Catch Brian Biro on the #PirateBroadcast™
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Introduction: [00:00:00] Welcome to the #PirateBroadcast™, where we interview #interestingpeople doing #interestingthings. Where you can expand your connections, your community, #kindnessiscool and #smilesarefree. Let’s get this party started.
Russ Johns: [00:00:10] And it's a great day to have a great day. And I thank you so much for being here today. And if you're watching remotely in the future, whenever, thank you. All the #gratitude in the world. And today we have another pirate in the room. Brian, thank you so much for joining us today. How are you?
Brian Biro: [00:00:26] Good to be with you. I had to throw in one pirate arggghh.
Russ Johns: [00:00:30] Always. We have a common thread in our lives. And I think if you talk to someone long enough, you'll always find a common thread. However, ours is very evident in the kindness field and you've been speaking, living, coaching and breaking people away from their mundane lives and looking at kindness in a new and unique way. So how did you evolve into becoming a speaker and a breakthrough coach and somebody that does these things on a regular basis with people. Talk about your backstory and how you woke up and said, I'm going to be a coach today.
Brian Biro: [00:01:05] Well, Russ, I think it starts with, I've always loved people. I believe that we have more in us than we think, there are no overachievers. And that kind of developed as a young guy and my first I've had three really neat careers, all moving in the same direction. And the first was, I was a United States swimming coach. And so I was working with young people and you don't really coach swimming, Russ, you coach people. You coach their hearts, you coach their spirits. You try to help them build faith and confidence in themselves. So I loved it. I had a great run. My team became this gigantic team, but I had no life. It was so encompassing. That's the second stage in life was I'm probably the only guy I know who went to graduate school to get a life instead of a job. And I really did. My wife and I found each other at that time. And my second career was in the corporate world. And what I found was that what I still loved was bringing out the best in people, both individually and as teams. And then part, I had a very neat, rapid rise in that field. And our company was like so many of our parts of the world. We were siloed. We were separated. Operations couldn't stand sales, couldn't stand operations. They both hated the home office just a little bit more. And so that made no sense to me because I realized that sales doesn't want to do operations. Operations doesn't want to do sales and neither one of them wants to do the home office. So we're all fulfilling this real blessing to each other. So I started doing team building programs. I was the number two guy in my company. I was the vice president and the president was a real out of the box thinker and I said, we were struggling as a company, we're pretty large company and I said, it's not the market, it's us. It's the way that we don't support each other. It's this siloing, it's a separation. I convinced him to let me go out and teach these team-building seminars. And we had a enormous turnaround. It was so much fun. We did so great. And right at the peak of it, I said to my wife, who is a very adventurous soul, she's a good pirate. I said, Carol, we're doing great. Let's quit. I want to go do this and and that was 31 years ago. And so since that time I've been out as a speaker, written 15 books doing what I know I was put on earth to do. I love every second of it. So it was really just building that sense that we're all teachers, we're all coaches, and to help people and organizations recognize that you have choices. Let's make good ones.
Russ Johns: [00:03:26] It's something that I say on a regular basis here, and I put it in my profile is everyone has a gift, a message, and it's an opportunity to actually share something with the world that you were meant to do. And it's tragic when it goes uninitiated and unresolved, because so many people hesitate. They wait and it's almost like they're waiting for permission to do something with their voice. And right now we are living in an amazing time where we can actually get on a conference. You're in North Carolina, I'm in Arizona and we're talking like we were next door, across the coffee shop table. And having this conversation about real-world stuff and culture in a company can make the huge difference in what the outcomes are, being able to work together to solve a problem, rather than point a finger and cause a blame. It's really important for us to understand that we all have a choice and we all have an opportunity to make a better choice in the future. We just need to do the work.
Brian Biro: [00:04:30] Absolutely. I like to say to people, when you think about it, there's only one thing we don't have a choice about. And maybe we do with that and that's dying. Everything else is a matter of choice. Now choices have consequences. But another way for consequences is learning is that as we make choices, we need to pay attention. Is it working? Is it working for everyone and then adjust our course. And so my work has really been about helping people understand that joy comes, kindness comes, relationship comes when we focus on controlling our controllables and it's really three kinds. I've spent 45 years developing this focus. The first is to shape our future. If you don't shape your own future, somebody else is going to do it for you. And that's when you get to what you talked about, feeling unfulfilled, feeling like why didn't I, the should'ves instead of taking those actions, so shaping your future is about creating a vision. That's this first controllable and a lot of people think, Oh, I don't have that choice. You do have that choice. The second is to energize and engage your team. Everything in human performance comes back to energy, to everyone we touch, our energy is our example. In this show...
Russ Johns: [00:05:35] and we only have so much.
Brian Biro: [00:05:36] We only have... but it's our choice. We have a choice. People will watch the show and they won't remember that much of what we say. But they'll get our energy. They get your client energy just the minute they see your face, they'll get your genuine passion to help people. And that's what stays with us. So learning that we can make choices to elevate our level of energy, simple choices that make it within making a controllable. And the third controllable that we focus on is to build people, build teams and build relationships. No matter what you do, you're in the people business. It's the relationships you build and help others grow that will determine your life.
Russ Johns: [00:06:16] I want to dive in and dig a little deeper on the first one, creating a vision, creating an outcome, creating an idea about what the future needs to be. And I've had an interesting circumstance where I thought I wanted to be in and maybe you can relate to this based on when you, you quit when you were ahead in the corporate world, is that I got to a place where I thought I wanted to be and it wasn't until years later that I looked back and I say, wow, it was killing me, chasing the dream, but the dream became the nightmare. And so the vision that I had of the life that I wanted and I wanted for my family and the people around me, wasn't exactly fulfilling. And it wasn't the result that I had anticipated and I had to invest a lot more for the equity that I was getting out of it, if that makes sense.
Brian Biro: [00:07:13] Yes, it does. Yes, it does.
Russ Johns: [00:07:15] And so I want you to coach me for a minute and the audience and the people in the room here to think about how we craft our vision. To bring kindness and joy and some culture into our lives, our own circle of influence and how we can frame that in a more positive way that allows us to be responsible for our actions and also take initiative to decide, okay, is this really what I need? Is this what I want in my life? And how does that make me feel?
Brian Biro: [00:07:47] Great. Great. Beautiful question. And there's really two foundational principles about shaping your future. The first, I have a four year old grandson, his name is Augie and he's the coolest guy ever. And we were just with him and my little granddaughter who turned 2 just a few days ago this past week. And we brought him a two wheeler bike. He's still been on his tricycle, he's like a little maniac. We know what's going to happen. We waited because mom and dad had gone away for the weekend. We were watching them and we didn't want to take away the joy of that first real ride on that two wheeler. So he gets on that two wheeler. First time, mom and dad are pushing him from behind. He puts his hands on those handlebars. All right. He sticks his tongue out for balance. And he's wobbling and he's shaking, but he's peddling and he's doing it. Mom and dad let go of him and he starts riding and he's doing it. He's riding that bike. Unfortunately right in front of him on the sidewalk is a great big rock. What does Augie look at? The rock. What happens? Wham. He hits that rock. He falls over, scraped up his elbow, he goes by his dad says I'm cool. Goes to his momand says, I'm gonna die! All right. So two weeks later, same little guy, same little Augie, same bike. Doesn't need his tongue out anymore cause he's got this bike riding thing down. Boppity boppity bop down the same sidewalk. Bigger rock. What happens now? He goes around it. What goes around it first? His vision, his eyes, the bike doesn't go around it, his vision goes around it. In other words, what he has taught us is that foundational principle that gives us choice in our vision, which is what you focus on is what you create. What you focus on is what you create. You create the breakthrough or you create the breakup. And so the starting place is to recognize once we understand that what we focus on is what we create, here is a huge question. What are you focusing on? How many of us focus more on the rock than the way around it? How many of us focus more on what we don't want than what we do want? So as you start to develop that, set that, understanding that what I focus on is what I create. What you resist persists. If you're focusing on the rock, you're going to get more rock and we're not imperfect. We're human. So what we want to start to do is catch ourselves when we're looking at the rock or more importantly, focusing on the result instead of what we put in to get to the result.
Russ Johns: [00:10:08] If you focus on the fear, you get more fear.
Brian Biro: [00:10:10] Really it comes down to it, every choice is a choice between fear or love and faith. And every time you choose fear, you know it immediately.
Russ Johns: [00:10:17] The reason I want to do bring this up is because so many people get stuck. Even with video, getting on video, I think is the most powerful tool you can use to actually see the person relate to the individual and have a conversation that is meaningful. That's just my premise. That's my automatic go-to. And short of being in person, face to face, toe to toe, the outcome though, of the fear of getting on camera and having it on video and everything else holds a lot of people back. And if you focus on the fear, you're going to always continue to have fear. If you just jump in and do it and you find out, oh, that wasn't so bad.
Brian Biro: [00:10:55] Exactly.
Russ Johns: [00:10:56] Jumping into the pool for the first time. There's this idea that, okay, will I be able to float? Will I be able to make it? And the answer is yes, you will make it...
Brian Biro: [00:11:06] As soon as you shift vision from the fear to the faith or the fear to the love as you want it and how you want to talk. I, in my speaking for the last 30 years, I'm known as America's breakthrough coach, because I've had about three quarters of a million people break boards, karate style in my event. And it's the coolest metaphor, Russ, there is. But it's real because you don't know you can do it, until you do it. And the real secret to breaking through that board and we had the metaphor of meaning. So people write on the board something they want to break through, procrastination, fear of failure, fear of public speaking, fear of being on video and on the other side of the board, they write down and they get to envision, what's waiting for me? When I have broken through, what am I going to do, be, feel, create, having my life cause no longer am I focusing on the fear. But the real secret has nothing to do with how strong you are, it has everything to do with what you focus on. If you focus on the board, you get the board. You go, whoa, that's a piece of wood. You focus beyond the board, into your holders eyes and it's it's not even there. And that's such a beautiful metaphor of our lives is that how often we get drawn to the fear. And so that the key to shaping your future is first understand what you focus on is what you create. So if you're focusing on the fear, shift it, shift focus to the other side of the board. The second is to stop using your memory to see. I often ask, I think I did this in the presentation where I ask audiences, what color is a yield sign, everybody right now, what color is a yield sign? And I've spoken 1800 times around the world. Every audience says yellow and they're red and white. And it's because we've been conditioned to think roadsides are yellow signs. Where does that matter? What does it matter to you and I?
Russ Johns: [00:12:54] People.
Brian Biro: [00:12:54] Change the way you look at people, the people you look at change. Change the way you see yourself, the self will change. That's how you begin to shape your future. Because every second, we have the opportunity to learn something new, to grow and no longer see the world exactly the way we used to, unless we lock into using our memory to see.
Russ Johns: [00:13:14] Well and so many of us go through life at some point in time when we realize that the only thing we measure our results from is our past. And when that takes place, you're not focusing on the future. You're not focusing on a new result, a new outcome, which is exactly what we need to focus on.
Brian Biro: [00:13:34] Yeah. I would take it to the place where what we really need to focus on is what we put in to get to those results. In other words, when we focus on what we put in, were being fully present. And present leads to the future. The present will get us to that result. My mentor was the man who wrote the forward to my very first book was John Wooden and John Wooden was the greatest coach of all time. But in 27 years of coaching UCLA basketball to 10 national championships, nobody's even come close. Not once did he ever say the words winning or losing to his players. He didn't use those words? Did he want to win? Oh yeah. He wanted them to focus on what they did to create that result rather than the result itself. In other words, focus on your effort, your energy, your attitude, your team feeling. And he used to wink at you and say, you do that, you're going to come out just fine. And so that's when we've talked, that's when we talk about controlling our controllables, because we don't necessarily control the result. We control our effort, our energy, our actions, our faith, our belief, and moving to the result and giving them a chance to get there.
Russ Johns: [00:14:42] And also our response to what happens.
Brian Biro: [00:14:45] Absolutely. Yeah. And to be able to recognize that it's not failure. It's great information. That's where it gets for so important on vision. So to adjust. When we hold the steering wheel of our car and we lock it in, we're going in the ditch. We've got to adjust that. We've got to adjust ourselves, constantly pay attention to stimuli. And that's what the beauty of looking at what you put in when you come from a definition of success that says success is peace of mind. And it comes from knowing we've given the best of which we're capable. Then when something doesn't go right, it's not, oh my, oh terrible, oh woe is me. It's wow. Now I know more than I did before and I can adjust that course and stay out of the ditch.
Russ Johns: [00:15:33] Yeah. And adjust along the way. I want to give a shout out to some of the individuals that are joining us here today. So Darren Burch, he's a podcaster. He's an amazing individual here in Arizona. Good morning, Russ and fellow pirates. Thank you so much for being here. Tracie, the producer of the show, she's here. Good morning pirates. Thank you so much. Tracie. Love you. And Donna Dunn. That is funny. We were talking earlier. So she was saying Darren was saying, playing sports teaches so many great life lessons, not the least of which is teamwork. So that's a great statement. Donna says, so true. You really need to listen to that message and share it. We're going to get tenured to share the message.
Brian Biro: [00:16:17] Absolutely. Absolutely.
Russ Johns: [00:16:18] And we're going to continue to share the message of kindness. Very true, Brian, and Russ. Very valid points on choice. He says also adjust the course as you make choices, shape your future. If you don't someone else will energize and engage your team and those around you.
Brian Biro: [00:16:33] What a student, Russ. What a student, my gosh. You got an A+, man.
Russ Johns: [00:16:38] Great energy, Brian. I love it. I just love the individuals here that are coming into the pirate community. I love this controlling our controllables, but also response to what happens, Brian Biro and Russ Johns.
Thank you so much.
Brian Biro: [00:16:57] Absolutely. Thank you.
Russ Johns: [00:16:58] I thought yellow.
Brian Biro: [00:17:00] Of course! Of 1800 audiences, Donna, they've all said yellow. And here's something that's really important to understand is that I actually did my program when my daughters were... my daughters are now grownups, but when they were in high school... we switched to red and white yield signs 45 years ago. They've never seen anything but red and white yield signs. And I asked their high school class, what color is a yield sign? They said yellow. And the reason is it's not just our memory that we use to see. It's more importantly, it's our conditioning. And so most of the other road signs are yellow and black. So we stop using our vision to see. And when we open our eyes to that possibility, what happens is incredible new awareness and alertness. I tell the story of when my daughter went away to college. We missed her so much, but when she came home for the first time for Thanksgiving holiday, I finally realized how long I had been looking at her like she was an old, yellow yield sign, even though I love her completely. I've been looking at it for years like she's still my ten-year-old little girl. She'd been driving her own car for two and a half years. She walked in our door that Thanksgiving, a smile the size of North Carolina, immediately announced to her mom and I, that she'd already applied for, already been accepted to go to a very special service program in Ghana, in Africa. Kelsey, like you Russ, wants to make the world better. And I looked at my daughter that day, maybe for the very first time. And I finally realized that every time I looked at her as if she were an old yellow yield sign, what happened to our relationship? It went backwards, until I looked at the beauty, the courage, the wisdom, the powerful, incredible young woman that was in front of me. That's what happens when you stop using your memory to see is you begin to see what's really there. You begin to see. And remember what you focus on is what you create. So the more you look for the good in people, the more you not only see it, the more you help to foster it, build it, improve it, grow it.
Russ Johns: [00:18:57] It's awesome. I love that. I just really encourage people to. Listen to this maybe once or twice and understand what Brian's sharing today, because this is gold and this is really valuable lessons that we can all take away. Add a little bit in our life every day and encourage others around us to be a little more. Present in what we're doing and focused on what we're doing and make sure that we have a vision in the future going forward. Brian, I want to make sure that before we leave today and wrap up and go about doing our thing, I want to share a little bit about this idea of maybe tiny habits or this idea that we could do small steps. We don't have to change the world all in the next hour, although, work towards that. We have to make sure that we take measured steps in order to accomplish bigger goals. And sometimes it's overwhelming for a lot of us. So is there some ideas and maybe a sample of some things that we can do incrementally to get to where we need to be to practice this on a regular basis now?
Brian Biro: [00:20:09] Absolutely. I like to say inch by inch, anything's a cinch. And indeed overwhelm is having so many things that you want to do and not doing any of them. And the only answer to overwhelm is to do one thing, is take one little step, because suddenly you start to generate momentum. So probably the most important... I call it the secret behind the secret, Russ, if you want to build trust, if you want to deliver kindness, if you want to really help other people to know they're important, the secret behind the secret is to be fully present because whenever we're fully present with another human being, which is one of your gifts, Russ, you do it. We're several thousand miles away, but I can feel your presence. Whenever we're fully present, what do we say to that person? We say to them, you are important. You matter. You count. I value you and whenever we're not present, we send the opposite message. Like you're worth less. You don't matter. And so how do you work on that? How do you develop that present muscle? The best way I know is for the next 30 days to go on what I call an ETP. It's an energy transformation program. And one of the simple steps, it's just a tiny step is pick out two people in your life, one in your work and one in your home, who for 30 days, you commit to be more fully present. Doesn't mean you have to spend more time with them. You may actually just by life schedule, have less time, but when you're with them, put the cell phone down for a while, sitting at home, turn off the television. Do this magical thing, ask more than tell, and then listen completely before you formulate your response. You do that for a couple of days, they're going to look at you different. They're going to go, you've been working out, you changed your haircut. You're looking good, right? And when you become present with that person, what'll happen is it'll elevate that level of connection. I believe that our job, Russ, is to help the people that we lead, serve, love, to know they're important because when people know they're important, they rise to a oh yes spirit. And when people feel unimportant or not valued, they fall to a oh no. And the only way we can actually communicate that completely is to be fully present. So the number one little tiny step is to just start with two again, inch by inch, anything's a cinch.
Russ Johns: [00:22:27] I love that. I love that.
Brian Biro: [00:22:29] The second little tip I would give in this ETP is to understand that your energy is a choice and there's two keys to energy. One, change the way you move. Instantly, when you sit up, when you smile, when you add light to your eyes, you can feel your energy rise on a 10 point scale. It is impossible to feel down when you look up and we're not wired that way inside. So if you wanna move your relationships, if you wanna move your job, if you want to move your health, you must first move yourself. Add light in your eyes, get a mirror and put it where you can look at that face and see, where is that face on that 10 point energy scale?
It makes a huge difference.
Absolutely, huge difference. And then the most important key to energy that we have choice about is the focus on purpose. Whenever we're full of purpose, we're full of energy. Think about when you get to do your show, Russ. No matter how much sleep you had. It doesn't matter if you've been feeling great, you get to do your show, you are 10 years old where you got infinite energy,
Russ Johns: [00:23:32] I'm curious too. I want to find out about what Brian's doing.
Brian Biro: [00:23:35] That's it! Thatcuriosity, that interest, you can see it in your face, in your eyes...
Russ Johns: [00:23:39] And #gratitude as well.
Brian Biro: [00:23:41] Oh, #Gratitude is the highest vibrational emotion. It's been measured, so when your energy, when you're in a state of #gratitude, you are at your highest frequency and negative emotion has no chance against #gratitude. #Gratitude will overpower it because of the actual electrical frequency.
Russ Johns: [00:23:59] There are so many times that you can be down and just pause and like you said, be present in the moment. And just reflect on all of the things that you're grateful for and it doesn't have to be big. It can be water in my glass, can be coffee in my cup. It can be a roof over my head or food in my fridge. It doesn't have to be huge. It doesn't have to be monumental. It just has to be there to be grateful for.
Brian Biro: [00:24:26] You're exactly right. So ask every morning when you wake up for the next 30 days, ask yourself, what am I truly grateful about? The word has a secret in it, especially if you're not big on spelling. You know, what you're grateful about has the power when focused upon the power to make you grateful. What you're grateful about will zero you in on what's on your priorities. Your priorities are always the pathway leading to purpose.
Russ Johns: [00:24:50] That's so amazingly true. Kenyatta says, yes, your energy is a choice. It can be generated.
Brian Biro: [00:24:58] Absolutely, Kenyatta, awesome. Great name, too.
Russ Johns: [00:25:01] Donna, Russ and Brian, this has been such a great message. Thank you for sharing it with us. Absolutely. Thank you so much.
Brian Biro: [00:25:08] It's our joy.
Russ Johns: [00:25:11] Energy transformation program - spend quality time with them. Ask more than tell. Your energy is a choice. Change the way you move. Focus on purpose. #Gratitude is the highest vibrational emotion. I love this. I love that you're here and I'm probably...Olatunji? How would you pronounce that, brian? Olatunji. Olatunji, thank you so much. And Mike Baker, count your blessings. Absolutely. Absolutely. Brian, how do you love people to connect with you and engage with you on a regular basis and reach out to you and say, hey, I'm a pirate, can I connect?
Brian Biro: [00:25:50] My website is the easiest way to reach me. It gives you a direct line to me. It's just my name,brianbiro.com. And I love to hear from people. I always make two promises. I will always reply. All right. And I will always start my reply with joy to you, because I want you to understand that joy.... one of my books is called it's Time for Joy, how to become the happiest person, and that is really about the fact that we can choose. We can't choose what happens to us, but we can choose our reaction and our response to how we deal with what happens to us.
Russ Johns: [00:26:22] You have another book out as well? The ROI, it it's right there.
Brian Biro: [00:26:26] The ROI of kindness.
Russ Johns: [00:26:28] The ROI of Kindness. And I love that. And I wanted him to show that book so we could actually engage in a little bit of kindness here. So it's awesome to have you here. And I could talk about this subject all day.
Brian Biro: [00:26:42] We have to stop? We just got started. Come on man.
Russ Johns: [00:26:47] Or we don't have to stop. We don't have to do anything.
Brian Biro: [00:26:51] We have a choice.
Russ Johns: [00:26:52] We have a choice. And it's just really amazing opportunity to actually know somebody like Brian and a breakthrough coach. And I'm sure that you help millions of people with your voice and your message in your intent. And I just love the idea that we can actually talk about this subject and I'm passionate about it, like yourself, and the things that we do in our world, touches millions now. This message will be living on, it'll be on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Twitch, LinkedIn, and podcasts. We're all podcasts are sold. So it's really an opportunity to share the voice with as many people as possible. And I encourage people to listen to the message, play it again.
Brian Biro: [00:27:42] Awesome. You know, my movie of all time is It's a Wonderful Life and it's that old Christmas movie, but the message is what you just said. The message is that we may touch one person and have no idea how that one little word, that one little kindness, that one little aha, that you help them discover for themselves. How far that ripple effect will move, how many people their lives may touch. So when you look at it that way, that everything we do affects so much more than ourselves. Then that's when we really understand that kindness has to be proactive, it's easy to be kind people. Where kindness really counts is to be kind when people are not at their best when people are scared or hurt. To be compassionate when people are unfair.
Russ Johns: [00:28:25] That's when they need it the most.
Brian Biro: [00:28:27] That's when they need it most and to become someone who is easy to impress, but really hard to offend. And then you're going to have a great life.
Russ Johns: [00:28:33] Thank you, Brian. I really appreciate you. All the #gratitude in the world and wishing you the best in all of your adventures. And if I'm anywhere close to North Carolina, I'm going to dial you up and say, let's go have coffee.
Brian Biro: [00:28:45] You got a place to stay when you come out here to Asheville, North Carolina. Russ, you're doing great work. It shines beyond your words, through who you are and just keep up making a difference.
Russ Johns: [00:28:54] Love it. And as everybody knows, #kindnessiscool, #smilesarefree and it's because I want you to #enjoyyourday. Be safe. Be well. Be in touch.
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