeah, there you go. So, John Fitzpatrick, you can find him pretty much in any of those different places and we appreciate him, the thoughts that he shared and we hope that everyone out there has a wonderful rest of your day and a great week. 

Rob Shallenberger

CEO, Becoming Your Best

Leading authority on leadership and execution, F-16 Fighter Pilot, and father

John Fitzpatrick

CEO of Force Marketing

John Fitzpatrick co-founded Force Marketing in 2007

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