#18 Podcast: Unlocking a high-performance lifestyle with Dr. Russ Irwin

Transcript

Welcome to Startup Revival, the number one podcast for Christian entrepreneurs, with your hosts Matthew Bell and Rafael Simpson. The world needs more entrepreneurs. Build something.

Matthew Bell:             Hello everyone, this is Matthew Bell. Thanks for tuning in to Startup Revival.

Before we get started, I just want to remind you of a few things. Startup Revival is all about the community. So if you have any feedback or comments or questions you’d like us to address in the podcast, feel free to let us know. You can send us an email at [email protected]. And also, be sure to join the online community. Go to Facebook.com/groups/startuprevival. It’s a great place to meet other entrepreneurs and learn some new and interesting things. Thanks, everyone. Enjoy the podcast.

Welcome to Startup Revival. This is Matt Bell, the cohost of Startup Revival, and I am just super-excited and super-blessed by the opportunity to have this very special guest with us. I would like to introduce you to Dr. Russ Irwin of Irwin Coaching and Associates and a 20-year behavioral psychologist. And before I go any further, I want to make sure that I don’t butcher or mess up his introduction, so I’m going to pass the ball to you, Russ. I would love for you to share a little bit about the last 20, 30 years that you’ve been in ministry and psychology and just have an opportunity to welcome you to the audience. So Russ, great to have you here.

Russ Irwin:                 Oh, thank you. It’s a pleasure to be with you, Matthew, and with the audience as well. As you were saying, yeah, I’ve spent the last 20 years in the area of high-performance coaching, actually. I’ve had the privilege to Fortune 500 CEOs, millennial entrepreneurs, celebrities, Olympics athletes. I was a pastor for 10 years, actually, and very, very committed to my relationship with the Lord, and on consistent basis I’ve always been really looking to Him as to what’s my assignment here, what’s my purpose, and what really does He want me to do in terms of the Kingdom. And after a number of years of being a successful pastor, I felt the Lord leading me in a completely different direction, which really shocked me and those around me. I left a very successful pastorate to return to university for 12 years full-time plus a two-year residency to become a forensic behavioral scientist. I worked as a professor in medical school for a number of years in the area of forensic psych and behavioral analysis and worked in a clinic seeing patients.

And I was actually speaking at a conference as a doctor in Taiwan and an individual had come up to me after the event and was just absolutely blown away. He said—his words—by the concepts and principles I’ve shared I’m shifting and breaking behavioral patterns and mindsets towards high performance and success, and really what I was talking about was just living a better life, a more consistent life that flowed with who God had created us to be. And he said, “Do you do any consulting work?” And I said, “Well, no. Actually, I’m a doctor.” He said, “Well, if I fly you back here, would you speak with a couple of my CEOs for me?” And I said, “Sure.” So he flew me back a couple of months later and brought me into a room with 121 CEOs. He was one of the wealthiest men in all of Asia, 121 companies and had 121 CEOs sitting there for the next three days. So I talked to them about high-performance patterns and habits.

And that really was what caused me to, there’s certainly no coincidence with the Lord, but I tell people kind of coincidentally caused me to fall into a coaching business, and that was nine years ago and from then on I’ve had the privilege of working with some very influential people and carrying out what I would describe as a mandate, a calling or an absolute assignment to raising up Josephs and Daniels in these last days into spheres of influence in the marketplace, and I do that through high-performance coaching.

Matthew Bell:             Wow. Okay. So there’s a lot there. The first thing I want to ask jumping off of that, it all sounds amazing and there’s a lot of relevance obviously for the Startup Revival audience and the work we’re doing, but you made the transition from pastor to what is now your profession and we find and we get a lot of people who ask us about they may have an idea or they may have a business idea or they want to start a company or they want to go into some type of industry, but they also have this battle that they want to serve the Lord. And I don’t believe that there needs to be such a distinction between serving the Lord and pursuing a practice or a profession, but you started off as a pastor, so when did you have the revelation that, and how did it look and what did it look like—I’d love to help people be able to understand in their own life that your vision for serving the Lord transitioned into the marketplace. How did you get that calling or how did you feel the Lord calling you into the work that you’re doing now? Because it’s a pretty big jump going from a pastor to going back into getting your doctoral degree in psychology and then ultimately being in a boardroom with 121 high-powered CEOs. It’s a huge transition. I think there’s so much power in what you’re doing now, but I’d love to hear how God took you from point A to point B and ultimately what triggered that revelation for you.

Russ Irwin:                 Well, and that’s a great question and it’s one I wish I had a sentence to answer but the truth is, Matthew, it was a process over time and it was really through the Lord little bits at a time drawing me towards Himself and I think me having a willingness to the invitation of God, wanting to stretch my borders and take me beyond my comfort zone and my realms of familiarity. But if I was really to put my finger on something, I think it would really start with some intense study I started to do into the life of two individuals, Joseph and Daniel. I’d always been very entrepreneurial, had always excelled in what I had done and had a promise one day from the Lord years and years ago, and I say this extremely cautiously with all reverence, but the Lord had spoke to me actually as a new believer. I had come from growing up in the projects, had come from the gangs, was so violent – part of my salvation that I was thrown out of high school prior to my senior year; no school in the city would allow me to come back. And so to this day, I joke and say, “Well, I’m a doctor but I don’t have a high school education.” But I had always had this desire inside for some sense of purpose and meaning and, even though I didn’t know the Lord and grew up on a Jewish faith background, just knew that there was someone out there and there was a great purpose to my existence and was really on a quest to find that. And so when I had become a new believer, I felt the Lord speak to me one morning and just said, “One day I’m going to allow you to stand before kings and leaders of countries and heads of states.” And I didn’t really know what that was about. I thought maybe I’d eaten the wrong food before I went to bed the night before. Interestingly enough, I’ve had the privilege of doing it now as a high-performance coach.

But I have to say the transition came as I started to really look at Joseph and Daniel, and if I could really condense what was probably a couple-year process into a few moments, I noticed that with these particular individuals that God gave them an ability to excel. In particular when I looked at Daniel’s life, it says that God gave him an ability to excel. And the word that’s used in Hebrew for “excel” is the word “yateer,” and yateer means something that sticks out, something that rises higher than the others. In other words, God gave Daniel the ability to stand out. And we look at the lives of Joseph and Daniel and recognize that they had tremendous kingdom impact, but they did it within the confines of the realms of secular society. And usually when we think of somebody with a religious calling, we think of a creature with a plexiglass pulpit and we don’t think about politician or an entrepreneur or celebrity, but that’s the realm that these two individuals really worked in, and Daniel operated in a realm that [00:08:05] many that God is raising up are put in that realm today and this is what Joseph did in Egypt, what Daniel did in Babylon. They took the God-given supernatural abilities that were deposited within them and they consecrated those purposes to God, and this is one of the great things and I’ve seen more and more in the people that I’m coaching that individuals are disciplining their skills, really uncovering their capacity and leveraging their divine design to becoming preeminent in a particular field. And that’s really a force of favor, and that’s what really started happening to me as I was studying these individuals – I started to feel this pull or this tug towards a place of influence and kingdom impact that went beyond the confines of the four walls of the church. And I’m definitely giving you a Coles Notes version. This took a couple of years going through this and it required 12 years of schooling, not that everybody has to do that.

But I am convinced that we hear a lot of prophetic talk about a second reformation coming, the first one obviously being reformation of doctrine that Luther discovered justification by faith, but I think the second reformation we’re stepping into is not really a reformation but is really more of a revolution and is a revolution towards impact that I believe primarily is going to be carried out by millennial entrepreneurs, individuals that have been shaped by culture and discouraged by the shaping that they received and that feel a mandate by God to actually go out now and reshape culture. And I see this is definitely going to take place in 2018 as we step further into uncharted territories with God, and as we start to press into them there’s going to be a great equipping for the calling that He’s destined us for. And so I am really, really excited, was scared stiff, the number of years that I was taking this jump, but I love what I do, I’m so excited about what I do. As I said, this is really not a job for me. It is a passion, it’s a calling, it’s an assignment, and I just love the privilege of coaching very influential people and I also love the privilege of coaching startup millennial entrepreneurs that have the same hunger that I had 25, 30 years ago, and helping to bring them into their divine destined purpose.

Matthew Bell:             That’s great. So if I could concisely wrap that up, it wasn’t just a lightning bolt moment where you said, “I’m taking the leap,” but actually was an outflowing of your studying of the Word that ultimately led you to the revelation and ultimately to the path that you’re on, which is really interesting. That’s something—we like to give practical guidance and tips and steps all along the way through our content and podcast that we create to the audience so that we can inspire people to do the same, so if you’re struggling and if you have a vision or an idea or something, God’s going to lead you as you study His Word and He’s going to impart that revelation to you, and it may just happen gradually just as Dr. Russ put it here, which is super-exciting and practical. I think we can all, if there’s anything that we can do, we can study the Word on a daily basis and then God will draw us into an understanding of how we can change the world through this revelation, which is super-interesting.

Russ Irwin:                 Yeah.

Matthew Bell:             But it also brings me to kind of the next question here. You just mentioned that now you’re living with passion and purpose and you have what sounds like a very fulfilling—you’re where God has appointed you and you’re very at peace and totally fulfilled in what he’s called you to do. Your website poses the question, which I found really interesting, is, are you earning a living or are you designing a life? So in light of what you just shared and being an example of someone who’s really grooving in the calling that God has placed on your life, what does that mean exactly? What does it mean to earn a living or design a life?

Russ Irwin:                 Well, I think earning a living is having a job, designing a life is finding your assignment really in a nutshell. And I would really love to say that, as I mentioned a few moments ago and to all out there, that this was a process over a long period of time that involved reading a lot of books, a lot prayer, a lot of fasting, and really digging into the Word. And I would really encourage those that are really seeking an alignment with the assignment that God has for them to really honor the struggles and to learn all of the process, because there’s no such thing as a friction-free life and the journey to greatness begins the moment that our desire for comfort and ease are overpowered by our desire to connect and contribute.

And really that’s what designing a life is about, is me just saying, you know, I read a book in my graduate years in psychology called Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl and it had a tremendous impact, the power of my meaning and purpose. And as I began to journey through my studies in psychology and human behavior along with my Christian one and my relationship with the Lord, I discovered that it’s really not a job, it’s really not reputation and status, and it’s really not money that most people are after. What people are after is looking for some sense of meaning and purpose to their existence. And that goes back to the age-old question back in the sixties, the hippies running around saying, “Hey, whoa, why am I here, man? And what’s my purpose?” And I think that that has been woven into the fabric of humanity from the beginning of time.

And so designing a life is really discovering who you are, discovering what you really want, coming into an understanding of the divine assignment that God has placed you on this earth for, and aligning yourself with it. That to me is designing a life. If you get paid along the way, that’s a tremendous bonus. And I have to say, I mean, I have people who pay me very, very well for what I do, I have some people who don’t pay me at all, and neither of those really matter. Sometimes I get off the phone or I come from a meeting with a coaching client, it could be a very, extremely influential leader, it could be just an average person like myself, and sometimes I’m so excited with a foot off the ground, jumping, saying to my wife, “I can’t believe I get to do this and I can’t believe I even actually get paid to do this.” So to me, that’s what really designing a life is, is it’s finding that assignment, aligning yourself with it, and that journey to greatness is the moment, for me at least, when I made the decision that I would allow myself to be brought out of comfort and ease and I’d be overpowered by desire to connect and contribute.

Matthew Bell:             Wow. That’s great. I love your passion for the work you do. I think that everyone at the end of the day wants to feel that fulfilled and excited about starting their day.

Russ Irwin:                 I love your term, passion, and sometimes people say, “Well, you’re passionate about what you do,” and I said, “No, no, no, I went beyond that. This is a magnificent obsession.”

Matthew Bell:             That’s great. I love it. So shifting gears, I’d love to hear more about the work that you actually do. So tell us about the work you do with Fortune 500 CEOs and these high-powered executives that you work with. What are they paying you to do for them? What does it look like on a typical engagement? And how much does it cost? And you don’t have to answer that question. I ask because I think the value, I’ve heard that some coaching VIP sections could be $10,000, $20,000 or more per day, and I think that indicates the value that people gain from it.

Russ Irwin:                 Yeah.

Matthew Bell:             And that’s only to kind of illustrate that hey, people are paying me this much to do what I love because it works and because they get value out of it. So whatever you feel comfortable chatting about that’s perfectly fine on our end, but just tell us about the work you’re doing and what CEOs are seeking you for and how it helps their businesses and their lives.

Russ Irwin:                 Well, if I could really put into sort of a paragraph form the general position that most people are at when they come to, it’s one or two – either they’re experiencing some problems in their lives or in their businesses and so they come and they’ve reached what I call a ceiling of complexity and they need to know how to break through, or they’re actually doing really well, they’re doing good, but they’re not doing great, and they understand the power of market share competition out there and the leverage that’s required to succeed on a consistent basis. So I might get called into a company doing not so good, a company that’s doing very, very well, but generally I would say this, that people are tremendously uncertain about how to get ahead these days, how to break through the plateau in their career, their business, what decisions are actually right in the moment that’s going to give them the needed leverage for the next level of success.

And I think the problem in today’s world, Matthew, is that work and success is no longer predictable and expectations are no longer fixed. And so for leaders, certainties and expectations that are often the baseline for success has really been moved quite substantially. I see people wanting to scale up and in some cases they’re exhausted, which I find that in a lot of senior CEOs. They know they’re destined for more and they’re working really hard but they can’t seem to break through, and they’re ready for change but they’re lacking the direction and some great habits. Some feel capable. Some even at times will say to me, “Russ, I’ve hit periods of high performance or peak performance but then, well, there’s always that steep cliff on the other side,” and they’re tired of the ups and downs. And some people are frustrated of working hard. They’re passionate, they’re grateful, but they’re still not advancing and they’re just not feeling it. And there’s something really depleting I think about that, excelling sometimes but feeling exhausted often, having a whole lot of grit getting paid but not feeling rewarded, being motivated but not creating real momentum. And so those are really some of the scenarios that people will call me into.

And then I have a lot of calls from somebody saying, “I don’t even have any money. I’m 21 years old but I got a dream and I love God, and can you help me? And I can’t pay you anything,” and I just love individuals like that. Again, that’s just part of  the assignment. So, I mean, I’ve never charged $10,000 or $20,000 a day to anybody and I’m not sure I’m even interested in that. I charge a pretty low amount. To some people it might sound enormous. To most leaders it’s like, “Well, that’s all your going to charge me?” And the reason why I do that is because I really want to communicate something very powerful. It’s not in any way to downplay the gifts I have and the resulting values that I create. It’s to say, “Look, this is my assignment. This is what I feel called and privileged to do, and so I really want to make it affordable for everybody.”

I’ll give you an example. Once company, one CEO, called me. They were in a really, really tough spot. They were just about to file for bankruptcy and I came in and began working with the company in high-performance coaching, and we went from bankruptcy to within three years they sold for $26 million. I would have loved to have had a piece of that but I didn’t ask for it. I said, “This is what you can pay me.” It was a very small amount on a monthly basis. They came ahead, much farther than I in a financial perspective, but in terms of fulfillment, boy, did I ever come far ahead.

And so I think that’s generally the scenario that people will approach me on. Even an Olympic athlete, they might be a silver medalist but they want to be a gold. And success has very little to do with skill. It has a lot to do with psychology and mindset and certain consistent ritual practice of habits, high-performing habits. And so that’s normally what I find myself walking into.

Matthew Bell:             Got it. Well, that’s really interesting. So help me understand, so you’ve been talking a lot about the term “high-performance coaching,” I mean, does this differ from traditional life coaching? And if so, how? Because I have done some life coaching in the past and depending on the session or the coach who was either really helpful or kind of just more like a conversation with a friend. Tell me about your approach and what actually defines high-performance coaching.

Russ Irwin:                 So I would say this. I think life coaching is absolutely phenomenal. I have a number of friends that I know are life coaches and I just celebrate what they do. I think part of the difference between some of the life coaches out there and what I do is I bring a doctorate degree in human behavioral analysis and forensics to the table as opposed to maybe a short Internet or a couple of weeks or a couple of months life-coaching course. And I don’t say that in any way whatsoever to disrespect coaches. I love life coaches. What I do is this is really upping your game a little bit more.

Where I differ from a peak performance coach is somebody said to me, “Well, you’re a peak performance coach. You’re going to take me to the peak.” And I said, “Well, I really hope not.” And they said, “Well, why not?” I said, “Do you know anything about mountain climbing?” They said, “Well, I’m familiar with it.” I said, “So when you get to the top, what have you reached?” They said, “The summit.” I said, “What else is it called?” They said, “The peak.” I said, “So when you’re at the peak, at the top, where do you go from there?” They said, “Well, nothing. You climb down.” I said, “Well, peak performance takes you to a place where there’s nowhere else to go but you need to come down. Some people call it stability. Some people call it just finding momentum or finding your balance after that. High performance is getting to that peak but then discovering that small window of trajectory that takes you even to a higher place of breakthrough.”

And so what I do that might differ from your traditional life coach or others is that I create a standard mental operating system that’s going to tap the individual, their God-given capacity, and we generally use this profile test that you’re familiar with to do that. It’s not about being super-human, Matt. It’s about discovering and operating at your best on a more consistent basis. So if I was to describe high performance, I would say this, that the definition is succeeding above and beyond the standard norms over the long term. And high performance is not a personality trait. It’s a result of specific consistent habits that are practiced that become part of your DNA on a regular basis. And that’s really what we do when I say the standard mental operating system, is we provide the tools, we provide the strategy that’s tailor-made to the individual as a result of the findings from the 77-page profile test we take them through, and we design something for them so that they can go beyond the standard norms and they’re not just hitting the peak and they’re not experiencing success on a fluctuating basis but they’re hitting that success over the long term on a consistent basis.

Matthew Bell:             Wow.

Russ Irwin:                 And I would say this: In terms of a lot of the traditional coaching out there, a lot of the self-help and self-development seminars and self-improvement seminars, I think they’re wonderful and I really want to state that and I just applaud the individuals that are doing that and that’s their calling. But you know Matt, see, there’s a great deal of books out there. I have read hundreds of books. I am a book fanatic. But there’s a great deal of books out there on principles that get you in the game and some that will keep you in the game, but they’re not geared to consistently keep you winning the game and that’s the results that I give my clients. In fact, I do something that I don’t know anybody else does. I say to the individual, “We’re going to sign a contract or we’ll do a handshake, but if in six months you looked me in the eye and you told me this has not created value and you’ve not gotten results and your success has not exponentially grown, I will give you your money back.” And I’ve never had one person in nine years ask for their money back.

Matthew Bell:             Wow. Well, that’s a heck of a guarantee on quality. So, really interesting. So you brought up the behavioral test. It’s something that I wanted to kind of dig into. But first and foremost, I want to make sure the audience knows that this is an opportunity that they can take online or they can at least get set up to take it. We’re actually setting up a dedicated URL for people to find this test. So anyone who’s listening and you are intrigued by Dr. Russ’s practice and the way that he works with high-powered professionals and you want to get to that next level and you want to go beyond peak, this is something I think you all need to take as well. So go to startuprevival.com/coaching. It’ll direct you to how you can get started with the behavioral test. That is, again, startuprevival.com/coaching, and we’ll make sure that we put it online and everything so everyone can find it. But Russ, tell us more about this behavioral test, and how is this the beginning of the process towards high performance?

Russ Irwin:                 Well, two things I want to say and first beginning with the test is the test is a result of something called the genius study, and I do want to say that when I taught at the medical school, the university in Canada, one of the courses that I did teach for a couple of years was psychometric testing. So I am familiar with every test out there, all the extreme psychiatric personality disorder tests, the Kolbe test, Myers-Briggs, all those tests. I’ve done them. I’m aware of them. Many of them are really good tests but they’re not efficient standalone tests in that a lot of these tests, for example, the DISC test, it tells you what you do but it doesn’t get to the root of why do you do it, and so you can’t change what you’re not aware of.

And so I think with all the various tests that were out there, Dr. Robert Hartman who won a Nobel Prize for the study of axiology and human development and testing, they did a study a number of years ago—it was called the genius study—and this study is they were looking for, if any, what are the particular traits of highly successful people? And of course, success is a broad definition, so they looked at success and health success and money success and relationship success and values and spirituality, and they studied over a 197,000 people over seven years in 23 countries. It involved 75 PhDs and 900 consultants. And it was the results of that study that created this particular test called the advanced intermetric behavioral assessment profile.

This test is a very in-depth test. People say to me, “Hey, I’ve done the Myers-Briggs test,” and I say, “Look, it’s a good test, but this is a totally different test.” This test, there are only 1100 people in the world that are certified to perform this test and debrief this test. I was invited to the certification process a number of years ago. I really wasn’t going to do it because I thought, “Well, I don’t need anything else to add to my schedule.” I really thought that the Lord wanted me to go and do this certification process, so I stepped in a room with 1100 very high-powered global figures that were also certifying for this test. And I was talking to the facilitator afterwards and we were talking about values and I was sharing about my values and Christian belief, and he shook his head and he said, “Wow, I think you’re the only Christian in the world that will certified to do this test.” And it really hit me the Joseph and Daniel mandate and God raising people to specific spheres of influence that I may very well be, I don’t know, but I may still well be the only believer in the world that’s certified to do a test of this magnitude.

So when people do this test, I actually give them, Matt, a 77-page report. The level of accuracy, I’ve had CEOs, celebrities close their boardroom doors and start crying on me. People ask me if I’m psychic, and certainly there’s a prophetic element to the test that I believe the Lord equips me for. They say, “There’s just no way in the world that anyone should know these kind of details about me.” And so it’s an amazing test. Generally, it takes me about three to three-and-a-half hours to mark and measure the data, looking at the algorithms and you come up with those 77 pages, and then I do about an hour debrief to two-hour debrief for the individual on the phone. HR people love this because I’m able to assess and flag risk in a potential hire, and most companies will spend multitude thousands of dollars in wrong hires and so I’ll come in and they’ll say, “Look, we’ve got three candidates. We can’t afford a mis-hire again.”

And so it’s an incredible test. I get paid a lot of money for doing this test. And I just really felt the Lord say and particularly in our conversation when I met Matt and we discussed briefly about this show that I wished to really do something that would really be affordable and easy for even the average person to say, “Look, I really want to up my game and I want to have some kind of kingdom impact, but I don’t have all this money,” and so we’ve made it so it basically barely covers my time to do this test. But usually when I’ve finished a debrief the average response by somebody is, “Oh my goodness, where on earth do we go from here, Russ?” and we enter into to some form of coaching relationship.

The other thing along with the test I wanted to mention, Matthew, is that there are two programs that I have and we can discuss this a little bit further. One is called success accelerator and one is called the entrepreneur accelerator that’s really geared to millennials, and this is a program that people have paid me thousands and thousands of dollars to do this and people have experienced tremendous growth and made a lot of money off taking these courses. I just really felt in my heart, I felt the Lord saying about partnering with these people, and so what I am starting to do now and I’ve done it only with a few select people but I really would love to make it available in this program, is to have people say for $19 a month I will take them through this course, through these two courses. And it will probably take about a year to go through these courses, but what people are spending thousands of dollars out there, and I hope people that have come to conferences or paid me a lot of money aren’t listening right now, but what people pay a lot of money for I am willing to offer for 19 bucks a month to people because it’s really not about bringing the money. I do well and I’m comfortable, and God has been so gracious to my family over the years. It’s about raising up as many Josephs and Daniels as we can to discover what their sphere of influence is ins these last days. And so along with the test, making it extremely affordable, this is something I’m just kind of throwing out to you now for those that want to sign up and say, “Oh my goodness, man, I will pay $19 a month. When can I start?” we’re going to start off through web interaction a live program once a month where I will take these people through these two courses that as I said people have paid thousands and thousands of dollars, now you can have it for 19 bucks a month.

Matthew Bell:             Well, that’s great. I think 19 bucks a month is well worth the investment yourself if not 10 times that. But I appreciate the price point because that’s a really high value for the amount you’re paying.

Russ Irwin:                 Yeah. And people told me I was crazy. People said, “You’re going to undercut yourself, Russ.” I just said, “Listen, it’s about designing a life, not earning a living. And this is part of that mandate that I felt the Lord say, “I’ve really blessed you and I want you to bless my people and partner with my people, particularly millennials and entrepreneurs.” And so this is something that I felt really mandated to do.

Matthew Bell:             That’s great. Well, a couple more thoughts before we kind of just bring this to a close because we try to keep podcasts to 30 minutes so people can get it all in on the treadmill during the few-mile run. My question, so tell us about, if you have one that comes to mind—I know I’m putting you on the spot, I didn’t brief this in the questions I sent you—but have you had any experience working with entrepreneurs, and if so, can you share, you don’t have to disclose who the person is, but a before and after story, kind of a case study that, “I started working with this entrepreneur and this is where they were at, and then after we completed our work together this is where they were operating at in a much higher performance?” It doesn’t have to be an entrepreneur if you don’t have that case study, but I think a helpful understanding of where you really took someone who was hungry and motivated to increase their performance in life and kind of like just a simple overview of how you got them there and what that looked like afterward.

Russ Irwin:                 Well, I probably think, you know, obviously I did it with one young man in his mid-20s who wanted to open a restaurant and had no money, had nothing really, and we had been coaching for quite a while and working with him and he opened his restaurant, and here’s a young man, there were 70 people, very, very well-to-do people with a lot of money, that wanted to tie into this franchise. It was a very successful franchise. And this young man had no money and he was going to have to borrow all the money to do it and the bank said no and the head franchise corporation would probably say, “Well, no,” and long and short of it is they ended up getting it and they did very well for three or four years and then sold off the business. That’s one story of somebody with absolutely nothing that did extremely well by taking the test, by going through these high-performance principles because, really, it’s about transforming, it’s about harnessing the capacity, great capacity God has placed within people that most people aren’t aware of, it’s recognizing it, bringing it up to the surface, and releasing it to make a difference.

But I think the biggest one is obviously I worked with one individual who became a two-time world cycling athlete, set a world record twice. Another story is obviously the one where this company was about to go bankrupt and they were really struggling, they didn’t know what to do and the economy had hit them really, really hard at the beginning of ’09, and they were losing everything and a lot of companies were going under. One of the things—I’ll give you a little secret that’s a million-dollar secret—is most people when they hit tough times the first thing they do is they turn to lack of resources, and in this day and age it’s not about resources that create success, it’s about the ability towards resourcefulness. And so what we started to do was not focus on the lack of resources but, what is the potential for resourcefulness within the company? Every single person within this company, 12 people, did the profile test and we started to seriously realign misaligned individuals, and after three years of coaching that near-bankrupt company sold for $26 million. That was the result of two things. I mean, please, all glory to God, that’s the main thing that…but it was the result of going through the profile test, really uncovering capacity, learning how to recognize and release that capacity in a very specifically designed strategy, and working through what I call the high-performing habits, and that was the result three years later.

And I’m hearing these stories all the time. Not all of them are $26 million dollars. Some are just saying, “I’m happier. My marriage is happy. My life is so alive. Thank you. I’ve got a purpose for living.” Some people, they say, “Wow, I went from not being able to pay myself to I made $50,000 last year. Russ, thank you so much,” and, “I was starving and ready to give up until we met.” I mean, the stories are enormous and those stories really, Matthew, are my paycheck and that’s what really means the most to me. I just feel so privileged to be in this position to make an impact and, because we’re such a global village these days and the power of technology, I’m able to make a difference in people’s lives all around the world and this profile test I can actually perform in nine different languages through translation.

Matthew Bell:             That’s great. That’s amazing. Well, so Russ, I appreciate that. I mean, that’s super-exciting. I mean, going from bankruptcy to selling your company for 26 million is no small thing, right? So that’s incredible.

So just to kind of close things up and wrap up here, first off, super, super, just encouraged and appreciate your time today, but we like to leave the audience with something that they can chew on and something that they can take with them that is practical and actionable. So thinking about the work you do and whatever comes to you, but what would be your number one piece of advice for Christian entrepreneurs and Christian professionals to help them start taking steps towards their peak performance right now, today?

Russ Irwin:                 Well, the obvious one is the most—it’s get a coach. Get a coach who understands and somebody skilled, gifted and called in the area of high performance. There’s a lot of expensive people out there, so I don’t know if there’s a lot of Christian high-performance-skilled, but I am more than willing to entertain a conversation and maybe even have a discovery session with anybody out there that’s listening to you right now.

The other thing I would say there is it’s extremely important that if you want to be successful, please take the test. I can’t stress that enough. It will really help to unveil the capacities within you, the God-given capacities that will enable you to fully align yourself with your assignment. The second thing beyond the test, and this is really my starting point in terms of coaching, is number two, getting clarity, clarity about who you are, about who you want to become, what you want and why you want it, and then how are you going to do it? And that’s all part of a high-performance coaching program.

The third thing is this, is raise performance necessity. What I mean by performance necessity is learn to convert your shoulds into musts. And what I mean by that, one, is for most of us when we believe we should do something we probably won’t. For those that say, “Gee, I really should lose 10 pounds,” they probably won’t because there’s no sense of urgency. But when we convert our shoulds to musts, we’re inviting urgency into our lives, and so what happens there is breakthrough’s no longer a preference, it’s a necessity. It’s no longer a hope, it’s an urgent need. And so I would really encourage people, look at all the things that you really think you should be doing and convert those things into musts. That’s raising performance necessity. And people that have performance necessity, statistics show, 138 studies and 19,000 people over a three-year period, is those that develop performance necessity with a coach were 2.5 times more likely to obtain the results than those who didn’t.

Matthew Bell:             Wow, that’s great. Well, Russ, just really appreciate you. Thank you so much for joining. And guys, if you’re listening and you’ve been encouraged or excited and you want to take your performance to the next level, make sure you check out Dr. Russ Irwin’s behavioral test. You can go to startuprevival.com/coaching, you can check it out, you can take the first step towards your own peak performance today. And I think that for me, my advice to everyone is don’t wait. Let’s get moving on creating, designing a life, not just earning a living, today. So Dr. Russ, appreciate you. Thank you so much. I know we’re going to have you back on again. Just appreciate your time—this has been just really fruitful—and great getting to know you and hear about the work you’re doing. I just really, really appreciate your time.

Russ Irwin:                 Thank you, Matthew. I really appreciate it. And I just want to release blessing to everybody that’s listening and encourage you, please take the test. And money is not the issue, take the test, let’s talk afterwards. And if you take the test, I will have your email information and I will contact personally everyone that takes that test to set up a time for a debrief and a coaching session as part of that test, and let’s go from there. This is a very, very important time and I think 2018 is a year, a new beginning and new opportunities and open doors, and I am committed with everything within me, it’s really a life’s mission to raising up those Josephs and Daniels.

Matthew Bell:             Awesome. Thanks so much, Russ.

Russ Irwin:                 Thanks, buddy. Bless you.

Matthew Bell:             God bless you.

Russ Irwin:                 Take care.

That was Startup Revival, brought to you by your hosts Matt Bell and Rafael Simpson. Tune in next week to hear more stories from entrepreneurs and businesspeople to inspire, encourage and motivate you in your business journey. Have a great week.

I think earning a living is having a job, designing a life is finding your assignment
Dr. Russ Irwin

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