17. André Alphonso, Entrepreneur​ Down Under

Eric: Hey, everybody, and welcome back to The Eric Mueller Show, a podcast where we explore what makes any successful person's inner clock tick. Today, you'll be hearing from an individual who walked away when he was at the very top of a very successful 26-year corporate career in Australian and Multinational organizations. He went on to create startup businesses which focus on his passion - the development of human potential.

 

Over the last 12 years, André Alphonso has started up and profitably grown multiple businesses, which he continues to lead both in person and virtually from his base in Sydney, Australia. He has trained over 30,000 people in leadership skills, selling skills, and professional and personal development areas. He's worked in and consulted to over 20 different industries and he has even physically worked in 14 countries across the world.

 

André Alphonso is known by many labels: managing director, chairperson, author, entrepreneur, just to name a few. However, if you ask him to label that he is most drawn to he says it's adventure. He is an avid collector of [00:01:00] adventures and not material things. Professionally, he finds his adventures in numerous ways: leading several companies in Australia and overseas, working with leaders either as an executive coach or as a consultant, delivering keynote presentations and workshops, collaborating with others to create something new, and always exploring ways that he can give back to his community.

 

I hope you're excited to absorb the knowledge and wisdom that André has gathered over his inspiring career. Let's head on over to the interview.

 

[EDM music begins playing and then fades-out]

 

Eric: All right. So, welcome back to the Eric Mueller Show, a podcast where we explore what makes any successful person's inner clock stay driven towards success. Today, I'm happy to welcome to the show, André Alphonso. Welcome sir.

 

André: Hey Eric, good to be here.

 

Eric: It's a pleasure to have you on the podcast and getting started here, what [00:02:00] got you into business in the first place André?

 

André: Yeah that's, uh, that's an interesting question. I often look at my life in two parts, Eric. The first half of my life well or the first half of my professional life anyway from about the age of 50, I had a very successful corporate career sort of you know rose to the The Dizzy Heights and was very comfortable. Great job. I was running a management consulting operation international company. I had looked after the Australian New Zealand operation, so life is pretty good, you know, I had two European cars in the garage, very comfortable.

 

There was something inside of me that was going you know what next, what next? Here I am 50 years old. I was going for a walk one morning I'll never forget this. And I was about to go to get into a phone call with my, my boss who was the president of the company based in Boston about my next stop. My next job. You know, was it going to go to Asia? Was it going to come to the U.S.? Because I kind of leveled out of here.

 

And as I was going for the walk thinking about this [00:03:00] an idea, struck me that, you know, why do I want to actually put myself in the firing line for more hard work, more stress? Why don't I do something for myself? And the idea came up of looking at opening up this company at this organization I work for their operation in India. I've done a strategy paper on India, but this was 2008 just before the financial crisis hit us, and they shelved the idea of investing anything in India.

 

So I decided to invest myself and, you know, once it's a strange thing, once you have an idea, in that in that instant, Eric in that instant, it was so compelling but I came home got on the phone, talked to my boss in Boston said, hey this is an idea. He thought it was a great idea because he always wanted to be in India, I was going to take his brand but under my, my investment in there and that was it. So that was my entry if [00:04:00] you like in the second half of my life into working for myself in setting up an organization for myself and that was in 2008 that that happened. So I guess 13 years ago.

 

Eric: Wow. Yeah and you go from the corporate environment where you said, you have, you know, maybe kind of a cushy type living at that point and you take a risk and be what some might call a midlife entrepreneur. You mentioned that term, you know, in our pre-interview discussion. And would you mind sharing a little bit about that or how, you know, how people go through that type of transition, as they're, you know, going through their lives?

 

André: Yeah, I had no idea what a midlife entrepreneur was until someone shared it with me and said, André, this is what you are. And I went what? But because, you know, when you get into business, you don't actually think myself. I'm going to be an entrepreneur, you just have an idea and then you want to go with it.

 

So, the idea of midlife entrepreneurs is this Eric, and, and it's based on this idea that if you look at adult lives, you know, most people now live til they're about [00:05:00] into their 80s right, healthily into their 80s, and if you take away the first 20 years of your life, because, you know, you go to school, you get educated, learn to brush your teeth and tie shoelaces, and do a tie.

 

You know from your 20s to, you know, your adult life you actually only are at halftime when you enter your 50s, right? And it struck me, because a lot of people said, you get in your 50s, you sort of go into this decline. And, and the interesting thing is, if you, if you look at those two halves of your life, the first half of your professional life is all about the accumulation.

 

You know, it's about getting degrees, getting houses, getting wealth. Families, kids, homes, cars, boats, whatever else, you want to do. And then when you've got all of those sorts of face, which is typically, you know, up until about your 40s or 50s for a lot of people, not for everyone, but for a lot of people you go okay, what next.

 

And something happened and happened [00:06:00] to me for sure.  You sort of think, you know, I the second half my life is not one of accumulation. I don't want to accumulate any more things, but I want to start making a contribution. I want to do something that's significant. And the only way I'm going to do something that's significant is to go out. So it's either in the old days is to call it a midlife crisis, perhaps, and I think that's what it was and you come to a decision point.

 

I think a lot of people, I know a lot of people I talk to there is a decision point in your 50s. You either go down the road of protecting everything you have and you focus on kind of the notion of retirement, which is, you know, I've done I've paid my dues, I can just retire. But there's a few people who sort of say, you know, actually at this stage of my life I’ve kind of got the most wisdom of ever got the most skills of I’ve ever had. The most experience I’ve got, you know.

 

So rather than turning the volume down on my life, I should be turning the volume up and [00:07:00] I think that's how I felt in the 50s. How do I turn the volume up because right now you know, I've, you know, I'm financially stable. I've got all of this experience and skills in leadership and negotiation and sales and organization and presenting. I've got a massive network of people.

 

I don't want to betray all that, I'm going to turn the volume up and that was the trigger for me, rather than going in to protect what I have mode is to risk what I had mode and go for it. And I think when I shared that story with a bunch of people, they actually talked to me and said, well, André is a classic midlife entrepreneur and I went hmm I didn't even think of myself as an entrepreneur back then that I loved it, right? I think that's ignited a passion in me, which is which it's not going to be extinguished, not until in my 80s I don't think because all of a sudden I'm doing work that I love doing, I'm not doing it for somebody else, I'm doing it for myself.

 

I'm choosing the people I work with, I'm choosing the ideas that I want to run with, and I'm going to make mistakes [00:08:00] along the way. So you know. It's kind of where it is and that's hopefully that answers your question Eric of what a midlife entrepreneur. Is and does and how you get into it maybe.

 

Eric: Yeah, definitely answers it and it makes me think of another question just kind, eh it’s kind of related. But if you take someone who is in, let's say their 20s. I'm in my late 20s. What advice would you share with them if they believe that they want to do entrepreneurial type things at this point, knowing what you found out along the way?

 

André: Yeah. Well I'd say there's a couple of things you would do. It's the advice I'd give you and others. Its first of all, and it's managing the tension that exists within you Eric or anybody else in their twenties, or thirties. The first and the couple of tensions is first thing it's about you. It's about you, because you go ask yourself the question. Why am I doing it? Why am I going into business for myself? What is it that I'm looking for? Is it Freedom? You know is it adventure? [00:09:00] Is it money? Is it make a difference to the world? Is it my family? Is it serving others, more time, flexible lifestyle?

 

I mean, there's a bunch of reasons why people go into business in the first place, and I'd say know exactly why you're going into that business and don't lose sight of that. That's the first bit of advice. Now, the other opposing tension once you do that is it's a value. It becomes, it's not about you and once you do make that decision to get into business, it then becomes about what it is that you can deliver, that going to be interesting and people are going to buy and that becomes an interesting journey in itself as you try to figure out what is the formula that make people want to engage with me, people buy what I sell, you know, how do I grow this business? How much do I want to grow this business and so on and so forth.

 

So there's tensions are constantly there within you. So the first one is, you know, why you're going into it and then recognize [00:10:00] that once you're in it, it's not about you anymore. It's largely about the customers and the people that you're serving. That's the first bit of advice I'd give you.

 

The second bit of advice is probably a metaphor if I can kind of use a metaphor here. It's I often liken it. I've people have asked me this before is, is it's a bit like a road trip. If you're going on a road trip, there’s three characters. So let me go back a step. In business there's three critical characters that kind of enter your psyche. The first one is the expert. The expert is what you do. The kind of work you do that makes you good at what you do, that's the sort of thing you're going to go out there produce/sell. So you become the expert in your little niche. Whatever that is. Well, that's not enough, right? So there's another character that emerges into that and that's the dreamer. This is the person that has grandiose ideas of [00:11:00] where they want to go and how they want to kind of look at life and, you know, the opportunities that might exist. So they are very much looking into the future and then the third character that enters your psyche is the realest. These are the people who kind of look at the practical issues of just getting by day to day, whether you have enough money in the bank and so on and so forth.

 

Now, all of these characters enter my head, and I think a lot of people's heads, as well as they get into this business. And so the metaphor of a road trip, is if you're going on a road trip and you have these three characters with you, if it's the dreamer that is the one who's driving and you're listening to their going to look and go down all of the different scenic routes and lookouts along the way, but they're likely to run out of gas, because they are just not interested in doing that. The expert is the person who just wants to drive and drive the car because that's what they do really, really [00:12:00] well. And the realist is the person that's kind of looking at, you know. Have we got enough gas? Where we going to stop for lunch and so on, and so forth.

 

Now, you need all three of these, I think to be successful, and I think I've learned the hard way personally because I definitely filled the role initially of the expert and then the dreamer, and I still am the dreamer. And I've got to, you know, entertain the realist if you like that comes into being because otherwise I'd be broke and you know, none of my businesses would be going. So as someone moving into business in their 20s and 30s, it's too, is to embrace the tension. You know, don't be one of these. You've got to be all three of these, and if you can't be all three of these, get someone who is. Now my wife Kathy, I was very fortunate when I went into my business, we went into it together now, and she's definitely the realist and [00:13:00] you know, kicking and screaming she would bring me back to looking at, you know, the practical issues of what we had to do. Whether had enough money in the bank, whether we were going to invest in this and not invest in this and so on and so forth. So that tension that exists we have to embrace and I think that's kind of the best advice I can give anyone who's going into business.

 

Eric: So if we have a entrepreneur, listening on the podcast or someone that has an idea, maybe that they want to kind of try out and see what they can do with their entrepreneurial type dream would you say it's better off for them to develop those three pieces that you just described within themselves initially or to seek those out? Is it easier to seek em out or try to build in within when you're starting off?

 

André: Yeah, I think either or. All right, so if you have an inclination to do that, absolutely do it, but if you don't, don't. So I’ll give you a perfect example in terms of the businesses are run right now. We've just launched [00:14:00] another business which is around mindfulness it’s called zAntideha, we only launched it literally, just over a month ago. It's a B2C business. I've never worked in the B2C space before all of my expertise if you like is been in the B2B side, you know, organization to organization. So, in the B2C space, it's all about social media, digital marketing, which I have very little knowledge of nor do I have huge interest in it. Right it's not kind of my thing. I'm not an Instagram junkie, you know, or SnapChat or, you know, I do stuff on LinkedIn of course, and, you know, Facebook because of my age, that's kind of my demographic.

 

But I needed to go and find someone. And so, I just did not want to invest heaps and heaps of time and becoming a digital marketing expert. So, it took me a while, but I did find someone who I really like working with and who helps me kind [00:15:00] of go along the way to do that. So you know, it's a bit like I think that outsourcing those elements are really important.

 

So, in terms of those three characters, you know some elements of those sorts of things, particularly if you are the dreamer, you may want to look at someone who's going to be a manager working for you, a realist if you like, that can help you look at the practicalities because otherwise you could just go and get lost amongst it all.

 

And the other interesting thing is the expert role, and I think as I've got more into business I’ve kind of left that expert role a little bit behind me because you can actually get a bunch of other people that are clever, a smarter, and do it better than you in the delivery side of it. And that was a bit humbling for me, I should say. And I love the fact now that I don’t necessarily, [00:16:00] you know, identify myself as being the expert in my business, but rather the leader of my business in terms of the teams that I have working with me and for me.

Eric: Yeah. I think I mean, from my limited experience in talking to entrepreneurs and on this podcast namely one thing that I believe is that there if people have an idea, if you have an idea that you think it might work, you're a little bit scared to share that with someone like, you feel like you don't want to give a piece of your of your baby per se up. So I feel like initially someone might be a little bit, you know, adverse to going and seeking help at the beginning. So I guess how does one manage fear in that way if they're fearful of someone stealing their idea. So to speak? Or how do you how have you managed fear throughout your career and life?

 

André: Hmm. That's a great question. I think it comes down to trusting the sorts of people that you would go to, for advice and counsel and they may not be your usual suspects. You may pick [00:17:00] other people that are probably a little bit off center and would be willing to give you their perspectives. I think, when you start off in business, you probably, if you have an idea, you want to go and test it to make sure you get a proof of concept. Is this going to go anyway, is this going to work?

 

So you're typically doing all three roles when you start off, right? You're doing everything, but as you get along that road and you realize well actually I need help. And that could be three months, six months, three years down the track, you know, that if you don't expand and bring people into the business, you will decline and your business will die. It just is the lifecycle.

 

Let's assume you've got a product that's going really well or a service or an offering that people are really interested about. As you get to a certain growth point, you just going to platter out and level out and you know if it'll eventually come to an end, and that will be it. So, you [00:18:00] come to a decision point I think along that journey, and, as I said, it could be 3, 6, 12, 3 years, whatever it is that you say okay I need to bring someone in and who is that person. At that stage you probably have a pretty good idea as to what that formula is for that kind of business.

 

And I was up in, that was a great bit of advice that was given to me when I first started off for an India. My first business, you know, 13 years ago, boss who was the president of this consulting company said, André don't make the business about you because if you make the business about you, you become a prisoner to the business. So the first thing I did when I went to India with my family in 2008 was try to find someone who's going to run the business for me, and I was very fortunate that I did. And to this day, 13 years later, he is running my team in India for me was, you know, I provide advice and counsel but you know, we went through four years of living there and rolling up our sleeves doing [00:19:00] everything together. So, eventually that I could step back a little bit because there's no way I could have sustained. And doing that for a long period of time.

 

So yes, that's my bit of advice is, you know, try and find, you know, someone who's a kindred spirit, someone who's got you can work with and you like working with really important as well. Trust is, of course, fundamental in this. So, you know. So, in terms of the fear of people stealing, my idea, I don't think I had that. I overcame it pretty quickly. You always going to have someone trying to copy you, you know, in the world, we live in today. Someone's ahead of you, someone's got a better idea and it's going to go for so yeah. It's a trust issue I think, Eric more than anything else?

 

Eric: Sure. Yeah, and you found someone that you sought out to intentionally find a person that would be a good leader [00:20:00] for your business. Yeah, what traits did you look at in that type of person? What makes a good leader in your opinion André?

 

André: So, it's interesting, it's all great in hindsight, isn't it? Because at the time it was like, you know, who can I afford? And who's gonna work for me? Really and, but the thing I looked at was someone, I could work with. So the biggest issue was likability for me, that I actually had to enjoy working with them.

 

When I was running the consulting company here in Australia, before I went into business, I had a great team. Super high powered, bright, very capable people, but sometimes the egos got in the way and didn't make my job as a leader very enjoyable because I didn't actually think about likability very much and, you know, working with people, I often thought about the idea of competence and I think I shifted, when I started up my own business, likeability became a lot more important. So, yes, they have to have the basic skills but likability at the personal level.

 

The second [00:21:00] thing I would say is they've got to be brilliant at business development, right? The thing I would say to anyone going into business is selling and money are not dirty words, selling and money are absolutely critical for your survival. So business development is the thing that keeps your business alive without anything coming in the front end, you got nothing, you got nothing.

 

So think about how you go about engaging clients, getting clients to pay to engage you or your organization. So with Sumit, the guy who I hired. He was brilliant at the sales process and still is to this day. It's a kind of thing that drives them. And, you know, we had to then say, you know, put around him, the skills that I talked about, you know, the realist, the person who runs the, looks after the details side of it.

 

So, you know, we built a team around Sumit and his ideas because I would say he was definitely the expert, [00:22:00] and together we do the dreaming part as well, but we did have to put in place the you know, the management side of it that probably isn't the stuff, not that he's not good at just doesn't like doing.

 

André: So for me business development was really critical, but likability at the personal level would be the two things I would look for going forward and to extend on that even the other business that I set up and that’s when I returned back to Australia Ariel, which is the organization we do executive leadership presence with. I went into business with a person I used to work with previously. On the same criteria, someone I really liked. So likeability is very key and he was very, very good at selling. The rest of the stuff we could figure out. So if you can do those two things but if you don't have someone who can sell or wants to sell or is interested, it's a red flag for me.

 

Eric: Yeah, now, I'm curious André. Do you think you can teach likability? Like, you can obviously learn the [00:23:00] business acumen over time, or you can get an MBA, or you can train yourself in those ways. But you think you could teach a person how to be more likeable? Is that possible?

 

André: I think they can people can increase their likability a little bit but not necessarily wholesale. You know, it comes down to chemistry. So it's a chemistry between two human beings. You know, we Eric, you, me everyone we know we're a cocktail of experiences and values and DNA and personality, but when you put two people together, you know, it works or sometimes it doesn't work.

 

So unlikable people are liked by someone, right?

 

Eric: Yeah.

 

André: Their just not liked by me, so I don't classify someone as unlikable to the world. There's just no chemistry that exists between the way they see the world and interpret the world and the way I do. So I tend to, you know, avoid them.

 

There are also what I call the psychic vampires. The people who just [00:24:00] asked so negative that they suck the energy out of me every time I see them, and I just tried to avoid Them. I did work with some of them, and I learned my lesson you know early in the piece that I just didn't want to have those around me anymore. You know, the psychic vampires if you like yes.

 

Eric: Yes. So it's you know at the core it seems like you just want to find the right fit so on and you know you can think back and people listening you know where do you look for the right fit in your life? Maybe you're searching for a college. You might hear someone say you just want to know go where it feels, right? Do you like André have you have you felt that in each of the business endeavors that you've gone through. Like you've got your consulting, you know, on the side where you have executive coaching, you have The Ariel Group, and zAntideha that you just shared that just started. But I mean, how do you like, how do you figure out that chemistry? Is it just a feeling or what do you, what advice do you have in that?

 

André: I wish I could put a formula to it. Then I could maybe sell it.

 

Eric: Yeah. [00:25:00]

 

André: I think it comes down to just, you know, intuition and that mix of chemistry or two people coming together with a similar and aligned on a particular purpose. So want to do similar things and who can work together to bring the best out of each other, right? They don't have to be best friends necessarily but they have to be able to bring the best out of each other and that's, you know, sometimes when you're the leader that's a little bit hard because people often are very respectful of you and kind of hold back. So I've tried very, very, very hard to make sure that those relationships I have are quite egalitarian at best. So, you know, they can call me on my behavior and we have a culture of candor with respect. All right, so so we respect each other and we can give each other feedback that respectfully, that that's got to be part of the, the chemistry of how we work together. If you can't take feedback, then it becomes [00:26:00] really, really difficult. So, it is, it is that gut feel Eric. I wish I could have a formula, I don’t.

 

Eric: Yeah. If we could bottle that up and put it in a package that you could sell, I think you probably make a lot of money doing that.

 

André: Yeah, yeah. Maybe that's your next, hat's your next PhD mate.

 

Eric: Yeah, there you go. Just to give you a little background here, André. So the reason I created this podcast was honestly a little bit selfishly at first, I wanted to figure out what made a successful person and what keeps someone driven so that I could use that for myself to advance but also, you know, in the greater mission of the podcast, I want to share that knowledge with other people.

 

And, you know, possibly, I envision it someday. Maybe I'll be able to write a small book that has bits and pieces from each person showing how they were able to remain successful, granted that they were from different backgrounds. So I want to ask you what is the one single driving force that keeps your inner clock ticking towards the success that you have?

 

André: Wow. Yeah. [00:27:00] Can I try and answer that in a couple of ways, Eric because coming up with one's really is challenging, and many of them not do a diservice but there's a couple of things I would say and some things I've learned probably in the last ten years, more than anything else is so, so the first part is how I live my life and the second part of what drives me.

 

So, the thing that drives me allows the first, which is, you know, I want to make a tangible contribution for those people who come in contact with me. I know that sounds really lofty, but, you know, it's this whole issue of what ignited me when I was, you know, decided to move out to myself, I actually want to make a difference in the world, not just show up, not just fade and rust away, you know, in a retired life somewhere. That kind of didn't Define me as a person.

 

So, the thing that pushed me was to make a difference and the and the vehicle that I used [00:28:00] to do that was my expertise if you like at that stage, which is around the development of people, and I love being able to work with people to make them better. So I do that through, you know, the training courses that I’ve run, you know, over the years through the coaching that I do, and all the businesses that I run is all about developing people, I mean that's the singular, the golden thread that weaves its way through everything.

 

So when I wake up in the Morning and you know even whether it's friends who I'm having lunch with today. I always feel that at the end of that conversation, I want to leave them with something which has touched them, you know, made something significant. So that's kind of like a my inner clock that drives me if you like when I jump out of bed I do think about that a lot. So yeah. That's probably I'll stop there because I'm just going to go on otherwise.

 

Eric: Yeah that's a tough one. That's a tough one. When I mean I think I've I tried to think what is my answer to some [00:29:00] of these questions that I've asked people? And it's honestly my answer sometimes changes from day to day or week to week. So I think that you know, it's probably if you're listening to this and you think, I don't know exactly what my one single driving force is. I think that's completely fine because if I was to say what mine is right now it might change in a couple days even so yeah André thank you so much for sharing that that single driving force that keeps you driven towards success. Now I want to ask you, what is success? How do you define that term? I've heard a few people answer it. Most of them have answered it different than one another. But I'm curious. What, what, what is your definition of that word?

 

André: That is a great, great, great question. Eric. And I think, you know, this probably, you could probably write your book on just the answers you get from this. For me, it comes down to this. When I was in my 20s, I did an exercise on values clarification. Probably my late twenties about the same age as you Eric. And I remembered had a profound effect on me because I was never, really able [00:30:00] to articulate what were the things that were most important to me?

 

And, you know, over the years I've come back to, you know, what are the things that are most important and they remain reasonably constant. There are a few changes over time, and I think in the last 10, 12 years it's become paramount to me that I live my life in concert with my values and that means being able to articulate where they are and also prioritize them from 1-5, right?

 

And it sounds a little bit obsessive and compulsive but I kind of do that. So success for me is living those top five values if you like. So I go through a process, and I still do with teams and clients and people in fact I did one just a couple of months ago, and it was highly impactful of getting people in a room,getting them through a process of identifying, what are their top five values and then taking them through a process of what is number [00:31:00] one, number two, number three, number four, number five.

 

And the reason we do two, three, four, and five is people often say yeah, I know what my values are. I have my family. Yeah, it's really important to me or, you know, they stick with one. Well as human beings, we are defined by so much more. So actually understanding what, two, three, four and five is is critical. So so for me, I kind of look at those five things, as my definition of success, happy to share this with you if you like.

 

Eric: Yeah please do!

 

André: But family really, is, is up there in terms of all of them. But for me family is being super connected. It's because my kids have grown up and their, you know, spread across Australia and I've got grandkids so, I have to work really hard to be really connected with them. The second one is adventures. You know, I often look at everything I do as an adventure. Kathy, my wife laughs because she says what I'm going to do today, I said we're going to go for an adventure. We’re going to do something you've never done before, we have a laugh. So adventures doesn't have to be walking across the Himalayas, which I've done by the way. [00:32:00] It's also the little things that might happen on a day-to-day basis.

 

So this whole issue of adventuring together and I would say, all of my businesses that I go and including zAntideha is an adventure. Kathy and myself, talk about zAntideha as an adventure, I don't know what that's going to succeed or fail. We hope it's going to succeed. That it's kind of an adventure. The third one is learning and sharing, which is, you know, I'm an avid learner. I want to learn, but I also want to share. It's not just about coming in, it's also about going out. And that's kind of taken, you know, a center position most of my life really. And to this day, I think about what is that I've done, you know, in the last 24 hours that I've learned and contributed back to other people.

 

The fourth one and, you know, this is possibly the most important one at this stage in my life, is just feeling good in my own skin, and feeling good in my own skin is about, you know, my health. [00:33:00] So, I, you know, again, this is my obsessive-compulsive coming out of me here. There's five things that kind of, I focus on everyday. So I'm a plant-based food eater if you like, so my diet’s really important. I reduce stress in my life through mindfulness, and that's what I've started. This new business that we have over here.

 

I want to move flexibly. So yoga is a big part of it. As I get older, I realize that my range of movement is less. So yoga helps me kind of do that. I pause every day. So the pause is, in fact that the mindfulness stuff that that I was talking about and the last one is be playful, you know? So I look at those things because if I do those five things I feel really, really good in terms of my own skin.

 

And my last value is around independence, autonomy, and hence, my biz So you know as soon as I find that I'm losing freedom it really crushes me. [00:34:00] So so the way I kind of wrap those five values, you know, I think about that when I do my, my again this is going to sound a bit obsessive-compulsive again. So when I do my morning walks, that's so the other things exercise.

 

When I do my morning walks, I sit down and do my five minutes of my gratitude journal in my head. And my gratitude journal is just replaying the last 24 hours and across those five values. And I find that just inspires me so so much. So I feel really successful when I'm in concert with those, then I feel like I'm just not living my life when those are not being met. So it's a very long answer to your question, mate That's kind of where it's at for me.

 

Eric: Yeah, I love that answer. I mean, it really makes me think you got me thinking, what are my five values if I had to list them out, and I think I'd have to take a time to really lock that in, I mean, obviously a family and my fiancé high that list, [00:35:00] but, but honestly, I think it gives the audience something to think about, if you don't know what those five values, are you really should think diligently about writing some of those down and thinking, you know, from a mindfulness standpoint André, I think you brought up a really good point of reflecting and being grateful for what you have right now because I know I get caught up in this mindset of, you know, that visionary mindset, that dreamer mindset you talked about earlier, you know, I'm thinking about what's next or what could be, and I don't want to lose sight of what is right now and so, being present and being mindful, that's something I'm still practicing that it's tough.

 

André: And that's what you do. It's called a practice, it's called a mindfulness practice, because that's what you do. You never become an expert at it. You just practice it, it's just practice, right? And that's the word mindfulness practice is picked very deliberately because you know, people have been doing it for 30 years and are still practicing.

 

Eric: Yeah, just like practice medicine, practice of pharmacy. I’ve practiced mindfulness a little bit throughout my life and but yeah it's tough, and [00:36:00] I'm guessing you just get better with it over time. Definitely would love to, you know, share the website with the audience here. If you look down in the show notes, everybody, I'm going to include all the businesses that André is a part of. I think he's been a phenomenal guest talking about the success he's had, giving advice as going through not a midlife crisis, but a mid-life entrepreneurship type experience. So appreciate you sharing all the stories André and really, really appreciate you taking the time here. I know you're on the Australia time zone, near Sydney. So it's getting to be about 11:00-11:30 a.m. for you?

 

André: Yes, it is, it is. Hey, I found this really enjoyable, Eric, I really enjoyed the conversation. Love your questions, by the way. And I just want to wish you so much success with this. And you know I'm kind of now emotionally invested in you mate. So I'm going to be tracking you and seeing how you go with all of this. So good luck in your journey.

 

Eric: Thank you sir. Yeah,

 

André: And if I can be of any help to you, let me know.  

 

Eric: Absolutely. If you ever get, if you ever have any ideas on how I can better connect with an audience with a podcast like this, I'm all ears.

 

André: [00:37:00] Absolutely, I will keep that in mind.

 

Eric: Perfect André, well, thank you so much for being a part of The Eric Mueller Show. You have yourself a great day sir.

 

André: You too Eric, all the best.

 

Eric: Thank you.

 

[EDM music fades-in, plays and then fades-out]

 

 

Voice audio: Written, produced and edited by Eric R. Mueller

EDM music: Produced and edited by Eric R. Mueller