Episode #21: Pride : The Roadblock To Success

On today’s podcast, Russ and Mika are exploring the trouble with pride and how it can hold us back from success, both professionally and personally.  Today’s podcast is a little bit out of the ordinary. This isn’t going to be a typical episode with a numbered list of tips. This is a candid discussion...

Today’s podcast is a little bit out of the ordinary.

This isn’t going to be a typical episode with a numbered list of tips. This is a candid discussion that goes into some rather vulnerable places.

In this episode, Russ and Mika are talking all about pride. In particular, they are sharing their own personal experiences with pride and how it has held them back.

You’ll also hear about how they have seen pride damage the lives of others, and what we can do to overcome it.

In this episode, you will learn:

• Why pride is the single biggest roadblock to growth.
• An emotional moment where pride got in the way for us.
• The ways we can get wrapped up in the labels we give ourselves.
• How a dose of humility can keep your pride in check.

Mentioned in this episode:
Russ Perry on Instagram
Mika Perry on Instagram
The Sober Entrepreneur by Russ Perry
The Russ Perry Show
The Science of Success Podcast – 3 Dangerous Ideas that are  Putting Our Society at Risk
Dr. Jonathan Haidt
Newport & Home Hand Soap
Paper Source
Jonathan Ronzio
Wake Up Warrior


– Hey, everyone. Welcome to another episode of Good To Be Home. I’m your co-host, Russ Perry.

– And I’m the other host, Mika Perry.

– And we are excited to be here today as we are, we’re never not excited to be here.

– Very true.

– The only time we were not excited to be here was maybe one of those redo episodes we had to do where we were really tired filming at 11:00 p.m.

– Yeah, the recording at late nights–

– If you wanna be not excited about your podcast, record it at 11:00 p.m.

– Well, on the last night of traveling. Yeah.

– And the last night of a six-week trip.

– Yeah.

– But today, we are here very, very excited for today’s topic. Mika, what the heck are we talkin’ about today?

– We’re getting kinda deep, you guys. We’re gonna talk about pride.

– Pride.

– As the roadblock to your success.

– Okay.

– And this is gonna be a bit of a conversational episode. It’s not a hey, here are the five tips to get over pride. We wanna share experiences personally with pride, how it’s held us back, how we’ve seen it in other lives, and kind of just our thoughts on it.

– Right. I can think of a lot of examples in my life.

– I know you can.

– Oh, what does that mean?

– Well, I was actually thinking more of like your experience maybe in coaching?

– Oh, yeah.

– Because I think that’s a big breakthrough that you have with all the guys that you coach is pride.

– Right.

– And once that happens, there is amazing things that happen in their lives.

– Yeah, I just finished my big event, BLACKOUT01. We’ll reverse chronologically order the experience shares. I can start with that, and then we’ll back out through other experiences I’ve had in my life.

– Okay.

– All right. But hey, Mika, you know what we do at this point in the podcast?

– It’s our weekly segment, reading, listening, eating, loving. So I will start. And reading, I am going to actually read a review. So what I’ve been doing is I’ve been going back into, Russ, your Amazon book, The Sober Entrepreneur, so the Amazon reviews for that. And then also, thank you, guys, for all the reviews on the podcast. I go back and read every single one, and I’m so grateful for your comments. And I was on late last night, and noticed that someone had just posted a review on Russ’ book. And I wanted to share that here, because I think–

– I haven’t read it yet.

– I know, so I think you need to hear it.

– Okay.

– Okay, so this is called a Conversational Read and Inspirational Message with No Punches Pulled. If I’m being completely transparent, this is the book that spawned several huge changes in my life. I inhaled this book in about three days in Florida, and it sparked a light in my soul that had been out for a while. Before buying the book, I had reviewed some of Russ’ content on social media, which I thought was entertaining, interesting, and informative. I figured, well, he’d probably be able to turn this information into a consumable book, right? Russ’ story boils down to a few key points. He’s an entrepreneur, and he’s had his life spiral as he was struggling with alcohol. He put his business and his family at risk. He turns his life around as he begins to employ various methods of self-enrichment. He’s now running a successful business and enjoying his life. In the book, Russ is very conversational and straightforward, and he sugarcoats nothing. He opens himself up with a sharp vulnerability, and I think that drew me into his story. Even through the book’s pages, he seems genuinely interested in his readers’ success. Seeing his interactions with his audience in social media tells me that my suspicions are true. Honestly, I was very skeptical that I’d get anything out of this book. But this book lit a fire under me for sure. I’ve implemented several accountability measures, which he recommends, and I’m on a path toward self-improvement that at one point seemed impossible. Some examples, I went from being able to do one pull-up, and now I’m tracking toward doing 10. I’m just shy from pulling a 300-pound deadlift. I am now writing again, as I mentioned in this story. I journal everyday. Most notably, I’ve stopped drinking. Most importantly, I’m constantly looking for ways to get uncomfortable and to grow. My big takeaway from this book is the reinforcement that my time is valuable. When the option presents itself to spend my time, if this option doesn’t improve my life by adding value, offering a learning opportunity, or providing the chance to connect meaningfully with someone, it’s a hard pass from me. Sorry, not sorry. If you’re looking for an easy read that packs a strong punch, give Russ’ book a shot. If it doesn’t speak to you in some way, I’d be surprised.

– Wow. What’s the name on that? Who wrote that?

– Liana Taylor.

– Oh, wow.

– Yeah.

– A woman.

– Yes, right?

– Wow. That’s great.

– What about deadlift, too?

– That’s a heck of a deadlift.

– Yeah. That’s amazing. So Liana, if you’re listening to this, we are so proud of you. Thank you so much for that kind review of Russ’ book. So that is what I recently read.

– Awesome. Well, you know, I’m gonna promote my book, I guess. I thank you, Liana, and thank you to everyone who’s read it. I think it’s one of those books that that’s common. Maybe I’m just not a very detailed writer. But everyone, even you, you’re like, “It’s easy to read. “I get through it.” And also, right now, you can get on Amazon, and you can also get a free, but slower shipped copy, you just pay for shipping, over at So you can go to either way. If you want it faster, go to Amazon.

– Go to Amazon. Is it on Kindle?

– It is on Kindle.

– Nice.

– Yeah, we have a Kindle version, and I just sent an email to my publisher about getting started with the audiobook version.

– Wow. Who’s gonna narrate it?

– You’re looking at him, babe. With all this speaking practice I’m having.

– Not like Morgan Freeman?

– I mean he–

– Wouldn’t that be cool?

– It would be, but I don’t think it’d be very authentic.

– That’s true, so let’s pass on that. We’ll pass.

– There are people who are like official Morgan Freeman impersonators.

– Really?

– But I don’t think that’s legal in a commercial product. Anyway, continue on, babe.

– Mm, I don’t think so. Okay.

– What else? What are you eating and loving?

– Okay, for listening, I just listened to an episode of a podcast called The Science of Success. They have great guests on there, very scientific. I feel very, I nerd out on this stuff sometimes. I didn’t realize how much of a scientist I was. But I was on the stairs two days ago on the StairMaster listening to this, and it was really great. So this episode specifically is called Three Dangerous Ideas That Are Putting Our Society At Risk with a guy named Dr. Jonathan Haidt. And it was talking about concepts like fragility and anti-fragility. He’s written a book about The Coddling of The American Mind. So it’s basically how we’ve all gone soft, and we’re protecting our children too much. And it is wired in our nature to play, and explore, and get hurt, and become anti-fragile.

– Mm-hmm.

– And not treat ourselves, and our children, and people like fragile wine glasses is an example that he used. He’s a social psychologist and a professor of ethical leadership at NYU. Anyways, go check that podcast out. Eating, yesterday I did my usual Sunday prep. I made a few prepped salads. Russ really liked the ones I made last week, so I made it again this week. One being a Buffalo chicken salad.

– Changed my life.

-So it’s really simple. It’s romaine lettuce chopped up with the yogurt, not regular, but yogurt ranch dressing layered on the bottom layer, so it’s not soaking all the lettuce in advance, ’cause remember, I prep this in advance so we can eat this week. And chopped up chicken mixed up with Frank’s RedHot Buffalo Wings Sauce, and some tomatoes, and red onions, and there you go. Loving, this is random, but that’s what this thing is for, I guess. So I really like the soap by Newport + Home. It’s a hand soap, and it comes in a set of three. And they used to have it at Costco, and they don’t have it anymore. I really hate when Costco does this. They bring something great, and you never see it again, and you just wish they would bring it back.

– It’s probably because the business is going out of business. They aren’t making any money selling it to Costco.

– You think? Oh, really?

– I bet, I don’t know for sure. If any of you readers are food supply chain, product supply chain management experts, please feel free to send us a note. But my theory is this, the company loses money or breaks even for a while, gets everyone to love it, and then they stop selling it to Costco.

– Got it.

– And then everyone buys it, regardless.

– Okay, but I can’t find this anywhere else.

– Oh.

– So if anyone sees Newport + Home essential oil and coconut oil infused hand soaps, sold typically in sets, please message me. I will Venmo you some money.

– One more time, what is that again? It rolls off the tongue.

-Newport + Home essential oil and coconut oil infused hand soaps. Comes in three different scents, wild lavender, lemon verbena, and rosemary and mint, I think.

– We’re on the hunt. We’ll get it, babe.

– Okay, that’s it.

– Awesome. Now we forgot to mention right at the top, if you want a whole archive of all of these, go to our website,, pop in your email, and you’ll get access to our regularly updated, and in fact, it’s kinda ahead of the curve, right? You can get access to items that are a little bit not published yet? Do you update ’em ahead of time?

– It depends.

– It depends, okay.

– It depends.

– Well, you’re either gonna get the totally updated version or a sneak peek of what’s coming in future episodes of all of our reading, listening, eating, and loving items. So speaking of which, off I go. Here’s what I’m reading. So I love journals. In fact, Mika just discovered one of my favorite stores, although this is not my loving item, it could be, is Paper Source. And so I was at the mall couple days ago. Stopped in Paper Source, and picked up a Bullet Journal branded journal. And it is, and I was reading. I know bullet journaling is a grand umbrella concept, but has a very specific way to do it. And I actually used to bullet journal years and years ago. In fact, if you go through my old journal, you’ll see they’re very bullety-formatted.

– Was that purposeful?

– Yeah.

– Or that’s just naturally how you did things?

– No, it takes a lot of focus to do it.

– Okay.

– But I looked back at those journals, and I was so proud. It was like, wow, these are really clean, and it’s easy to find stuff. Now it looks like a mass murderer’s journaling throughout my journals. Because it’s so disorganized. So I’m committing, and I was reading all about this Bullet Journal system, It’s very simple. It’s like four or five steps. It’s not like one of the ones where you need to spend eight hours becoming a arts and craft expert, and knowing how to draw really well, which some of ’em, you do. This is just straightforward. Anyone can do it.

– Nice. Yeah, I can’t imagine you using colored pencils and drawing little habit trackers.

– I use a green felt tip pen.

– I know.

– That’s it.

– Mm-hmm.

– Now what am I listening to? I am listening to all my team members send me updates in video format, and it is freakin’ awesome. In fact, this morning at the gym, I put on an update, and I was listening to a marketing update from my team member, Dave. Dave Ball, shout-out if you’re listening to this. And all of my team is now using Loom, which is I’ve mentioned it in the past. And they just record their screen, a camera comes on. It’s like getting podcast updates from my team. And I can listen to them when I’m ready. We don’t have to schedule a meeting. I can ask questions back in the chat in Slack. It’s awesome.

– That’s amazing, and reminds me of our previous episode on time management. That’s a great hack.

– Right. So here’s a bonus tip, and if you missed that episode last week, or the last episode on time management, go to our site and check it out. But I didn’t realize that how helpful it was, and everyone’s starting to do it now. I got a couple updates over the weekend. And so I can just put ’em on and play, and if I need to see what they’re doing on their screen, I can watch it, too. What am I eating? I don’t know what it is, but you’re making these things you called energy balls. And I’m eating them up. What am I eating?

– So there’s an empty plate here on the table. Russ just had some. Reese and I made it yesterday for the first time. And I kind of made it up. Loosely based on lots of different recipes I’ve seen out there on energy balls. So what we used is organic almond butter, coconut flakes, grain-free granola, chia, flax, agave nectar. I think that was it. And you roll ’em into little balls. You put ’em in the fridge to make it hard, and then you scoop ’em up and make ’em into balls, and there you go.

– Continue those. Where are they, are there more?

– Yeah, they’re in the freezer on a sheet pan with parchment paper. But then they kinda melt and get soft really easily, because I made them grain-free. A lot of people put oats in them. So they’re a little bit softer. So they’re there.

– Well, I think they’re perfect in every way just like you.

– Thanks.

– All right, what am I loving? I’m loving my graduates, my seven graduates of my experience I just completed of BLACKOUT01. If you’re at all in my ecosystem and you’re a man, you probably saw 200,000 ads for this. We are done with the experience. I had seven men go through my four-day immersive leadership program, and they crushed it. So gentlemen, if any of you are listening to this, I wanted to say I’m so super proud. I love the progress you’ve made. This isn’t over. I’ll be working with these men for the next four months. And I’m excited to see where they go. They all put in a ton of effort. And just to put a little math behind how hard this program is, we received over 3,000 people expressed interest in this, and we whittled that down to 12 men. 12 men were selected for the program, and only seven graduated. So 3,000 to seven. Almost 1/2 the 12 didn’t make it. That’s how challenging this program is. This is not a show up and sit in a conference room for eight hours and go home kinda deal.

– Can I say that I’ve sneaked a peek at the video from the event?

– Yeah.

– It is intense.

– It’s very intense. But you know what? Hard things get results, and hard things get big changes in people. So if you’re at all interested in my leadership programs and trainings, just head over to, and you can sign up. We don’t have anything actively scheduled just this moment, but we’re gonna be announcing a few new experiences before the end of the year, and I’d love to work with you. All right. So pride, man.

– Where do we start?

– Where do we begin? Should I start with the experience? Or do you wanna start other way?

– Let’s start chronological.

– Okay.

– Let’s start at the beginning with us. Let’s start with us and kind of expand out. So let’s share our experience with pride. And we, again, wanna talk about this, because it is like, if I can think of one single roadblock to growth, and expansion, and being better, and being happier, I feel like it’s pride. Second very close runner-up is fear.

– Okay, but let’s define pride. How would you define it?

– Pride, to me, is getting in your own way, putting your feelings and your perception of self in front of everything else. Okay, what about you?

– Pride is allowing ego to drive your decisions.

– Mm, yes, ego.

– And ego, I guess, could be something we need to define as well.

-What is ego?

– Ego is right in, dialed in with what you described. It’s a selfish point of view in which you are operating in a scarcity mindset. You believe that there’s only so much, and you’re really focused on yourself, but in a way that is fear-driven.

– And it’s limiting, and it prevents you from things. Pride is good, though. There’s good pride. Like this morning, Russ writes notes to the girls every morning on these little Post-its, and his for Reese this morning was, I’m so proud of you. I’m proud of who you are. So pride is in a good way, it’s a heartfelt, big feeling in your heart of being excited and wowed by something.

– Right. I’m glad we’re talking about it, ’cause I think it helps guide the rest of the conversations. If you look at pride, this could be a way we could look at it is like there’s two halves of pride. First of all, pride is rooted in ownership. I’m gonna own something, and I’m gonna be responsible for something, and I’m doing that because I have a sense of pride. I have a sense of connection to whatever the output is, whatever my effort is. And that’s, like you said, something very powerful to drive someone forward, for them to take ownership and action. But where I think it turns into a negative is when it’s at the all costs sorta mentality, like there’s zero, it’s black or white, it’s do or die. The pride gets in your way of actually achieving the results that you want. And that is a gray area, because when do you know when you are just facing a challenge and you need to persevere versus when your pride’s getting in the way, and you need to change course.

– Yeah. So let’s talk about the ways that we’ve had that happen to us.

– Those moments, right.

– Those moment in our life.

– ‘Cause I don’t think it’s clear, and there’s no hard steadfast rule. And if we can share some ideas, then perhaps it’s easier to identify what side you’re on.

– So for me, the one big example, which Russ will share it being the same for him, is the need to stop drinking. It was getting in the way of everything I wanted to achieve, and everything I wanted to be. You can go back in our past episodes on sobriety of why we’ve become sober, how to stay sober, why it’s important to us. Russ goes extensively into that in his training with The Russ Perry Show. But at the end of the day, it was taking so long to make that decision because I was prideful. I was too proud of my image and what other people would think of me if I said, hey, this is something I struggle with, and I need to get rid of it. It’s crazy, because now that’s been one of the best decisions I ever made, and it’s like, on the other side, it’s like oh, I’m glad I did that. But up until that point, I was so proud of I don’t have a problem, or this is fine. And I didn’t wanna rock the boat of my identity and image. And when I let that down, and whenever I think of pride and that moment of removing it as a roadblock in your life, I really imagine me and anyone else taking it and laying it on the ground. You literally pick it up from yourself and you lay it down, because you really have to just move it away from you. And that day that I did that was very freeing.

– So I have a question. You’re kind of Type A-ish personality, sorta, maybe.

– Just a little.

– Do you think there was pride in that you couldn’t, you wanted to figure out a way to have drinking and the results that you wanted? And this was sort of like a defeat initially? Or you feel like you were admitting defeat against alcohol by quitting?

– A little bit. Probably, yeah. Yeah, like why couldn’t I handle it?

– Mm-hmm.

– Why was it becoming a problem in my life, whereas seemingly, it seems like it’s not in others. That’s obviously false. But yeah, of course I didn’t wanna admit defeat, and I wanted to be in control of everything. And that’s a very negative side of being Type A is feeling like you need to control everything. So yeah, I laid it down and admitted defeat, and said, ah, I can’t do this anymore. I’d rather live without, because I know I’ll be much happier.

– Right.

– Yeah.

– Actually, sorta tangentially, one of our good friends, Jonathan Ronzio, he runs an incredible lifestyle blog, Explore Inspired, he works with us in Design Pickle producing videos. He just did and doing a sober challenge as well.

– Oh, nice.

– And I’d recommend everyone go check out the blog on it, we’ll link it in the show notes, because he was someone who is just choosing it. Like I’m gonna see what the results are, I’m gonna put my pride aside. He, to my knowledge, doesn’t have the issues that I had, for sure. And he is just seen like, hey, maybe this path will get me better results. And it has nothing to do with the ability to drink, or not to drink, or responsibility around it. It’s just it’s like a science experiment as you were saying you love so much. Approaching it more effectually than with a ton of emotion, ton of ego.

– Yeah, so that’s an example of pride in my life where it really was a big roadblock. For you, Russ, obviously the book explains it, your show explains it. There’s a lot of info out there already on how pride was a huge factor in that decision. Do you wanna touch on that a little bit here?

– Yeah.

– Great.

– Let’s stick with the topic. So as Mika mentioned, you can dive into an extraordinarily well-written 200-plus pages on this in The Sober Entrepreneur book. However, I know one specific thing that really drove me, and it was a battle. It was a deep, hard, challenging, mind-messing battle, and that was to not make the same mistakes as my dad. So I love my dad. He’s gone through a lot. His dad died when he was a teenager. I can’t even imagine what that would’ve been like. Even though my dad and I didn’t grow up together, that still would’ve been super crazy hard. And he has struggled with alcohol all his life. So growing up, I had this commitment, this prideful commitment like I wasn’t gonna be like him. I was gonna make different choices, and I was gonna go down a different path. And I was just stubborn about it. And I wanted to show the world that I could be successful and do things differently. And so when it came to alcohol, I wanted, same ego, I wanted to be able to drink, and also perform, and also have these things. And so I was so stubborn around quitting drinking, because I can never admit that reality was otherwise, that I have the same struggles and the same problems with alcohol. To some levels, even worse, because I was playing a different game, a much larger game than my dad had played when he was in his 30s. I had more to lose. There was so much more riding on it. And I was risking a lot with still continuing with alcohol. But my pride was so convoluting, in a sense, that I just didn’t ever wanna admit, despitea mountain of evidence, if we’re continuing the scientific analogy here, that hey, maybe drinking is not a good idea. Maybe this is something that you should not be doing. My pride clouded that, because I just didn’t wanna admit defeat. And I actually viewed it as defeat. I viewed it as me winning or alcohol winning. Either I won and I drank, or I had to quit alcohol, and that means alcohol is more powerful and alcohol won. But once I got through that ego and that pride, and I realized look, this is not about alcohol. This is about am I getting what I want in life? Is my life going the direction that I want? Is my relationship getting to the levels that I want? And the answer was hell no. It wasn’t even a maybe. It was a hell no, like this is proving to be an incredible challenge. And finally, when worse got to worst, and we were in our pit, I was finally able to set my pride away and set my ego aside, and make a decision, now next month will be five years. And that decision was made, and it’s been 0% in terms of ever thinking about it, or worrying about it, or wanting to go back to it, because I’m now more prideful in my life now from a healthy way, and I would never wanna risk that again.

– I think it’s interesting that you brought up your dad, ’cause I remember those months where it was the worst, where you decided to become sober, the affair was revealed. And I remember that one day, I chose to use the words that I knew would hurt you, but it’s something I believed at that moment. I told you, I don’t know if you remember, but I said, “You’ve become just like your dad.”

– I do remember that very, very clearly.

– ‘Cause I knew that’s what you didn’t wanna do.

– Yeah.

– And I could see it. It’s like I could see the person you didn’t want to be. I’m getting emotional saying this. I could see that happening all because of your pride. And I wanted you to just put it down, realize. So anyways.

– Well, thank you. Thank you.

– I’m sorry I hurt your feelings then.

– No. Thank you for having the courage to say that.

– Yeah.

– ‘Cause I think in any situation when we’re dealing with someone who has a big ego, or pride, or they’re being stubborn about something, as the person on the receiving end, you see it so clearly in this person. You’re just like, WTF, why are they being such idiots? And thank you for seeing who I was beneath all the insanity, and being willing to go toe to toe with my pride and collide with that, ’cause that’s what you did. You stuck up for what you knew was right, and that was something that changed the course of our family life forever.

– Yeah, when I was thinking about this episode, I was thinking about how you can be in a relationship and see someone so messed up, someone close to you, but they’re just really messed up, and they need help. That can happen right in front of your eyes. And you kinda can’t do anything about it in a lot of ways, and totally put their pride down.

– Yeah.

– So anyways.

– And imagine pride as this barrier to truth and to reality that we can put up. And back to the pros of it, sometimes you have to face a really tough odds to get what you want in life, because life’s just hard. And pride is gonna get you through the tough times. So that barrier acts as almost like a shield to protect you from haters, to protect you from negative thoughts, to protect you from the challenges. But what can happen is it could also become like a roadblock or a barrier from you actually seeing what’s truthful. And as someone, if you’re on the other side of that, you have to be willing to try to penetrate that barrier. And sometimes, it’s gonna require some really hard conversations. And I viewed that moment in our past when you said those words, I vividly remember them, it was the most perfect thing you can say. I wasn’t mad at you for it. I was like, you’re right. Holy moly, that actually hit me at a level that nothing had in the past. It was better than any counseling. It was better than any therapy. And you were just ready to puncture and penetrate all the ego and pride that I had built up around myself to protect me and to try to create this facade.

– And it’s weird because you kind of had words like that towards me when I had my breakthrough and pride against feeling like I didn’t have a problem, or something, around drinking. Was when you said, “What the eff are you doing?” And I was like, what am I doing? What is this in my life? Why am I choosing this? This is not who I want to be. And for me, that was a breakthrough day when you said those harsh words to me. And you said it really strong.

– Oh, yeah.

– You yelled at me. And that was a wake-up call. Up until then, I knew, but then you were like, “What the eff are you doing?” And I was like, “You’re right.”

– Yeah.

– So I think pride ultimately has to do, the person has to put those barriers down. At the last point is that person. But if you’re in a relationship with someone, or you are there trying to help that person, whoever it might be, you can have an impact. You can penetrate with your words or actions.

– You just can’t be afraid of–

– Yeah.

– So look at it this way. Continuing on the same path is obviously not working. So colliding with someone in a strong way, in a powerful way, the same path is the same path. So if it doesn’t work, then you try something else and you’re on the same path. But more than likely it’s gonna change things and that can get you into a better place.

– Mm-hmm.

– People are so afraid with colliding with someone about how they feel or what they feel, they don’t wanna be truthful. You’re being an idiot. You have this ego. Stop being so prideful, blah blah blah blah blah. They’re like, oh, I don’t wanna hurt them. But that’s what the person needs the most. And the people that are closest to that person are the ones that know what the truth is.

– Mm-hmm.

– So don’t hold back.

– Don’t hold back.

– Don’t hold back.

– So let’s move on to the next example of pride in your life. Real quick from a business standpoint, you admit that you had a lot of pride in your past business of running an agency.

– Right.

– And how that became extremely detrimental.

– Right. Well, this shifts the conversation into really how we put labels onto ourself, and really have pride in the labels. So this could be a hard worker, or I’m an entrepreneur, or I’m a native Arizonan, or I’m a, I was gonna say Patriots fans, but I don’t know if there’s much pride in that.

-Oh, my gosh.

– Just kidding, Chris Ronzio, if you’re listening, and to all our East Coast listeners. But there’s pride in the labels we give ourself, the identity that we have in that. And so for me, being an entrepreneur was a label, and a coat, and a prideful thing that I had put on at a young age between 22, 23, 24 when I was just getting rolling with my first businesses, and I met you during that time. And I was so proud of what I had done from a I’m blazing a trail, I can create my own hours, I can travel when I want, that I could afford ’cause it wasn’t like I could go anywhere. And this was cool for a while. I think during that startup phase, and you’re just getting going, there’s not a lot of money. There’s a lot of hours. You’re just trying whatever, and you’re trying to figure it out. But as time went on, the pride really started to, again, hide and mask reality. And this was in a lot of ways of what the business actually was doing and the value it was creating versus the problems it was creating. And I ended up creating this business that was not making much money, and was having a lot of problems, causing stress in my life, causing stress in my team member’s life, in my client’s life. And there wasn’t any cash in the system, in the business system, that proved, that showed that we were actually doing a great job. Some months there was. Obviously, we were doing good to a certain extent. We were in business for a while. But it just became this prideful situation. And I know had I had more clarity on this topic in the past, if I had what I know now about businesses as a mature business leader and CEO, I would’ve put up with my past business for maybe about three to six months, and then it would’ve been done, and I would’ve been out, because it just was so not functional. It was something that was challenging in every definition of running a business. But yet again, my pride and my pride of showing up to a friend’s barbecue and being the only entrepreneur in the room, that to me was more important than actually making money.

– Yeah. And one thing to mention is that when you’re 22, you had Maddix.

– Yes.

– You had your daughter. You weren’t married. You were a single dad. And so I’m sure you had sort of like proving to yourself that you could be a good dad.

– Right.

– And you could provide.

– And back to the I don’t wanna be like my dad complex, or whatever you wanna call it, he was out of my life when I was two, and in and out of it until this day. And so choosing to become an entrepreneur was my strategy to be able to have more time with Maddix as well. Because before that, I was a W-2 employee at Apple, and to see Maddix during my limited time with her when she was really young, before I got joint custody, I had to request time off. It was a big hassle. And sometimes I didn’t know the days that I was gonna have her. So I was, again, okay, I’m gonna do this differently. I’m gonna set my own schedule, run my own business, so that I could not be like my dad, so that I could be around my kid as much as possible. And that was all wrapped up in pride. And where it turned to ego was, I think, the intentions were super noble, and I would never do things differently, but pride, here’s a new concept, pride becomes ego. Pride can go into the ego mode. It’s like a door opener for ego. And when it becomes ego, that’s when the problems start to happen. It fuels, the precursor to ego is pride. But it became this egotistical type of thing eventually when I was ignoring the data points. And actually, I was around Maddix less as an entrepreneur, ’cause I was working so damn much, which totally defeated the purpose of being an entrepreneur in the first place.

– Well, you mention a minute ago about being a leader and what you wish you would’ve known now. There’s no way. That’s life. You learn things and now you become a better leader. And I think it’s funny, because this week you’re being honored at the Phoenix Business Journal as one of the most admired leaders. Your company nominated you, and I’m super proud of you for that. But you have that now in your season of life. And back then, do you remember that your agency in, I think it was the PHOENIX Magazine, was voted most fun place to work?

– Right.

– But just think of that, like where your priorities were.

– Right, right. And I think my clients now and our team now wants a great leader, not a fun place to work.

– Yeah, yeah.

– It provides a lot more structure and value for that.

– Absolutely.

– So I’m gonna turn the lens back on you.

– Okay.

– Let’s talk about your professional career and pride. Because you are, you’re the most talented one of both of us in terms of the careers, and the degrees, and the education, and the certificates, and the certifications.

– True, you could say I’m talented, or I’ve had a varied career. You could say that I’m indecisive, I don’t know.

– Well, I guess we could also just go back to the most recent, running NEAT Method here in Arizona, and talk about the transition there. ‘Cause I know that there was definitely a lot of pride that you had in that business, and facing the challenges of shifting away from that.

– Yeah, I don’t know if there was a lot of pride involved in that. I did feel disappointed that it didn’t work. And by it not working out, meaning I sat down with numbers, I sat down with what I wanted in my life, and I just had to say, you know what, this isn’t a good fit for me anymore. And I guess in that sense, I did have to kind of lay down some pride in saying this is something that I made an identity for myself, and I worked so hard on it, and to have it not work out. Yeah, there was definitely disappointment. But I think by then I had worked on myself enough that I knew that I could lay down. It wasn’t about pride. You shouldn’t keep going just for the sake of keep going. I don’t believe in that. That’s something I think maybe why I’ve had several careers is because you need to recognize when something isn’t a right fit for you anymore, and not just for yourself, but for your family. My past two careers, teaching and running this professional organizing business, the final decision came down to childcare and came down to being a good mom. It wasn’t about me.

– Right.

– I would’ve loved to keep teaching. I would’ve loved to keep organizing. But what it took away from the rest of my family, and the time with my kids, and money, it just didn’t make sense for me. So that’s where those decisions came from.

– Yeah, that’s so crazy you used to be a teacher.

– Right? And before that I was a–

– You have a master’s degree.

– Yeah, I went to grad school and I have a master’s degree. I’m the highest educated Perry, right?

– Yes. ‘Cause master’s degree.

– Mm-hmm. Yes, it’s higher than a bachelor’s degree.

– I got it.

– So yes, I am a master.

– Well, I had an insight, actually. I think one thing that helps guide pride and keeps it out of the ego department is humility. If you have pride in what you do, but you have a layer of humility, then it keeps it in check and it keeps it in the right place. It’s when pride starts to fuel your ego about something that where it gets off track. I think this concept could be the best thing our listeners could get is how to navigate pride when it is such a powerful, positive thing, but also could be leading to things that drive us down paths that we really shouldn’t be on.

– Absolutely. And as you and I go forward in our businesses now with this podcast and our lifestyle brand of Sobr, supporting sobriety in a positive way, and your work with your coaching, of course, Design Pickle, I think it’s important that we keep focus on that, on the fork in the road ahead of us all the time.

– Right, which direction are you on?

– Mm-hmm. And keeping yourself in check of ego. You and I are both on social media. Social media’s a place where ego explodes.

– Right. I was very humble to get more followers than you on Instagram.

– You actually, you know what? You were. And that’s the thing is like, it was just a running joke between you and I about this follower thing.

– Now to Mika’s defense, I am marketing and paying, I have more financial resources to grow my audience than she does.

– Yeah, you have a team. I’m a one-man show.

– She’s a organic, organically done it.

– One-woman show.

– However, instead of flowers, I did boost a post for you to help a little bit.

– Yeah, and sponsored post, I think people need to be clear that that just means you have more people see your post. You’re not paying for them to follow you.

– Right. They choose to follow.

– They choose to follow you. So anyways, just a little note. But anyway, let’s go forward in pride that you’ve seen specifically recently just because it’s so top of mind for us. We’re not naming names, we’re not talking specifics, but just in general with your coaching business and men, I really want you to speak on that.

– Awesome. So a bit of backstory if you’re new and listening to this, I am one of the certified trainers in Warrior. I am the first certified trainer who’s not actually currently working for Warrior. I’m number six, and one through five all are working for Warrior right now. And what this means really is there is a lifestyle, and leadership, and self-leadership program out there called Warrior. And I’m just allowed to license the brand, run my own programs, have my own clients under that umbrella. So it’s been really cool this year. I’ve worked with around 20 clients one-on-one. I ran an online group of about 100 guys online. And I’m just teaching. And I also taught my 200 teammates for Design Pickle in the Philippines last month. And what this really is, it’s how do you improve, how do you grow? I’ve taught men, I’ve taught women, and it’s universal. So last week, I offer a immersive experience, meaning you basically get my three years of training in about three weeks, two weeks online, and then one week in person. And we had our event. It’s called BLACKOUT01. It’s the first version of it that we’ve done. I’ve done a couple different versions that were under different names, but this is the new brand. And we, like I mentioned in the beginning, we had 3,000 people opt in to our funnel. We had several hundred people apply for the spots. There were only 12 spots. And we narrowed that down to, I think, 60 to 70 interviews that I did. I talked to a lot of people.

– You were doing interviews constantly.

– Right.

– Some of the times that I did the solo episodes, it was ’cause you were traveling. But then also when you were here, you were constantly on the phone interviewing these men.

– Yeah, yeah, it was a lot, and talking to a lot of people around the world. I was talking to people in Taipei when I had a layover there. I was talking to people in the Philippines and California. And we got everyone down to 12, and 12 got accepted. And we had two men drop out before training started. And then only eight guys showed up to the experience. Two guys just didn’t even show up. They went through all two weeks of training, and then they just dropped out. And then one man decided that he wanted to leave during the event, and he left on day two. So crazy. Statistically, 3,000 to seven is, I think, a pretty crazy number. And for the men who are listening to this who are those seven, you guys should be freakin’ proud of what you’ve done in a positive way.

– I’m really proud of them.

– Yeah.

– Because I know what it takes to have gotten there. Those men, I saw that picture you posted of the graduates of this, and I should, but I wanted to say, if you’re the wives of these men, be so proud. Your guys that put their egos, and pride, and everything down so that they could grow. And they were truthful to themselves.

– Right. So on that note, I think you just really hit on what it takes to succeed as a man and inside these programs and leadership programs is you have to first of all be willing to do things differently and to trust the process. So in Warrior, there’s these five rules of Warrior. I’m not gonna go through ’em all, but rule number one is trust the process. And most of the men who dropped out felt like they knew better, like they knew better, like they had better plan than the plan ahead. And it’s so funny, because that is the exact plan that got them into their crappy situation in the first place, their plan. There’s always the line, if your plan worked, you wouldn’t be here right now. And that, to me, is step number one for personal development and growth is you have to put your ego aside. Even if you feel like it is the most weird, crazy thing in the world that you’re doing, trusting in the process, and seeing, and knowing that their are results on the other side of this that work, it’s no different than a recipe of cooking, and here are how you combine the ingredients, here how you measure the ingredients. If you follow this, you get this.

– That’s the best analogy. So if you quit where everything is in the mixing bowl, you’re like, this doesn’t look like a pie.

– This is terrible.

– This is the worst pie I’ve seen.

– I’ve mixed eggs before, and this doesn’t work.

-That’s a really good analogy.

– You’re like, well, correct. You’ve mixed eggs, and they could become an omelet. You’ve mixed eggs, and it could become pancakes. Or you’ve mixed eggs, and it becomes whatever. The beginning steps can take so many, could be very common. And of the men who didn’t enter into the experience, one reason, truthfully, a lot of men didn’t get in is financial. This is not a cheap experience. We had four on-site coaches for the team, for eight guys. Well, it was gonna be 10, but four. So we almost had a two to one ratio, and then once guys dropped out, we did have a two to one ratio. So that costs money. The facilities cost money. Me being away from Design Pickle for a week and distracted for weeks ahead of time cost money. So there’s a big financial investment that is able, you have to get through to do the live experiences. But that’s also why I wrote the book is because a lot of what we teach and do you could get for 20 bucks online, or 10 bucks on Kindle, or whatever in Sober Entrepreneur. But the other men who could afford it who didn’t do it, they were never willing to release control and allow someone else to teach them a potentially new way of living, and trust in somebody else.

– Mm-hmm. They weren’t willing to be coachable.

– Right. And I think when I look at all of the men who graduated, the seven men, they all came from very different backgrounds. Some guys’ lives were pretty much do or die in their relationships with their wives and their businesses. Other guys we had were just like, “I’m just super not happy where I’m at “because I feel like I should be further along in life.” Some guys had issues with drinking. Other guys didn’t. It wasn’t an all drinking sobriety kinda thing. But every one of them were able to be prideful in who they were, but also put their ego aside, and be humble enough to let me teach them. And they have had massive results in just three weeks.

– Mm-hmm.

– It’s crazy to see some of the results that they’ve had in all areas of their life.

– Yeah, and I don’t know these results, ’cause Russ is very confidential about this, but I know just from seeing you, from seeing other Warrior men that I do know personally and their wives I know the changes that have happened in their lives, it’s just so worth it–

– Right, right.

– To trust the process, to trust in someone else. Like you said, you’re the one that your plan got you to where you are, so try something different.

– Totally. And I had to be willing to put my pride aside and be a student for many years, and I still am a student. I talk to my trainers and coaches all the time. Guys that are younger than me, older than me, I have bigger businesses than them, they have bigger businesses than me, it doesn’t matter. I’m always learning. Even at this experience at BLACKOUT, I was learning from the other trainers. I was learning from the men. I was learning from everything. And you just don’t know. And the one guy who left, my heart goes out to him, because he’s in a tough situation, but he quit because he just didn’t trust the process. One of the first things he said was just like, “Oh, I’ve done this before. “This is not what I need.”

– And you said he quit right before–

– Oh, the turn, yeah.

– All the turn. He didn’t know what was ahead that was going to be that difference he was looking for. And because he quit prematurely and let that ego step in, he missed out.

– Yeah, and who knows what the real reasons were. There could be a lot of other things that we didn’t know about. We give every guy a lot of opportunities to come and be truthful, and talk about their past and experiences. And a lot of times when guys wanna quit is because there’s something else that we don’t know. Like they weren’t truthful about something, or–

– And that’s hard.

– It is.

– That’s really hard.

– In any big moment of change for your life, you’re gonna be faced with a moment of uncertainty, because you just simply don’t know what the path ahead brings. And so you could choose to dive into that uncertainty, and it’s scary as hell, and you have to put everything aside, and trust in somebody that at least has been there before. Or you retract, and you go back to safety zone where everything’s kosher, you’ve been there, you’ve been around the lap 100 times, there’s no danger and there’s no fear, and that, though, is often where people end up. And that becomes their identity is their life they’ve created, but sadly, their pride in that is masking the true opportunity that they could have of what they could create or build.

– Does that answer your question about BLACKOUT01?

– It does answer. Yes. So kind of as a wrap-up, I wanna mention also just as a mother and as a parent, the role of pride, and in our children, and also as a role as mothers, there’s something I heard recently about how we should, don’t try to be the mom that you think you’re supposed to be, but be the mom that you are. And I think that kinda touches a little bit on ego and pride, because you’re in your mind as a mother thinking of how I have to be the super mom, and I how I have to do this, and be this person, and project this I’m a good mom, and I have my act together. And that’s where it’s like we have pride come in, because we’re trying to achieve this thing that we think that we’re supposed to achieve so that we can be good, and admired, and be proud, someone that is worthy of being proud of. And so you talked about business, and with that, I just wanted to quickly touch on the mom side of things. ‘Cause I think for me that’s a really good reminder of keeping that humility in check instead of going into ego is remember the person that you are. Be truthful to yourself. Don’t try to reach for this image, and person, and an ideal that isn’t true to you.

– I think it’s good to strive for something that is down the road a self-improvement, but don’t allow your journey to never begin, because you think you have a ideal, or there’s an avatar of someone that seems so perfect, you convince yourself you can never get there.

– True.

– It’s really just do better today than you did yesterday.

– Mm-hmm.

– And all it is is about today.

– Yeah. I liked what you said about labeling yourself.

– Right.

– So think about that.

– Right.

– You know?

– And I think both for moms or for men inside the BLACKOUT experience, a lesson that we teach is it’s one step at a time.

– Mm-hmm.

– The only way you can graduate from my stuff is you just don’t quit.

– Mm-hmm.

– You don’t need to be the strongest. You don’t need to be the fastest. You don’t need to be in great shape. You don’t need to have this crazy mind. You just don’t quit, and you get results. And I think the same thing goes, and on the personal side of all this, is for the parenting and the moms, you just–

– Fitness.

– Fitness.

– Organizing.

– Everything. Everything is just like have pride in what you do, but also just know that what it really matters is one step in front of the other. What we’ve talkin’ about this whole time. Making sure that step is the step in the right direction, and not a step driven by ego. ‘Cause that’s when we get off on a really terrible journey. Awesome.

– Well, we really appreciate you joining us today on this conversation. If you have any comments or questions, feel free to direct them towards our Instagram, @russperry or @mikaperry. We love your comments and reviews on iTunes for our podcast. We really appreciate those.

– Great, and we’ll have a massive link list for this episode over at Put in your email, and we’ll talk to you next time.

– Bye.