You Can Only Control You with Cornelius George
Joe Mills: What are the unique experiences that drive business leaders to keep growing,
Reid Morris: and how can the lessons learned from those stories enable others to do the same?
Joe Mills: I’m Joe Mills.
Reid Morris: And I’m Reid Morris.
Joe Mills: And together we’re investigating who it takes and the tools to use to build companies and culture.
Reid Morris: Then we’re sharing those stories with you.
Joe Mills: This is 1,000 Stories, an original show from Element Three.
Reid Morris: Okay. Uh, well, Joe, the next guest coming onto the show, according to this, George, can you tell me a little bit about the background of, of how we ran into him and, and what the context is for him coming onto the podcast?
Joe Mills: Yeah. I don’t actually remember where I met him the first time, but he and I have had two or three conversations at local events.
So it’s just been like sort of the indie effect of running in events and both being in sales and so you’re kind of out and about meeting people regularly.
Reid Morris: Oh, awesome. Yeah, that, that’ll be interesting too. I feel like. Who we’ve talked to so far, there actually hasn’t been much of a sales thread. Yeah.
Which will be interesting obviously for, for you in your role at Element Three, kinda see how that aspect of, of the commonality between you two plays into that conversation. Yeah.
Joe Mills: I think that’s part of what made me want to talk to him was I do feel some sort of like from a far kindred spirit mm-hmm. , he makes a lot of like content that has actual statements in it, not just sort of plati tooting.
Um, he’s got a sports. Like edge to the way he talks and he’s founding the company right now. So I think there’s a lot of areas that feel relevant to my world. Mm-hmm. that I’d like to just hear where he is at and how he thinks about things. Cause I like what I see from the outside, but I want to actually have a real in-depth conversation.
You know like when you’re in rooms with people at events, you don’t really get to really talk to them. Yeah. You get like five minutes, somebody else pops in, somebody else walks away, you go find somebody else. It’s sort of this like popcorn. And I’ve always felt like he’s somebody who would be really insightful and very interesting to hear how he approaches the world in general.
Mm-hmm. , um, he seems extremely intentional to me, extremely purposeful and also, and this is the piece that’s biggest to me, he feels like somebody who has an absolute level zero on the bullshit meter just will not do it. Mm-hmm. . And that actually goes into, I, you know, we were asking him to call on the show.
I think every single person that we’ve talked to so far has been like, yeah, let’s do an intro call just to hear what it’s about and get comfortable and I’m gonna ask you some questions. And I was messaging with him on LinkedIn and I was like, Hey, do you wanna do an an intro setup? And he said, no, I’m good.
It’s gonna be less authentic if we do it that way. And I was like, this is gonna be great . Yeah, I mean we talk
Reid Morris: about a lot here around like establishing a point of view and that sort of like no bullshit mentality, that approach that I think we value quite a lot as individuals and as an organization, as, as a whole.
So I think that’ll be kind of refreshing. Yeah, it’s gonna be nice. And you’ll have the little Joe mirror of sales, athletics, and entrepreneurship. Yeah. So that should be, that should be a fun
Joe Mills: time. It should be good. I’m looking forward to it. Awesome. Well, Cornelius, welcome to a Thousand Stories. Yeah.
Excited to have you on, man. You’re a little bit of a polymath and the things that you know how to do. Finance, cybersecurity, currently working on Chuck Lab, your own business. Yep. When somebody asks you what do you do, how do you respond?
Cornelius George: Wow. Um, that’s interesting. It depends on the person. Um, and it depends on the situation.
If it’s someone that, you know, potentially a customer, right? We’re gonna do our 32nd commercial, right? Um, potential investor, 32nd commercial. Um, actually tell the truth, everybody, I do a 32nd commercial with . Um, but I guess how I explain it to people, if I’m talking to the general public, right, obviously I have to tell them that I’m a founder of a tech company.
But I always have to caveat that with like, I’m broke. Like don’t think, cause everyone thinks a tech CEO is like Zuckerberg or something like that. I’m like, slow down. There’s no yachts around here. Nothing like that. Um, but generally speaking, I just tell people, you know, we help prosecutors, detectives, and other investigators that are frustrated with massive amounts of audio and video files that they have for their investigation.
So like, generally jail phone calls, for example, Marion County has 850 hours of jail phone calls per day, and these people can spend hours and hours and hours, so much time trying to get information out of these calls and these audio. Because, um, audio and video files, because they’re really important to their investigation.
Ultimately, they’re disgusted because no matter how much time they have, right? No matter how much hours they spend listening to these things, trying to find information to solve these crimes, they just can’t get to it. Like, for example, those same jail phone calls I talked about, the F B I estimates, the less than 4% of them are ever monitored, right?
You have people that are walking around have, having committed crimes and getting away with it. You have some people that are innocent that are in jail for crimes that they haven’t committed. So, you know, we wanted to solve that problem. So we created a software that allows them to search through thousands of hours of audio, right.
To find those key pieces of conversation that can make or break a case within a matter of minutes. Um, and that’s kind of why I tell people. Right. Something along those lines. Yeah. But what do you say
Joe Mills: about what you,
Cornelius George: what I do about you? Me. How do you describe yourself? Me? Yeah. I live my.
Joe Mills: And right now, I, I feel like right now the life is what
Cornelius George: you just said.
Yeah. I live my life. Um, you know, one of the things that, you know what’s interesting, ? Um, alright, we’re gonna get deep here. Yeah. Let’s do, we’re gonna get deep as shit, right? I, I live by my primary purpose and I live by, by my passion. So New Year’s, for example, new Year’s Eve, right. I’ll give you an example of column, what I am, right.
New Year’s Eve for the last two years, I’ve gotten a treadmill at 11:40 PM on New Year’s Eve, um, and ran a 5K into the next. and people were like, why is that? Well, the reason for that is this New Year’s Eve for a long time for black people. Like, so, so let’s take about 200 years, right? For black people, it was a very horrible day, right?
Because on New Year’s Day is when slaves were sold to other plantations and things like that. It was like, kind of like the auction day, right? Um, and, and that’s when families were disrupted. Families were just ripped apart and just torn and, and everything else like that. The irony or the kind of the purpose, I guess it was, was Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, I think on December 31st, the same New Year’s Eve, and then it came in effect on New Year’s Day.
So I’m a big black guy, right? Like, you know, I’m, I’m, I’m a big buck 200 years ago. I’m great property, I’m a great thing to be sold. And 200 years later we still have racism. We still have a lot of these things in this country, but you know, We’ve made some progress, right? And 200 years later, what I used to be on property, I now own things.
I now own my freedom. I own my own destiny, right? Um, and so when I get on that treadmill, it’s like honoring all those folks that didn’t own their destiny because I can do whatever the fuck I want. as long as I keep on working. Right? Um, and you know, there’s, there’s always gonna be blockers. There’s always gonna be people that don’t want me to succeed, and there’s always gonna be this and that, but at the end of the day, I own my destiny, right?
For me, that realization that I own my destiny, I own my life, I, I choose the things that I want to do. I choose the world that I want to live in is powerful to me. And that’s why I live. I live every single day, just like I’m just gonna do this. Now when I say I own my destiny and I own everything, and I own the.
It sounds crazy a little bit, but like, I own my mind, right? And I live my mind. I live, I live what my mind wants me to live. Right? And that means that the things that are usually frustrating to other people, they frustrate me, you know, in that moment. But I, I learned how to deal with that, right? Because I can only control the things I can control and the things that I can control.
I try to control those to the best of my ability, and that’s what living my life means, right? And that’s kind of just my mantra, really. Just do it live. It. Was there
Joe Mills: a. that you could look back to where you started to embody that, that feeling of own it? Or was this like gradual progression over time? I, I’d
Cornelius George: be lying if I said it was like one moment.
Um, because it’s been kind of like my whole life, right? My life has been fun. Amazing. Full of struggle, full of joy, full of happiness. It’s been a life, right? Mm-hmm. I was the only child. So like, I spent a lot of time in my head. Um, you know, and I think throughout my life, I’ve always been trying to find the secret to.
and I’ve been on that journey to find a secret to life. So I’ve always questioned a lot of things. I’ve always looked at why I think this way, and so it’s just been a gradual build over time. I think one of the things that really helped me get there a lot faster, I think, and then ramped up my learning curve a little bit, but it’s the philosophy of stoicism and Buddhism, right?
I think I remember when I was 17, I read the book Sadar Herman Hesi, and really. . That book was really, uh, I remember there was three quotes, if I remember right. I can wait, think and I can fast. Right? And those were the three things that like, um, the Buddha really harnessed himself that can wait thinking fast.
And, you know, when you think about those things, right, it’s about delayed gratification. Mm-hmm. , um, delayed gratification and the ability to sit. with yourself, right in the storm of everything. And that’s kind of rolled into everything. Me just trying to understand how do you really do that? What do you really do that with?
And so I think it’s just been a lifetime of just really trying to find a secret of life. And the secret of life for me is that I am the most powerful thing in the world. Right? And the reason for that is because I am the only thing that I’m sure of that exists. Mm-hmm. . Right. You know, I think it’s Renee Decart that talks about the concept of, I think therefore I am right.
So I know that. I think so therefore, I know I exist. I don’t know anybody else. , I know I exist, right? And everything else is just filtered through my perception and everything else, right? So if I’m able to control my reactions to the world and I’m able to control how I accept the world and things like that, then I have to do that.
Like, you know, because if I’m the only thing that I’m sure of exists, then me getting angry about this thing or that thing happening is me getting angry about something that I’m not even sure. , but I’m sure I exist. So I can control my anger, I can control that, right? Yeah. So you know, it’s kind of like this idea that once you understand that you’re the most powerful person in your world, you’re the most powerful person in the world because you’re the only one that really truly exists, then you go out there and you live your life where the outside, the external things don’t control you.
Because why would the things, why would you let the thing that is. Important than you control you. And that’s not to say you look down upon the world or anything like that. You look at everybody as everything else, but you just realize you take full accountability for how you, how you move about the world because you are the one that exists.
Joe Mills: both extremely simple and extremely complex. Yeah, yeah. Right. That’s how most things
Cornelius George: are
Joe Mills: though. Yeah. Right. I mean, you’ve just named off a few various philosophers. Is that an area that you intentionally study?
Cornelius George: Yeah, a hundred. a hundred percent. Philosophy is, is life, right? I mean, if you think about it, right?
If I say to you again that the most important thing is you and the most important thing is your mind, right? And what’s the most important thing? How that mind works? Mm-hmm. how that mind thinks. Right? Nourishing that mind. Making sure that mind understands other people. Philosophy is a great philosophy.
Psychology. All those things are really good for the human experience. Now, I had a conversation, I, I was up at Purdue University recently speaking to some kids and stuff, but one of the things, you know, I talk about is like the most valuable thing. . So this is gonna kind contradict what I just said about I, I’m the only one that I’m sure exists.
Yeah. I’m not sure everybody else exists, right? But I know you, but I feel like you exist. Right? Say there. Right. But I was talking about the idea of radical empathy and radical empathy. It is a barometer of success. Like the more radically empathetic you are, the better you are gonna be at sales. The better you’re gonna be at business, the better you’re gonna be at your relationships in life.
And that radical empathy is not radical sympathy, right? Radical empathy is, I can sit down from someone. and I’m paying so deep attention to what they’re talking about, what they’re saying. I’m actually putting it together and thinking about like what does that mean in their lifeline? How do they understand it?
I may not even agree. One second, but I try to understand how you feel in your point of view. Mm-hmm. , that is important. That is the most important thing in the world you can do because when you do that, you find out how to help people. You find out how to service customers, you find out how to deal with your business partners, you find out how to deal with your spouse, you find out how to understand your children, you make people around you better.
And more importantly too, I think for some of those people that are more Machiavellian, you learn how to understand your enemy really well, right? So philosophy and psychology are really, really important for any way that you’re going to go in the world, right? Because you’re gonna have to deal with these people that you’re not sure if they.
and because you’re not sure there exists, the reason why you’re not sure that there exists is because you don’t think like they think mm-hmm. , right? Mm-hmm. because you can’t, because they, you know, you’re not in their head. Yeah. So the only way you can get in their head is through psychology and philosophy to try to understand their patterns.
Joe Mills: I feel like you’re talking about something that takes a lot of practice to, to get good at. Yeah. Do you feel like you’ve gotten to a place where you’re pretty decent at it? you, you tell me. Right? Oh, I think, I think you have. just in the conversations we’ve had offline. I feel like you are. Yeah. I, I think, I think I’ve
Cornelius George: gotten to the point where I’m okay at it.
Um, one of the things that happens in life is when you think you’re good at something, that’s when you stop getting better. Mm-hmm. . Um, I think I’m okay at it. I think I have a lot of ways to go. I think a life evolves every day, you know, like for example now, you know, like when I’m looking at people and I’m talking to people, how they use social media now plays into me understanding a little bit more about their psyche, right?
Understanding a little bit more about how they operate in the world, right? Those little things, things. Information bleeds out and you understand that. So it’s just about always evolving and constantly trying to know that. And the most important part about learning how to be able to understand people in radical empathy are certain kind of like therapy style questions, right?
Like, Hey, I could be wrong, but it feels like what I’m hearing, right? Mm-hmm. . But you don’t ask people in an accusatory way, right? Yeah. You ask them like, listen, you take accountability for it sounds like sounds. , it feels like, and you keep on asking people these questions as you build these profiles or these ideas of them and trying to understand who they are and how you can best be of service to them as a human being, but not accusing them of anything.
Yeah. And not being judgmental because you’re just trying to understand. You’re just trying to understand. So empathy’s not sympathy, and that’s really key because I don’t like feeling sympathy for people because sympathy is a superiority complex. Mm. . Like, people don’t think about that. Right? Whenever.
Have you seen that
Joe Mills: video? Or they show the hole? It’s like the hole in the ground. Oh, uh, I, so they teach it, um, in our, our leadership academy that we have here at Element Three, uh, Karen Skata, our VP of Talent, has a video in there that talks about sympathy, empathy, mm-hmm. . And Right. As you said, it’s a superiority complex that triggered it Right in my brain.
Huh. Because in there they were like, think about sympathy as if you were looking down on people stuck in a. and you were like, it sucks really bad to be down in that hole. I feel very badly for you. Mm-hmm. and empathy is more like you going into the hole with them to help find a way out. I’m away from it.
I’m detached. Hmm. From the problem they’re in when I’m sympathetic.
Cornelius George: Yeah. No, I, I, I, I, I, I, I think that works, but I disagree with the whole, the, the premise a little bit. Little bit. Right. So sympathy the way, how I see sympathy. Sympathy as a superiority complex. , I can even be helping you out, deal with the problem and still feel sympathetic for you.
Mm-hmm. , right? Like, if you can’t pay your rent or something like that, I can be helping you pay your rent and feel sympathy for you, right? So I’m helping you with the problem. Mm-hmm. . The problem with that is that I have to feel superior to you to feel sympathy. I have to feel that I’m in a better situation than you because sympathy is, I feel bad for you.
Well, I can’t feel bad for somebody that’s doing better. Sure. Right. You know what I mean? Like you don’t feel bad for somebody that’s winning when you’re winning. You typically don’t. Yeah. Right. So you feel bad for people who are in lesser situations than you. So you have to look down on someone for you to be sympathetic to them.
Empathy. I don’t even have to help you to be empathetic. I don’t even have to be part of your thing. I just have to understand you understand your reasons. I’ll give you an example of radical empathy. There’s new documentary on Netflix called Hatcher Wheel and Hitchhiker. and I almost cried watching that, that documentary, I was so furious.
Because here’s the thing that like when you watch the documentary and you hear commentary that people are making about this documentary, like it, it breaks my heart because most people don’t understand how to be empathetic because everyone’s looking at this guy and this documentary, it’s the hitchhiker kid, right?
He hatches some guy cuz he was about to kill this woman and then he became a celebrity overnight and everything. and then like he, it blew up over the place and then like later on he killed the guy. Right. Okay. Everyone’s looking at this like the hatchet, wheeling, hitchhiker. The man has a name. First and foremost, the man was locked in the room and everything else when he was a kid.
So then like later on he’s like, just free. Wants to be free, wants to move around. Well, in my head when I’m looking at radical empathy, I’m like, this man was traumatized by confinement for so. . That’s why he wasn’t homeless. Like he couldn’t, he wanted to be free, right? He wanted to not be part of the system.
He wanted to just move around. Right? And so when the news people in our different society where we have our rules and regulations and what is success, got a hold of them, it destroyed him because we try to make him have our same value system. Mm-hmm. . . Most people are watching that documentary saying, oh my God, he’s crazy.
Like there was one point in time where the guy was like, they were like, Hey, like you have this. You’re gonna be on the Kardashians, da da da da. What do you wanna do? He’s like, I just wanna go to the pier and smoke weed. Like, we should accept that in life, if that’s what he wants. There’s reasons and things for his entire life at that moment is all that matters to him.
That is his purpose. That is what he’s trying to do. Radical empathy from my perspective would say, this man does not have the same value system. . I don’t necessarily agree with his value system, but I understand it. I’m gonna just leave that alone. I’m not gonna try to help. I’m not gonna try. I just understand it.
Mm-hmm. , that’s what it is. Right. But instead of doing that, everyone tried to make him this thing and it backfired really bad. Right. And that’s the problem when it comes to the world that we live in now, is that without empathy, without the ability to look at a another person, just say, I understand what you were.
I don’t have to react to that. I don’t have to do anything about it. I just have to understand you as a human being and understand that everybody has different pathways in life when we don’t do that. We have this homogenous view and we become very psychotic as a society. Right? And I think that that’s one of the biggest concerns that I have for the world today, is that like people don’t have that desire to sit across from someone and say, I understand you.
I want to understand. I may not like 95% of the things you’re saying, but at least I understand what another human being is saying. Where, where do
Joe Mills: you think the desire to mold people into the same box we live inside of, like where do you think that
Cornelius George: comes from? Fear. Fear. Fear, but not fear that you think, okay, fear that I’m wrong, right?
Oh, yeah. Fear that I’m wrong, right? I speak to students a lot. I speak to younger people a lot, and I’m, I’m very, very passionate about the. , living by your purpose is the most important thing that you can do for yourself, and you have to find what that purpose is. Every one of the things that we tell kids when you go and, and, and every adult is listening to this, you have felt this.
We all feel it. Maybe I’m doing the wrong thing. Yeah. Maybe I’m doing the wrong thing. Totally. And you are. If you feel that you are, most likely you are , because when you’re doing the right thing, it just feels right. You don’t even question it. Like I, I mean, you don’t, you go through life, you wake up and you just move the right way.
So that fear of maybe I’m doing the wrong thing, right? So I’m chasing the white pick a fence with 2.5 kids and the dog and you know, a car and everything else that everybody’s supposed to chase. And I’m chasing that and I’m like, maybe I’m doing the wrong thing now. Instead of me just stepping back and saying I’m gonna throw that value system away.
Right? Which is hard cuz you’ve been, you know, this is what it is. I’m gonna make sure that everybody else does the same thing I do, so I don’t feel bad. . . Right? So the, the fear of accepting that maybe you’re doing the wrong thing and somebody else is doing the right thing and somebody else is living a life a different way, you know, makes people that way.
There’s also this feeling of I have to do it, so should you mm-hmm. , right? I have to be miserable. Misery loves company. I have to be miserable in this, so should you. So I think that that’s part of it. But when you look at the rest of the world and the way that we live in ingenuity, innovation, growth, None of that happens from the homogenous point of view.
It always takes somebody to break the system. You,
Joe Mills: uh, I just, I just have to call it out. You just, with the, the white picket fence. Two and a half kids dog. I’ll say to people, I’m fairly certain, Reid has heard me say this before, that my biggest my core central fear is that, yeah. I don’t know why.
Cornelius George: Well, it probably represents something that, um,
Joe Mills: It’s normal, I think. I think it’s like, and that’s what it is. Normal. And I have this intense, like core desire to not be normal. Do you though?
Cornelius George: I don’t know. So I mean, we can go into it, all that right? But nine times outta 10, there’s probably some level of trauma in terms of control that you have, right?
Mm-hmm. , um, that, that comes into that in the play, that white picket fence with 2.5 kids and everything else. Right? It really sounds like the. Yeah, that, that, that is it. That is all, that is the life. Once you get into that, you can’t get out, right? Mm-hmm. . And so there may be a lot of people when they think about that, they think about that from that perspective, that like, it, it is this, this prison thing, right?
But in reality, nobody really has white picket fences anymore. Nobody has 2.5 kids, but it just represents that family kind of idea. But the archetype of that is scary to people because of what it means, right? You start thinking of minivans and everything else, but in reality, if you step. being a family man, there’s millions of ways to do that.
Yeah. You know what I mean? And that’s what that really represents, being a family person. And, and there’s million, millions of ways to represent that. You don’t have to move to the suburbs, you don’t have to do this, but it takes you understanding that being a family person is okay, and then I, I can do it in whatever way I choose.
Right? And not have to subscribe to the belief that it means that I have to move to the suburbs and do this and do that. And then, and you know what? If that’s what you want to do, there’s nothing wrong with that either. Right? That’s the whole point of life. There’s 8 billion people in the world, right?
Just think about this one a second. Not a single two people have the exact same experiences, even if they’re twins. Yep. So when you walk that back, right? And you think like, and I con had this concept called primary purpose, right? So the idea is that like, when you’re born, you’re completely, the, the human mammal is the only mammal in the entire world that’s born completely helpless.
Like, think about a horse, horses comes out, boom, they’re walking like two seconds later, right? Human babies not the same thing. Takes forever, right? But. , when you think about it from that perspective, right? So every experience that you have, everything just makes you, makes you kind of who you are a little bit and deep down inside, it creates this primary purpose in you.
Even twins have different experiences of the world, no matter what. Mm-hmm. , once on the left, once on the right, somebody says this, that, that, that, that, that. All these things, different experiences, those things create you. . Right? And so if all of our unique experiences create each of our primary purpose, which is the thing that we should be living by.
Cuz if you’re living by that, that’s when you’re just like, I, I don’t give a shit. Like life is good, right? Mm-hmm. , if we’re supposed to be living by that and there’s 8 billion of those things in the world, then why can we have any kind of homogenous through our process? We can agree on things, but we can’t think the same.
Never in the world can you And I think exactly the same, but, but people don’t accept that. Mm-hmm. and I think. It’s hard because when you get to that daunting task, if there’s 8 billion people in the world, and if you look at each person as an individual, then a representation of themselves and their experiences and their traumas and their goodness and all of those things, it looks like a daunting task because you have to have 8 billion different like pieces of not, but you’re not talking to 8 billion people.
Yeah. You probably have 150 people maximum that you talk to, right. ?
Joe Mills: Yeah. Maybe more like 15.
Cornelius George: Yeah. Right. You know what I mean? Spend time with those 15 people. Get to know them underst. give them room for them to be who? It’s all it is.
Joe Mills: The people we talk with on this show are ambitious, driven individuals who feel called to create positive outcomes in all aspects of their lives. And
Reid Morris: as we all know, with that drive comes pressure and stress. And in order to show up and be your best self, It’s extremely important to have a professional at your side who can help you navigate that journey.
So that’s the reason that we’re really excited to be sponsored by Better Help. Better Help is the world’s largest therapy service. They have over 25,000 therapists and it’s all online. What’s really great about that is that if you don’t connect with the first therapist that you interact with, It’s super easy to try another, and that allows you to connect with the person that’s best for you.
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Joe Mills: And for listeners of this podcast, you can get 10% off your first month on Better Help by going to Better help.com/ 1,000 Stories.
Again, that’s better. H E L. Dot com slash 1,000 Stories. Every time I talk to you now, I get this little nugget of insight about myself that I didn’t have prior when we sat down over lunch a couple weeks ago. , and I think I shared the story with you about how I had a bunch of PR days where I like kept failing.
Yeah, yeah. And then when I had the space like, well, if you feel good, like just hit it and if you don’t, and then I like huge results. Yeah. We did a retest of a workout of a year prior yesterday. Mm-hmm. . And I caught myself realizing like it was basically like you could repeat exactly how it was written last year.
Mm-hmm. and compare how you did, or you could do it a slightly different way. And at first I was about to go a slightly different way and I was like, oh, oh, there it. There’s me letting fear of competing with myself. Take me down a different path. Yeah. And I was like, Nope. We need to do it the way it was.
Yeah. And I thought back to our conversation, I was like, oh, this is helping, this is helping, this is getting me over. This thing of like, fear of, of not being good enough or something. I don’t even know what the fear is.
Cornelius George: It, it, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s common to a lot of people. Right. It’s the idea that it’s easier for you to say in life that I could have been Yeah.
Than I tried and failed. and I could have been right. You know, I could have been. It’s one of the biggest barometers of failure in the entire world, right? Because you do something great and you and you, and you have this feeling that you have this potential, right? But in your mind, you create this gap where you say to yourself, if I ever really try to do it and failed, I lose that confidence that I had because I always felt like I could do it right?
So that you have that dream that you can. . So then it blocks you Because like I could have been that, I could have been that. Right, but when in reality you can only be that if you go be that. And so instead of like saying, yeah, I’m, there’s no pressure for me to hit my PR today. It’s like I’m just gonna do whatever.
And then you hit it so it’s in you, so you know you can do it. And then you get in the competition. If you don’t try your hardest and you don’t hit your pr, well, I know I could’ve done it. Mm-hmm. Right? And that’s easy. But you. , right? And when you start realizing I did, it’s way more important than I could have done, and it’s so much more fun and through the pathway to get into what I did, it’s so much because you just, you know, you’re growing, you feel the growth, right?
It’s the way how we procrastinate in our lives. It’s the way how we talk to our friends and we talk to our family and we’re like, yeah, man, you know, I’m gonna do this. I have these dreams. I’m gonna do this. I’m the worst person to talk that shit to, like, you talk to me about, I’m gonna do this, all right.
How we gonna do it? How we gonna do it? Here’s what we, let’s make, let, let’s make a plan. Because that’s the thing about being the most powerful person in the world, is that even when you say to yourself, deep down inside, I could do this. At any point in time when you are giving yourself that lie yourself is telling you lying sack of shit, you didn’t do it.
Your mind is always telling you that it’s always gonna be in that conflict. But when you start actually doing it, your mind says, , I told you you could have done it. Mm-hmm. , now you’re doing it. And that’s that feeling. You’re feeling
Joe Mills: it. It’s uh, you brought up to me that you were like, I’m guessing you have some sort of baggage or trauma around competition that’s making you feel this way.
Yeah. So I’ve been letting that sit sort of in my subconscious, like filtering, like, yeah, I think he’s right. I don’t know what it is. Let’s let that sit there and marinate and eventually it’ll come to the surface. And I’m starting real time right now to feel, figure out what I think it might be. And the could have been statement.
To go a little bit deeper, I was a sophomore at NC State. Yeah. I had Redshirted my freshman year as was planned. Felt like I should have been starting my sophomore year, played a few games and I was a goalkeeper. So it’s kinda like being a quarterback. Right. One of you plays. And I was like, you know what?
This is bullshit. I, I’m gonna go somewhere else. Yeah. And play. And I remember making the decision, you know what, actually I’d rather stay in the big pond with the big fish in the big. and if I can’t make it, so be it. Then go somewhere smaller and just walk into the easy path. Sure. And hilariously, I had framed doing that and then not becoming a starter as like failure in my head.
Mm-hmm. , and that it had not been the right choice. Like from a soccer standpoint. Yeah. But somehow I managed to decide that because it wasn’t the right choice from a soccer standpoint, it was a bad choice overall. And it. The people I’m absolutely closest to. Mm-hmm. are my best friends because I stayed Right.
And I lived with them for four years. Yeah. And like all the things that are ancillary to the one segment sport were infinitely better than had I left. And it’s really just right now that I noticed what I was doing was I was applying that failure as if it was a bad choice because it was bad choice, athletic.
to like the rest of the things and telling myself that, well, the could’ve is actually safer and better than trying and failing. So I’m gonna,
Cornelius George: I’m gonna pause you for a second. Yeah. I don’t think you fully reframed that yet. Okay. Why was it a bad choice? Athletically? It was a bad choice. Ego wise? Mm-hmm.
that’s, I think that’s what what you’re doing with, right? Yeah. So ego wise, I would’ve been on the playing field. I would’ve been the man at the smaller situation. So your ego got hurt, but athletically, do you think you got better as an athlete? , do you think you played with better people? Yeah. Do you think you’re a better player than you were before you made that decision?
Yeah. So then athletically, it wasn’t a bad decision, it was an ego decision. Yeah. It was, it was bad for your ego. Mm-hmm. . Right. You see what I’m saying? Yeah. You know, I, I’ll give you an example of my situation. I, I struggled with this and I struggle with this for a long ass time until like, literally like two months ago.
That’s, well, I’m glad you got there before people helping now, four, four months ago. So this, this is something different, right? My high school season, my high school wrestling, like I was, I was like 33 and six my junior year, my senior year I ended 33 and three. I went to states my junior year I choked, right?
I lost to a kid that I had beaten progressively worse every time, like it was five two. Then I major decision him. Then I pinned him in the minute, then I pinned him in 30 seconds, and then he beat me the last one. Right? And. for a long time. I carried that with me because it was the trauma that I had that like every time I felt like success, like I was like the other shoe was gonna drop.
So I had this anxiety that like something was going to happen because I felt like that was such big failure. I failed. And then the other day I was talking to one of my buddies and I was like, huh. Like a month ago, I was sitting down with that thing because I was having a moment of success and that other thing was coming back in and I was like, Ooh, where’s this coming from?
And I realized like my failure has me in history books and on the wall of my high school. It wasn’t never about the ending, that’s just ego. It was the journey. And that’s what that was right for you is the journey. The journey is the thing we always tell ourselves. We make goals and it’s good to make goals, but it’s the journey That’s where the, that’s where the success happens, right?
So like, through that journey of wrestling, I learned incredible amounts of self-discipline. I learned to embrace pain and struggle. I, I learned to understand working. I learned the, the desire to do what the other guy is not willing. I won a lot of matches. I made friends. I made lifelong friends that I, that I’ve been in their weddings, that I’m godfathered to their children, those types of things.
That journey was a success, but for a long time, my ego had framed that death, right? That thing that happened to it, that trauma, that injury that happened to it back then as a loss, and I wasn’t able to fully appreciate the valuable win that I got from that situ. . So what I’ll tell you, it wasn’t a wrong athletic decision.
It’s your ego trying to tell you that that situation caused
Joe Mills: injury. Yeah, man. Lowkey a little bit emotional because I think I’ve framed soccer as a whole with a little bit of that, like, and it was so much of my existence. It was, I mean, it was so much of my existence growing up. Yeah. Yeah. And you start to mention some of the, like the, the journey things.
I have things popping into my head that were like amazing gifts. Yeah. They gave me, and you’re so right, because the ending wasn’t the ending that I. visioned. Yeah. And that my ego definitely wanted,
Cornelius George: but I’ll tell you this too though. Give yourself some grace, because it’s part of the DNA in being an athlete.
It’s something that they teach us. Mm-hmm. . It’s like the, it’s like the, the thing that they indoctrinated us, right. For you to be good, you have to care about being good. Yeah. And a lot of that sometimes puts your ego into it. Right. And it’s very hard to teach a, you know, six year old, seven year old, 12 year old, 15 year old, whatever.
Whenever you get into. That it is the journey and that you’re doing this, you’ll beat everybody. If you beat yourself, if you get better at yourself and you just enjoyed the journey every day. Mm-hmm. , because you’re looking at the scoreboard, you’re literally indoctrinated. Look at the scoreboard. The end result matters are where you all state, where you all American, where you this.
It is a very ego-driven thing for you to be able to be a good athlete. Yeah. So it’s very hard for you to take that away when that ego gets. . You know, it’s why we cry when we lose in the Super Bowl. It’s why we cry when we do this, because we’re so emotionally invested in it. But at some point in time, we have to step back and just look at the journey and just say, you know what the journey was it.
Joe Mills: you still enjoy the highs as much when you remove emotional detachment from the outcome? Huh?
Cornelius George: Um, you do and you don’t. Right? Um, when you’re in this space where you’re not hyperly angry or you’re not hyperly upset about anything and everything just is right. When most people consider enjoying the great moments and everything else like that, like it is this rush of feeling emotion and all of that other stuff.
What I do is I just experience it and sometimes I’ll get, get like hyped, like, yeah, whoa, for like a couple of seconds, but I don’t get like overwhelmed with it because that’s an external thing. Mm-hmm. , like that’s an external thing. All of those things are externals. Right. And, and, and. . Like say for example, let’s say right now I close like a major deal that I’ve always been wanting, right?
Like that’s an external thing and I’m going to enjoy it. And that is something that I desire or something that I prefer over not getting it right and I’m going to do that right? But I’m not going to get so overwhelmed in the happiness of it that it becomes like something that that makes. Attach a value of who I think of myself to.
Mm-hmm. And I think that’s what happens a lot, is that when you get to a situation where things good happen in life, you attach your value of your life to it. Mm-hmm. And you get so happy and this is a thing, and it becomes, no. The happiness for me comes from being able to accept that and appreciate that for what it is, and also being able to live life without it.
The thought that just popped
Joe Mills: into my head was, That gets significantly easier to do. When you found that purpose, you talked about Yeah. Because that’s the thing that you are driving toward, for example, people get real, real riled up about sports, right? Yeah, I am one of them. Yeah, me too. And mania. Your, your favorite team loses.
Yeah. It literally, I just realized I was doing this like last year, like overly invested in the outcomes of my teams. Sure. And I was like, what am I doing? And then I figured out that I was applying their success, their failure as a commentary on my own individual. Value as a person. Sure. And I was like, oh, that’s that.
Saying that out loud sounds crazy.
Cornelius George: No, it doesn’t. Well, I, I
Joe Mills: it’s part of the gang. Yeah. But it, it’s like, it’s sort of weird to let it affect you the way that it was letting it affect me to your point. Like I wasn’t able to move on from like highs and lows. Yeah. It did a lot of work on that. Right. And now it’s like, oh, I love when my teams win and it sucks when they lose, but I’m over it either way.
But I think it gets easier when you get closer to your.
Cornelius George: I don’t know if it’s a chicken or egg situation, right? Yeah. Um, but here’s what it is though. One, the sports thing, you’re part of the. It’s very interesting cuz uh, I always ize this quote by free MechE. Um, but it is like in the insanity and individuals rare, but in the group it’s expected.
Something along the lines, right? Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . Um, and the thing is a human being, we’re really driven to be part of gangs. Call ’em communities, whatever. I just like to say gangs cuz it seems a little bit more fun. But like when you’re watching a sports team, that’s what really is happening, right? You’re part of this gang of people and then these are your representatives on the field going to war for you.
Right? And you’re, that’s why you’re like, you’re invested because our gangs is lost. Yep. And so that’s why you feel it internally. Right? But. These are millionaires playing , doing their jobs. You know what I mean? Like at the end of the day, your millionaires doing their jobs. I gotta go do mine the next day.
So you, you, you have to think about it from, from that way. And, and, and I’m glad that you’re starting to realize that. Like it’s not that serious, but still, I mean like, I’m gonna scream like a maniac. When the Eagles play. Yeah. When they lose, I’m gonna be disappointed, but I’m gonna go home and go do my work.
Cuz those millionaires just made their millions. Yeah. I gotta go do something for myself to the
Joe Mills: purpose. You mentioned finding your core purpose. Yeah. I feel like I’ve stumbled into what I believe mine to be in the last year or so. Well, but I think people get told like, you need to find it. You need to find it.
You need to find it. And you almost build this like pressure around yourself to have a great answer for what your purpose
Cornelius George: is. Yeah. It’s so simple. All right. You feel it. You have to be in tone with your feelings. Mm. You feel at peace when you’re doing. Find those moments Like where, where did you feel at peace?
Like when did you feel at peace? When did you feel at peace? Like, did I feel at peace? And you start noticing when you feel at peace in those moments, then you’re doing what’s your primary purpose? And it, and people think about like, what’s my purpose? Like, oh, that means to be a doctor means to be this. No, it is not necessarily that.
Right? Like mine is I love helping people and I love making the world a better place, right? Something along those lines, right? So when I’m helping people, When I’m talking to people, like the conversation we had, right? When I’m using the skillsets that I have to help people reach their potential, I feel gleeful.
I feel it’s just, this is my purp, that’s what I’m supposed to be doing, right? When I’m doing things that aren’t helping people, I feel miserable. Like I can feel it in my bones. So I try not to do that. So my primary purpose is helping the world and making the world a better place, right? Um, and what you find is why it’s simple.
Is this the way you find it? By figuring out what makes you feel whole, not happy, not joyous or but whole, but solid, right? And feel that peace and keep doing that. Just keep doing that. That’s your primary purpose. If the thing that you do that you feel that peace is your primary purpose, then misery come from living a life outside of that because everything outside of that is not gonna give you peace.
That’s why it’s important to live in that lane, because again, like I. It’s the thing that makes you feel most at peace. So how do you live an unsuccessful life when you living a life at peace? That’s why it’s so important. And it’s not about finding like your way through life or anything like that. Like some crazy things.
Literally just about what do I feel peaceful doing? It’s wild how you go doing that
Joe Mills: shit every day. We’re we’re so, we’re so logical. Yeah. As a society. Yeah. And like I would say Western society as a whole is that way, like we are taught you need to. Data and numbers and like logic behind what you make decisions on.
Mm-hmm. , and that is the other end of that spectrum. What do you mean? Being in touch with when you feel peaceful doing something? No,
Cornelius George: it’s the most logical shit in the entire world. I think people fail at
Joe Mills: it. Listen, I don’t think people can identify it.
Cornelius George: Here’s the thing that people don’t understand. We don’t have logic in the world.
What most people think is logic is not logic. It is just mathematical equations that make one plus one equal seven. You know what I’m saying? Look how logical. What you do that makes you feel at peace. Keep doing that. Oh no, it’s super
Joe Mills: logical, . It’s super, it’s super logical. I don’t know. I don’t think people know when they’re
Cornelius George: at peace, man.
I don’t know if that’s true. Okay. I would love to be wrong. I don’t know if that’s true. I think people know when they’re at peace, but I think most people know and feel when they’re at peace. But people just don’t know how to be at peace. People don’t understand the world that we live in to be at peace.
Right. Because human existence is an existence that’s based a lot on conflict. Good. Or. , right? The interaction. So that’s why you have people when they go in solitary confinement, they get, they, they go insane and stuff like that, right? They lose their minds because they’re not in conflict with, with other people.
And so to be at peace means that like you have to accept a life where that conflict may happen, may not happen. You can take it, relieve it, right? And I think people have these times when they start feeling that peace, but it contradicts what that desire for that. Mm. And that conflict just seems so much more normal.
You think about this for example, right? Like, I wanna tell you this, right? Like, I had a friend last night that was like, I was talking to her on the phone and she was having some issues with somebody, blah, blah, blah, blah. And she’s like, about to start texting them back and everything else like this. And I’m like, why?
And she was like, cause they pissed me off. I’m like, did they right? So like, what, what, what? What makes her at peace? She can choose to have her peace and just say, this person said this, they believe, whatever they believe doesn’t mean anything to me, but she choose to go into conflict. Because when we have those conflicts, you feel like, oh, there’s a fight.
I’m right, I’m wrong, I’m this, I’m that. Those things. And now you just step away from what, what makes you peaceful? Right. And I think that’s what the problem is, is that like everyone is so used to living a life where we have to have conflict. . They don’t just enjoy when they’re at peace. I
Joe Mills: love where we’ve gone.
Do um, do you have practices to train that? I mean, maybe this is my assumption is that you were not 10 years old and like, I know what it means to be at Peace .
Cornelius George: Hell no. and I used to brawl all the time as a kid, um, as a nerd growing up a Philly and stuff like that, I brawled all the time, man. Like you and, and you know, people try to pick on me.
I’m fighting. That was, I think one of the things that happened to me is that like I always had this. , I felt like I was moving about the world and the world was just shaking me like I was in like a fucking jar or some shit just shaking me up like that, like a soda or something, man. Um, but then I started wrestling and I really started understanding the power of my mind.
I like doing hard things, right? To build the muscles, right? Yeah. I gotta build muscles. So because I’m lazy, I force myself to do hard things all. . Right. Becoming a little bit addicted to doing hard things because I know I’m growing from that. Mm-hmm. , because it, it is contradicting my laziness. Right. I’ll make sure I work out every day.
Right. I don’t wanna work out today, but it’s 1159, but gotta go. Right. I’ll make myself do hard things. I’ll put myself in situations to do hard things that way that I’m building the muscles for being able to deal with my laziness and for me to be able to deal with how I grow. Right. And I read a shit ton.
Mm-hmm. , I read a shit ton and I reflect. Right. I. You put all those things together. I used to have this, uh, quote, right? Uh, you know, it was like when I was like in my late twenties, early thirties or something like that. Um, I was single, right? And I was like, it’s all about her. Right? Her and hitting the gym, eating right, and reading h e r, right?
If you do those three things consistently, you’ll be fine. Mm-hmm. , you’ll, you’ll figure your life out.
Joe Mills: You think it works the other way? What if you’re somebody who is naturally. Whatever, Monica. Workaholic naturally just like loves to do hard things already. Is there sense in, if you are that person doing easy things intentionally for what?
Uh, maybe you need to chill a little bit. Why? Because not every moment has to be a hard thing. Then you’re
Cornelius George: not enjoying your life. Hmm. So like not every moment is a hard thing for me. Not every moment is like, But I enjoy doing those things. Yeah. I enjoy living that way. I enjoy pushing myself. I enjoy pushing myself to growth.
If you’re a person that is doing those things and just like going hard all the time and you don’t enjoy it, and that’s not helping you grow, then yeah, you’re doing the wrong things in life. Mm-hmm. , you’re doing a lot of compulsion, right?
Joe Mills: Maybe that’s the trigger. The conversation we had earlier about like finding that peace.
Like if, if the things you’re doing always feel hard and not enjoyable and out of compulsion, your effort’s probably directed in the
Cornelius George: wrong spot. Goes back to what I was talking about in terms of at peace, right? Like I find myself at peace when I’m doing hard shit. Mm-hmm. , you know what I mean? Because I enjoy it.
Right? Like I enjoy it cause I know that I’m getting some growth out of it. Cause that’s what I am and I know that I’m going to learn. So, That I’m going to be able to take and teach to other people, like I want you to put in perspective this way, right? All of the learning, all of the reading, all of the everything that I’ve done, I’m sitting here at this moment talking to you.
I’ve helped you a little bit. There’s somebody who’s going to listen to this and be helped for it. I’m on my path. It’s fucking great, right? If that’s not what your primary purpose is doing, like me lifting weight, me doing all of those things better in myself so I can help other people get better, that’s way along with my primary purpose.
So doing those hard things is just fucking at peace with me, right? , if that’s not what you’re doing and you’re just compulsively just hitting the gym, doing this, doing that for some whatever reason, some ego reason, or whatever it is, yeah, chill the hell out. Chill out because you’re not happy. Mm-hmm.
you’re miserable, you’re not at peace, and you shouldn’t do anything that doesn’t put you at peace. So yeah, it can flip north, south, east, west, any way you want it to go to, because the idea is for you to do what makes you feel at peace and continue to do that and do things along those. . So I don’t know what that is for you.
I don’t know what that is for the next person. So you gotta find those things that make you feel at peace and and just go keep doing those things. Keep doing things along those lines.
Joe Mills: I couldn’t help but think through when, when you were talking about being at peace, I was like, what are the things that I find myself peaceful in?
And they are all the hard stuff. The hard stuff, which doesn’t even feel hard. Nah, because it feels fun. Because it
Cornelius George: feels peaceful. Yeah. The one thing that we didn’t talk about, it’s not an. Yeah. It’s not an emotional thing. It’s not an emotional thing. Right. It’s just, it just feels right. See, that’s the thing is that, like, when I, when we talk about people love conflict, it’s because people trust their emotions too much, right?
Emotions are fake in the sense that like, they’re, they’re like heuristics for you to be able to quickly explain why you mm-hmm. what, what you feel, right? They’re labeling mechanisms, right? They’re labeling mechanisms, right? In reality, it’s more complex than that, and that when you’re at. You’re not feeling an emotion.
It’s the kind of like the void of emotion almost, which is
Joe Mills: hard to identify. Yeah. And somewhat terrifying. It’s, it’s, but it’s like, it’s like, so you know how to react when you’re angry. Yeah. When you’re happy. When you’re like, well, you, like you, you have a, you have a pattern. You have a pattern to use.
Cornelius George: Yeah.
And this is the thing that’s beautiful. Um, That like, you know, I think the practice of Catholicism teaches you really, really, and that’s what I love about it and, and you know, Buddhism and all the great philosophers and religions of the world actually teach this, but most people don’t even realize it’s a secret to life.
Is that like nothing happens to you, nothing bad or good happens to you, right. , those emotions that you feel are all bullshit. You’re making yourself have those emotions. Mm-hmm. , right? And so like, that’s why they’re fake, right? So like, for example, you know, I tell people this, this is the example all the time, right?
I have a brand new pair of sneakers on brand new pair of shoes, great shoes, whatever. My two year old daughter steps on my shoe. I don’t care. But, uh, a 30 year old man walks down the street and just steps on my shoe. I give a shit. I’m like, whoa, what you step on my shoe for man? Right? But in reality, same action.
Same action. , but the emotions were, things are just, I mean, I may think my daughter don’t ask cute is because of the value that I attribute to it. So people love that I attribute that value and things to it when it’s just, it’s just a shoe. Somebody just stepped on the shoe. That’s it. It’s not that big a deal.
But if I choose to give it meaning, that’s when I choose to give it emotions. Mm-hmm. . Right? And so to be at peace is to be in that void of where you’re no longer controlled by your emotions. So that’s why I say peace. Peace is not an emotional state. It just is. It just is. It just is. Ugh,
Joe Mills: this was awesome man.
I appreciate you coming on. My pleasure. Time for us. My pleasure.
Reid Morris: Okay, well another just amazing conversation. You corn is a great guy to chat to. Has lots of opinions and lots of things that make you step back and, and maybe rethink how you’ve been thinking about some things, which is awesome. Went a lot of places in that conversation, but what were a few of the main things
Joe Mills: that stood out to you, Joe?
Well, one thing is you were saying that there’s a term in sales called pattern interrupt. Mm-hmm. . It’s where you do something that makes the person you’re talking to just like take a second and be like, oh yeah, let me rethink that, or let me react differently than I’ve been patterned to react. And he’s sort of a walking pattern interrupt.
Mm-hmm. . That’s the energy I get from him. And it’s, um, it’s very effective for my own development to be around people like that. Mm-hmm. . Um, so I just appreciate it. But one thing that came back to life that we hadn’t touched on, I think in a little bit on the show is really going back to that sense of intuition that we really started when we first sat down and had our first, you know, three to five episodes.
We kept seeing this idea of like trusting your gut feeling. And then when we talked to Kevin Bailey about intuition and what it is and how it works, and he brought that back up in a really meaningful way where he was like, yeah, but what do you feel? Because I, I think the question of what’s your purpose gets people all messed up.
Oh yeah. All sorts of like second guessing, is my purpose real enough? Does this sound, is this authentic to who I am? Does it serve the world in some important way?
Reid Morris: And so much of that is actually a reflection of how you think other people will think about that purpose.
Joe Mills: Yeah. Which I feel like is a layer within what what he was talking about.
Reid Morris: He is like being at peace and doing
Joe Mills: you. Right. Well, and it’s like he doesn’t put any qualifiers on what he says his purpose is, but there’s so many times where somebody would say like, I know this is gonna sound really grand, but my purpose is to help people and improve the. . It’s like, well, why’d you put the, the qualifier on there?
He just like lives in and it’s like, that’s where I’m, I feel my best when I’m doing this thing. Mm-hmm. . And it’s interesting to, to have that back as a way to identify like, are you doing the right thing or not? Mm-hmm. , because there’s really like thinking through that. It’s like, it’s impossible to know.
Reid Morris: we’ve spoken to a number of people who operate purpose-driven businesses and are purpose-driven themselves, and I think it might be an interesting exercise for us to go back and reflect. Did anybody else put qualifiers around those purposes? Or even as we’re looking forward, right? Yeah. Like who does or doesn’t feel the need to qualify that purpose because the qualifier comes from that, you know, external feedback
Joe Mills: that you’re concerned about.
Yeah, totally. So I think that’s the biggest thing I took away from that is just like May, maybe, maybe that’s it as a whole, I think when I, when I think of Cornelius and the message that he gets across is get rid of the noise. Get rid of the noise. It is not the thing that matters, like live into your value system.
Be true to who you are, feel where you should be, um, and then recognize that your reactions to things are, you have control over. Mm-hmm. . And the noise around them is, is you generated, you can decide whether or not you’re gonna pay attention to that or react to it. Um, and that’s like sort of the emphasis of how he shows up.
Yeah. There’s a thread of ownership.
Reid Morris: That is throughout. That is, is
Joe Mills: really interesting. There’s like a blend of Jocko Willink, David Goggins and like Ryan Holladay. Uhhuh in him. Yeah. That all comes out.
Reid Morris: Yeah. Very fascinating and I think it gives us an interesting perspective as we go and have more conversations around just a different lens to look through, so For sure.
Yeah. Awesome. As always,
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