#BeBetter Podcast with Michael Kurland

How to compete every day and live a purpose-filled life with Jake Thompson

Helping your team reach their personal and professional goals

As the Chief Encouragement Officer at Compete Every Day, Jake Thompson works with global organizations to develop strong mindsets that create a competitive advantage. In today’s show, Jake discusses the importance for leaders to help their teams connect the dots between where they are today to where they want to go so they can have a purpose-driven life.

Jake Thompson portrait

“I knew what the feeling had been like to give in, to fear, to discomfort, to not go after something because you were afraid you were going to fail or what people might say.”


—Jake Thompson

Compete Every Day

65. How to compete every day and live a purpose-filled life with Jake Thompson

Key Takeaways

  • The better we can develop people, the better they become, the better work they’re going to do, and the more fulfilled and purpose-driven they’re going to be.
  • Invest in your people so they will grow within the organization.
  • To compete every day, outwork your talent, be intentional with who you seek wisdom from and associate with, always do your best, and control your controllables.

Social Links


Jake Thompson is a keynote speaker, author, and the Chief Encouragement Officer at Compete Every Day, a brand he started in 2011 by first selling t-shirts out of the trunk of his car. Jake works with organizations all over the world on teaching how they can develop stronger mindsets, habits, and cultures in order to achieve more in their careers and in their life. It’s through his entrepreneurial sales experience and research that he’s discovered how people who harness a competitive mindset against their own previous best can reach their goals, commit to action over motivation, and create the impact they desire. Clients include Titleist Golf, Michigan Realtors Association, Diamonds Direct, HILTI, and others.

“If we can professionally and personally develop our people, it’s going to grow our company.”

—Jake Thompson

Compete Every Day

Podcast Transcription

Hello. I’m Michael Kurland, CEO and co-founder of Branded Group, an award winning facility, maintenance and construction management company that services multi-site commercial properties such as retail, restaurants, health care facilities and educational institutions. Welcome to the BeBetter Podcast. Each week I interview thought leaders from a variety of industries who will share their stories and the lessons they learn as they strive to be better for their clients, partners, employees and their community. Are you ready to be better?

Michael: Hello and welcome to another episode of the BeBetter podcast. I’m your host, Michael Kurland. Joining me today, Jake Thompson, Chief Encouragement Officer at Compete Every Day. Jake, welcome to the show. Tell the audience a little bit about who you are and what you do.

Jake: Thanks Michael for the introduction. Excited to be here. Chief Encouragement Officer is the title I go by and love. For my day job we’ll say I’m a keynote speaker and performance coach. Just helping people build the right mindset, the right habits, and focus so that they can really create their competitive advantage in work and in life. So I love what I get to do day in, day out. And if you’d asked me even ten years ago would I be doing this, I would have laughed and said there’s no way.

Michael: That’s great. Welcome to the show. And tell me a little bit more. So right now you’re a keynote speaker. How many days of the year are you doing events?

Jake: Well, now that the world is finally opening back up, I don’t have to do them all on Zoom. I’m traveling anywhere from 2 to 3 weeks a month, so usually, that’s going to be 1 to 2 gigs a week type deal. So we’ll say 10 to 15 nights a month.

Michael: Wow. And what’s the audience you’re typically talking to? Who’s hiring you to come in and teach them about competing every day?

Jake: So the funny part about it is every speaker coach that tells you when you get going is to pick a narrow lane, narrow niche, and go after it. Because of my story and how things really evolved on the speaking front of a really diverse audience. Most of my work, however, is going to be in sales and leadership, a lot with real estate, staffing, medical sales, pharmaceutical, and then construction as well, because they get that mentality that industry is ingrained with just rolling up your sleeves and getting to work. And so a lot of my ongoing clients have been there. But you talk about insurance, transportation, trucking, health care, schools. It’s been all over the board in terms of the last few years who I’ve had the opportunity to work with, but really consistently sales and then construction, trade, those leadership opportunities are probably my most consistent groups.

Michael: Nice. So when you say construction, are you talking to the sales team from the construction groups?

Jake: Actually, no, that’s going to be the wildcard. So the majority are sales teams but when I’m in the construction space, it’s leadership and leadership development. So it’s anywhere from large contracting organizations, state or national associations about developing people. Because we know the better we can develop, you know this, the better people can become, the better work they’re going to do, the more fulfilled and purpose-driven they’re going to be. So a lot of my construction clients are how do we control the controllable and then how do we better develop our people? Because similar to every other industry, especially lately, they’re needing labor, they need hands, they need team members, and they’re dealing with rising costs in short supply of a lot of issues and things of concrete, you name it. So how do we focus on what’s in our control and at the same time make sure we’re investing in our people so we retain them and they grow within our organization versus leaving.

Michael: Yeah, I mean, so, you know, Branded Group is in the construction realm as well and we’re dealing with everything you just talked about, especially the shortage of skilled tradesmen right now. So I get it. I’m sure you’re out there talking to GCs and the site supers and getting how to get through the day and get their jobs done efficiently with less. That is where we’re at right now.

Jake: And adaptability because of projects and the incredibly rising cost of the goods and supplies for those projects have changed everything across the board where, you know, the last couple of years that industry, a lot of them have been nonstop, like it’s kind of like real estate. It’s increased and they’ve been running 100 miles an hour the last two years when a lot of spaces slowed down. And now it’s how do you adjust? How do you be a little bit flexible? How do you work with your partners and deal with all these things outside of your control?

Michael: Yeah, I can tell you from us it happens so fast, right? Because we were doing what we were doing, a pandemic happened, we were doing what we were doing, you know, trying to figure our way through that. And then it just exploded. It was like, okay, let’s do all these things because we have less traffic in the stores and we can do a painter or a carpet or a refresh or whatever. And we were running and gunning, and then last year everyone had these great years. And then, you know, the supply chain issues happened and it’s like overnight. It’s like, oh, yeah, I know. It used to cost like $100 for this material, but now it’s $300 and they don’t want to hear it. You know, the customer wants to pay what they used to pay. And it’s hard to talk about rising prices overnight, but I guess everyone at this point has finally gotten their hands around it and started to understand it. I don’t know if you’ve seen it on your end.

Jake: And if you haven’t, just go to the grocery store and get a slab of bacon or something along those lines, and you’ll be like, I’m paying what now for a carton of eggs? And that’s on a small scale. So then we’re talking obviously it’s scale from supplies. Everything’s changed and we’ve seen it from the apparel and the e-commerce portion of our business, from shipping costs, supply blanks, all of that across the board. And it’s just kind of the wild state we’re in where I think a lot of people grip and hang on and hope everything starts to at least even out, if not go back down at some point. Because even as they talked about in construction, you have gas, you have trucks, vehicles, and gas prices are pushing, I think they said close to eight bucks in California. And so in Texas here, we’re not that high, but we keep going up. And so as a kid who grew up working in gas stations, I’m used to seeing that and how people have to adjust based on it. So hopefully as a country, we’ll get it all under control. But in the meantime, what’s going to happen is the people that succeed are the ones who at least can be effective in how they respond, even if they can’t control everything.

Michael: Absolutely. And you made a good segue point for me. You brought up your retail business. So let’s talk about that a little bit, too. How’s that going for you and what is it? And tell the audience more about that.

Jake: So Compete Everyday I actually started as an apparel business because my crazy idea to try to change the world and build a competitor mindset in people started as t-shirts. I was selling them out of the trunk of my car in 2011 as just a side hustle. That business took off, which opened all the doors to what I’m doing now. But really it’s been great, you know, 2017 and ’18 was actually a struggle for us because I changed the business. I went from focusing heavily on how we build an e-commerce and apparel brand and working trade shows to saying, I really think the training and development route as the main anchor of our business is more important than the apparel. And so turning that ship was mentally my toughest year. Financially it was our toughest year, but I knew it was the right play in the long term. And what worked out is as my speaking really started taking off in 2019 with more clients and being able to really focus in on that full time, the apparel started to catch its speed again as well, rebounding from kind of the dip and then 2020 hits and where I was incredibly fortunate is March 13th I lost pretty much my entire year’s book of business overnight because everybody was canceling events, postponing them. We didn’t know what was going to happen. I’m cutting checks back left and right to events that were canceled, but at the same time, everybody was home and shopping. And so our e-commerce business took off. We had a ton of challenges in terms of trying to figure out how we were going to handle fulfillment during that. But we had just brought it back in-house from January after a failed partnership with a fulfillment company that really hurt the business. And so when we brought everything back in, a perfect storm of everything hitting COVID and having to be intentional with spacing and where you were actually worked in our favor to help sustain the business for a while until everybody started pivoting into virtual programs. And then honestly, I was traveling again in August of 2020 to select clients, US Army, a couple of groups in Florida, some here in Texas for socially distanced type events, but they were in-person. So the apparel has actually gone really well. It continues to be a great, I would say, conversation starter, kind of like the chief encouragement officer tagline, because a lot of our speaking clients have actually seen a flag or a copy of my book or something like that on a Facebook ad or LinkedIn ad, and then picked up the phone. And we’ve had the conversation that’s ultimately turned into either keynoting at an event or consulting with a client scene.

Michael: That’s awesome. I love that it was a side hustle out of your truck and now it’s carried you through the pandemic, but you weren’t always selling shirts out of the back of your truck or car. I don’t know. We didn’t actually specify that and we weren’t always doing keynote speaking. So how did you get here? Because I think your story is important. I think the audience needs to hear. Take us back all the way back to college. Like what were the thoughts.

Jake: We could probably even go back further than that. So my first job was actually cleaning gas station parking lots, cleaning gas pumps and stocking coolers. My dad had a small Diamond Shamrock store in our little bitty East Texas town of 13,000. So by the time I was like seven or eight, I was working every summer. So I had this mentality that I wanted to do something that wasn’t a traditional 9 to 5 solely from seeing my dad as well as like I wanted that freedom and what I loved as you guys were talking off air about, you know, New York sports and like I’m a sports guy, football is my love. Basketball, baseball, like that’s where I would be playing every day growing up. And for me, I was very fortunate my dad was able to make games even if he had to go back in and work later because he had that flexibility. And so I knew growing up that I wanted to do something that way. I also knew I loved sports. And so for me, as we talked about, it was wanting to be the next Jerry Maguire. Like I wanted to be a sports agent. I had this perspective and these rose colored glasses that it was the perfect job and I wanted to do it and got an opportunity to intern with a group in college, went immediately into grad school because the NFL changed their licensing requirements to be an agent. So I was like, I’m going to go get my masters, I’m going get certified. This is what I’m going to do. And after a few years it ended. I was like, this is not what I want to do with the rest of my life. There are a number of reasons, including the relationship with the agent, mentally not being prepared for it, and emotionally prepared for it, and so I got out. It was 2008, I just got my MBA. I have experience working for a sports agent for the Dallas Cowboys, for an arena football team. And I couldn’t get a job. I was too experienced for an entry-level position, and anything managerial wasn’t looking at me because it was weird nontraditional work experience. So I just started consulting really out of necessity to pay the bills. And it was graphic design, basic social media marketing strategy, working with companies all around DFW, some small, some large international brands built a really good consulting practice, but I was incredibly unfulfilled. I was building this wonderful sandcastle that, as we know what happens when the tide rolls in, it’s going to wash it away and there’s going to be no proof that I was there and little impact, if any, made on anyone else. So I started exploring this idea of what I could do that would actually help and impact other people and leave a more positive, impactful legacy. Spent a year plus just tinkering with ideas, trying stuff until this idea of competing every day came about. And honestly it is because I knew what the feeling had been like to give in, to fear, to discomfort, to not go after something because you were afraid you were going to fail or what people might say. And I was looking around in my late twenties and I was seeing friends do the same thing, whether it was a job, they hated a relationship that was okay, but wasn’t enriching them. And I was like, there’s got to be a better way to live life. And ultimately, through that ideation process, Complete Every Day came about. And t-shirts were like the third or fourth try to get something to work. And fortunately, it did.

Michael: Yeah. And what you’re saying resonates so much with me. I started Branded Group in 2014 as we discussed at the pre-show and you know turned a profit in year one and I’m like, what am I leaving on this earth? What’s my legacy going to be? And it was very sandcastle-esq as well. Like, cool we made some money and I could afford a little bit better of a lifestyle. But when I died or when the Branded Group was gone, no one would remember anything that I did. So that’s when we started the One-for-One program and just the give back and the purpose with our company and that’s to this day, like the most fulfilling part of what I do on a day-to-day basis is that portion of the job. So, I can totally resonate and I hope the audience does as well with that portion of your story. So you start Compete Every Day, you’re selling the shirts, and then how do you pivot from shirts to keynote speaker? Like, that’s not something that I would connect the dots on. Right? So tell the audience that portion.

Jake: No, and I’ll say part of it had to do with I’ve embraced the mentality that life is a giant science experiment. And I think as an entrepreneur you’ve got to look at it that way. You’re going to test a hypothesis and it’s going to work and you’ll keep running with it. Or if it doesn’t, you have to change something. It’s not, I suck. I’m a failure. This is terrible. It’s like that idea didn’t work. What do I need to change? And let’s figure out a way to make it work. And that is kind of that entrepreneurial spirit. So for me, it was a random outreach in 2015 by Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. They were having an HR week. They wanted to buy about 150 shirts for their staff. And then they asked me to come speak. And I still remember talking to the executive assistant, thinking like, what do you want me to come talk about? She’s like, just come tell your story. The team wants to hear your story. So I spend like a week and I’m writing everything down and like, here’s three lessons. And I remember it because I’m like on stage with a backwards baseball cap. Like, as anti-corporate set up as I could be and totally different than how I dress and show up now at events and I just kind of fumbled my way through it, I feel like. But I was like, Here’s some lessons. Here’s why it’s important. And Linda Aldrin, who is the head of HR, pulled me aside. She’s the one that found out or knew about me and had reached out. Said, I don’t know if you’ve ever thought about this, but you need to go do more of this, there is something here. And so I was like, Oh, that’s nice and this is fine. And filed it away in my back pocket. About a year and a half later, I’m at an event in California and I’m watching a guy who actually coaches speakers. He was at a break out of the larger conference, and I’m just amazed at how he’s changing their delivery and the experience that I’m having as an audience member just with subtle tweaks. And I’m thinking, this is what a great coach looks like. This guy is the guy. And at the same time, my team had been heavily pressuring me, like, we don’t do a whole lot different than other companies. We print some great stuff, we’ve got empowering messages, but what separates us is our story and how you tell it. So you need to go tell it more. And I wasn’t thinking about it from a Hey, be a speaker standpoint because I had this idea that that’s only like a Tony Robbins or John Mac. Like that’s a different world. I didn’t know what the industry looked like, but I saw this guy and thought, I’m going to learn. So I went to his conference in Fort Lauderdale. At the conference, like the first morning, I’m sitting there, I’ve got this giant cup of coffee because I’d taken a red-eye to get there. Everybody knows what it’s like when you get off a redeye. You’re kind of cracked out. You just try to get through the morning. And I remember looking up at this small table, and I see a New York Times best-selling author and I see a really big marketing influencer at that point, and they’re just taking notes. And I thought, man, these guys are for real. Like, this group is legit. And so I was like, this is who I want to learn from. And so I invested into their high end coaching program. I invested my own money to fly to Philadelphia and train with them for like a week every month for five months. I would then hire a friend of mine who is in Nashville that taught the business side of speaking and said, Team, I don’t know if this is going to work or not, but hitch your wagons, this is the direction we’re going. And it was a tough turn and it was probably a harder pivot than I should have made at the time, looking back. But it was the right move. And once I kind of came out of that, I just started reaching out to people and saying, Hey, this is what I’m doing now. Can I come talk to your team? Can I come talk to your audience? Don’t worry about paying me like I need reps. I need to know what works. I need to know what not to do. And little by little, it started to go. And then toward the end of 2018, I started getting a lot of inbound leads. In 2019, everything took off and then in 2020 we doubled our business by the end of January of that year. And then obviously everything changed dramatically. But because of the apparel, because I’d switched from sales mode when the pandemic hit to content mode. And just how do I create stuff that people want to consume and learn from? We were really able to have a strong 2020 virtually and in person, and it set up a great last two years as well.

Michael: Wow, amazing stuff. I mean, from retail to keynote speaking. So tell me about speaking. Give me, what’s your all-time favorite one you’ve ever done? Like, who did you speak to? If you can say and what did you talk about?

Jake: And so I give a lot of my core talks. I really have about three that I’m consistently booked for. So I’m giving some of the same talks, which I love, because I just get better with them every time. But the one I will say that’s probably the most impactful for me so far is 2019. I get to go back to Texas Children’s and at this point I go from having no idea what I’m doing to I have a clear message, I have visual concepts and contextual models like I can deliver and tell stories now. And that was probably the one I’m always going to look back on and even got a little choked up there because it was the most impactful because that’s where it started, that’s where the seed was planted. And to be able to go back and pour into those people in a completely different level meant a lot to me, even though a lot of the people that were there originally weren’t in the room that time. And so if I get a chance again to do it in five years, I know I’m going to be even more excited for it. So that’s always going to be the one I go back to. But I’ve been just incredibly fortunate that the groups I’ve worked with have been some just incredible people that it’s not, Jake Hey, you come in, you give a great talk or teams are motivated, you’ve given actionable takeaways, but then it dies because they’re not going to implement it. I’ve been incredibly fortunate that most every client I’ve talked to is like, How do we keep this going past the 60 minutes you’re on stage?” Whether that’s working with you or what advice you have for us to continue these conversations, that’s what matters because it creates that ripple effect that I don’t want you to invest in me for 60 minutes. I want to make sure that 60 minutes either sets up your team for the next 6 to 12 months or at night, something in your leaders to take charge of that message and run internally, because otherwise you’re wasting the investment. And to be honest, I’m wasting my time if we’re not going to implement change.

Michael: Now, do you offer services after your keynote speaking and to the sales team etc.?

Jake: Yeah, so that’s actually how a lot of my ongoing partnerships have developed. The keynote would be kind of the kickoff, and then they would just follow up and say, What else do you do and how can you help us? And so I have a client right now. I go there every month. I spend two days on site, I do one-on-one coaching with the executive team, and then I do small group training and development for the sales managers and the sales team of another group. In the construction space, we built a quarterly development program and said, okay, let’s identify 30 potential future leaders. Maybe they manage 1 to 2 people now, but we see them over the next two, three, four years as being key people in this organization. So we grabbed them, we took them through an application process, and then we did a two-hour lunch and learn every quarter around leadership. And how are you communicating with your team and equipping them so that by the end of the year they are put in a better position, that when a leadership opportunity develops, they can step into. Because as we know, what happens in a lot of companies is we promote people who are really good at their job and then expect them to know how to manage and coach people because they were really good at that job. And that’s a struggle for most folks because they’ve never been trained on how to manage, which is a lot of one way. And they’ve definitely not been trained on how to coach, which is a two-way conversation. And so that’s where I’ve enjoyed that. But it’s come out of the keynote as a kind of a lead magnet. You either found a shirt or the book. We did a keynote and then you’re like, okay, the keynotes, the how are the what is the big picture? What do we need? Why do we need it? And then the ongoing training we do really dives into how do we actually implement this?

Michael: Yeah. And we’ve had the same issue at Branded Group. And one other thing, I’ll add one because we do a ton of internal promotion and the two things you hit on are huge. But the third issue we really have a problem with is conflict resolution because as a manager, you’re dealing with so much conflict resolution, whether it’s internally between team members or if it’s externally with clients. And you know, yeah, you were great at your job, but now you are in charge of all these people and people, they get paralyzed by fear. And to your point, we just, we need, you know, no one teaches you how to manage people because you just get promoted. You did so well in your job. So I love what you’re saying there. So what are you seeing in the industry right now? Like, what are the new things that are out there? What’s happening out there in your world?

Jake: Yeah. So I would say the biggest thing in our world right now is companies are starting to understand in a lot of sense that, you know, from a rapid growth and a lot of industries are having rapid growth. And so the area is how do we have the right people and get the right people in our company? And a lot of other companies are thinking, how do we just keep people employed? And what they’re realizing is the fad of ten, 15 years ago to make sure you have a ping pong table and do donuts on Friday. Like people don’t care as much about that, especially in the last few years of people that had the freedom to work from home and change situations there. There’s a shift in how you invest in your people? And that’s where I really get lit up in conversations and excited when a team is like, we want to make better people because we know if they stay with our organization, they’re going to be better. They’re going to do better work if they leave, they’re going to become one of our best-recruiting tools because if they know we invested in them and we develop them and they took a better opportunity elsewhere because they just couldn’t rise up, they’re going to talk highly about the experience with us. And so I’m really excited and seeing companies say, you know, not only, hey, let’s do a sales meeting and bring in a speaker and get everybody fired up. But how do we train them to develop each other? How do they become in sports a player-led team versus a coach or front office led team? Because they understand that’s a bigger need than ever. And people want to feel a part of something. They want to feel important in their work. They want to feel that not only their work is valued, but it helps them get to where they want to go. And that’s kind of that process from a leadership standpoint of getting to know your people and the old-school way of using fear to always drive change in leadership. It’s going by the wayside in a lot of areas, and it’s all about that connection piece and part of that Brené Brown has made incredibly mainstream with their conversations around vulnerability, and Simon Sinek has done incredible work talking about the why. And so I’m seeing more and more organizations say, we just need to build our people. And if we can professionally and personally develop our people, it’s going to grow our company and we fully understand and are ready to make that move. And I don’t think you saw that ten, 15 years ago. And if you did, they’re the organizations that are far and away ahead right now because they started to make those moves.

Michael: Totally agree. And I love how you brought up Brené Brown and Simon Sinek two authors that I am a huge proponent of as well. So thank you for sharing that with the audience. And to your point, you know, ping pong tables and donuts don’t mean anything anymore. People want to work somewhere where they have a purpose and they want to be part of something bigger than what they are. And, you know, if you give them the opportunity to do that and collaborate with other like-minded people, that’s really a way to keep your people in place and at Branded Group, you know, I like to boast and boast about a lot, but I like to boast that we have a 95% retention rate after even post-pandemic when everyone was doing the Great Resignation. So happy to announce that.

Jake: I love that. I would echo on the back of that for the leaders listening because I know we’ve got folks listening that are in these positions to have influence. The best way to start and always give them three questions. Things that you need to know about the people, especially those that directly report to you. The first one, what do you do? What’s your role? Everybody knows what their job description is, hopefully, and how to not get fired. That’s pretty mainstream in every company. The second layer, which far fewer do, is How is my work important and how does it help everybody else win? Why does what I do matter that not as many people know, especially a lot of you think about admin. There are a lot of people answering phones that just think, I’m just here to answer the phone. They don’t understand. You’re the first person people come in contact with our brand. You get to establish our brand relationship right out the gate. Like, that’s incredibly important. So that’s two fewer to that. The third one that as a leader, I can’t stress enough is getting to know your people and understanding what their goals are. Maybe it’s to stay within your company. Maybe it’s to start their own one day. Maybe they’re just there because they’re trying to raise enough money that every year they want to take their kids to Disney World, like whatever their goals are. Because once, you know, then it’s on you as a leader to say, okay, how can I help them connect the dots between the work they do right now and where they’re trying to go? And that’s the level that most organizations miss. And as a leader, you have an incredible opportunity. If you can connect the dots between where someone is today and what they’re doing on a daily, weekly basis and how it helps them with where they want to go. They’re going to be more motivated, they’re going to be driven every day on purpose for their work because they’re going to understand why it matters not only to the company, but to them. And that’s the real change you start to see in why people want to stay with teams is because they know my leader cares about who I am. I’m a person, not just a number on payroll.

Michael: Yeah, I love everything you just said. And we don’t. We do the first one, obviously, but we don’t do the second. Two questions. And I’m going to make all my leaders listen to this podcast, not from a selfish standpoint, because I want them to capture that information. I want to start utilizing that. That makes so much sense. And it opens the door for a two-way conversation, right? So that you’re not just the person answering the phone and that’s all you think that you do. I love that. Thank you. Thank you for sharing that with the audience. So let me ask you one other thing. You mentioned a book. Tell me about it.

Jake: Yeah. So Compete Every Day. I love to keep things consistent. The name of the book. Playful tagline of The Not-So-Secret Secret to Winning Your Work and Life. And the reason I position that is the book is really eight choices, eight simple, straightforward choices that any one of us can make any day. The problem is, most people confuse simple with easy. It’s simple to eat grilled chicken and broccoli every single day. Every single day. That’s simple. Nobody wants to do it. It’s boring. It’s not going to be easy. You’re going to get burnt out on eating the same thing every day. However, if you do it, you’re going to have incredibly healthy results over the long run. Same applies with this. The idea of outworking your talent, being intentional with who you seek wisdom from and associate with, always doing your best, controlling your controllables. And so when I wrote the book initially, it was based on a corporate talk, and then I had an opportunity to go talk to a bunch of kids. And I was a keynote speaker at a Big Brothers Big Sisters conference here in Dallas. And I thought, then I got all these 8 to 18-year-olds in here and I got 30 to 60-year-old mentors. Corporate talk is not going to work for the kids. It’s going to go over their head or they’re going to zone out. So if I was going to tell my 13, 14-year-old self something like, what would I want them to remember? And I kept going back to conversations I’d had with coaches and coaches always using catchphrases and taglines, things quick, easy to remember. And so I got on my whiteboard, I just sketched out eight different ideas. If I could teach my 15, 13, and 14-year-old self something, what would it be? And when I looked at those things on the board, I thought, Crap, that’s the book. Like, this is the book. As an adult, we need to know that effort is a choice. And how does that show up at work and how does it show up in relationships and what does it look like in life? And so I rewrote the book. I had to rewrite about 40,000 words of it and send it to publish. And it was supposed to come out in fall of 2020 when COVID hit. A lot of groups pulled their book from publishing, and so we pushed ours up, released it during the summer. But really, it’s just a simple, straightforward approach to saying these eight choices, if made consistently, will change your life over the long run. There is no doubt in my mind, and then I will try to give examples of how you can apply it at work. Here’s what it means to always do your best at work or in life racking the shopping cart. Perfect example. It’s one of my biggest pet peeves, but that’s an example of doing what is right to the best of your ability, regardless of whether somebody is watching you or not, that separates you in the long run. And so that’s what the book’s about. It’s a quick, easy read. We also have the audiobook, so if my Texas twang is not too wild for you, I’m definitely the audiobook reader because I add a little bit extra throughout the content to give it a little extra context, but that’s it. It’s a simple, straightforward book that, if applied, can absolutely change your life. And that is not an understatement.

Michael: I love it. In your example, I was with one of my best buds one time. We were at the grocery store picking up some beers or whatever. And I went to leave the shopping cart somewhere, not in the corral. And he was like, Why? Why do you do that? And I said I don’t know. I just don’t want to walk all the way over there. He’s like putting it away. And I said You know what? You’re right. And I put it away. And to this day, every time I go grocery shopping because of Kevin Fissel, I put my cart in the corral and I always think about it. So I’m not that guy. I don’t piss you off anymore, I used to think back in the day.

Jake: I will pull out my phone on occasion and do videos if I had to go to the store Target and I have friends that will see me or tag me on LinkedIn if there’s a shopping cart post or something because they just know it’s like weights in the gym. I’m like, put them up, like just clean up after yourself. It’s not much to ask, but it’s something that separates me. It separates leaders over the long run. If you do the little things like that that most anyone can, but most won’t.

Michael: Got it. Great. Great messages. Great messaging. Jake, it’s been great having you on the show. I really appreciate your time today. If the audience wants to get a hold of you, how can they do so?

Jake: Easiest place to visit is competeeveryday.com. You’ll find everything about the brand. And then if you click on the link up top for speaking, it’ll direct you to my website. You can learn about my speaking coaching programs.

Michael: Jake It’s been great again. Thank you for coming on. Audience. Until next time.

Michael: Thank you for tuning in. I hope that today’s episode inspired you to become a purpose driven leader in your career or your community. There’s no doubt that when we lead with purpose, we can change lives. If you enjoyed today’s show, I’d be grateful if you would take a moment to rate us on your preferred listening platform. To learn more about Branded-Group’s better experience and how we provide industry leading on demand, facility maintenance, construction management and special project implementation, visit us at www.branded-group.com. Be sure to follow us on social media and you can also reach out to me directly on LinkedIn. Until next time, be better.

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