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The 4 Personal Bottlenecks Holding Your Business Back From Earning 6 Figures

Episode art
If you run a freelance business, there is no real separation between you and your business.
That means any personal issues you have are guaranteed to affect your business.
There are actually 4 specific “personal bottlenecks” that act as single points of failure as an entrepreneur.
  1. No time
  2. “Dirty Fuel”
  3. Lack of skills
  4. Blindspots
If any of these 4 issues exist, your business is 100% guaranteed to suffer.
In this week's episode, we discuss each of these 4 personal bottlenecks in detail…
In this episode you’ll discover:
  • Why expensive gear doesn't matter if it isn't earning you money
  • How personal bottlenecks are choking your business
  • Superheroes to save you from your bottlenecks
  • Clean fuel vs. dirty fuel – are you doing things for the right reasons?
  • Creating a step by step plan to tackle your bottlenecks
  • Why time won't let you go
  • When to ask for help with your bottlenecks
  • Handling your blind spots

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“Priorities are everything in business.” – Chris Graham
“If we ignore our bottlenecks in business, it is to our own detriment.” – Brian Hood

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[00:00:00] Welcome back to another episode of the six figure creative podcast. I am your host Brian Hood. I'm here with my big bald beautiful kind of smirking podcast today with no mustache. Thank God Christopher, Jay Graham.

Good to see my


it's good to see you too, man.

dude. I'm so good. And here's the reason why is because we have done 188 episodes on this podcast. And except for the episodes that I wasn't on because of my honeymoon, these just absolute headphones that were $19 have been with me for every episode. If you're watching on YouTube, you can see

how cheap

Oh, get him away from the screen.

Yeah. They're

just, they're

There was a hair.

and yeah, I've just, I'm so happy that they're still alive and I've, I've been using a mirror. So, cause I know you are such a huge headphone fiend that I feel like you've lost. You've lost respect for me for

these headphones

the hilarious irony of this is, is I get to pitch an affiliate link here. This is pretty exciting for


oh God.


on the flip side of the coin, I'm over here recording this podcast with a $3,000 pair of headphones. [00:01:00] They are there's this company called Odyssey that makes ridiculously awesome headphones that I now use as a PR professional audio person.

And, uh, they have a whole series called the LCD series

That way when I bourbon in the microphone, you can


every aching

you can, but it's hilarious. Cause so they sent me a bunch of pairs of headphones uh, as part of this. And if you want to get a nice

little discount. Yeah, Ryan.

$3,000. I mean, I'm wearing $19

headphones and I'm perfectly, I can hear you just fine,


I can switch it up. I'll put on these other $1,200 headphones that they make


you got. Two pair of headphones. Okay.


is what you watch on YouTube. Cause Chris Graham looks like a

big old


Right now

you're wearing $5,000 of headphones on your head right now.

But it sounds great. And I get stereo surround sound when I put them on my forehead like this, but yeah, the LCD series my God

If anyone in our audience spends three grand on headphones, [00:02:00] I'm going to, I'm going to backhand you unless you are using them for some professional thing that is actually making you way more money than that.

That's the only

excuse you

case in point, I'm gonna take these off my, my, the other pair off,

I'm so I'm so I'm so disappointed in myself for

I know you walked right into it. It was like, it was like Gloria talking about headphones. I was like,

okay, Brian, but the nice thing about these and there's actually some businessy content here.

Oh yeah. Okay. Let's go. Yeah.

because as a, a mastering engineer owning a mastering business, Kyle, my assistant works with me on that uh, business, or at least did up until today.

He graduated, he graduated and he's moving off on his own. He's.

So he finally, he finally quit and said he did the, he did the half-baked quit scene where it's like, you. you. You're cool.


Yesterday was his last day and we got on zoom at like 10 o'clock at night, and we just chatted for three hours [00:03:00] and into the, the threshold of him no longer working for me. And it was so nice. But when he was helping me with mastering stuff, he has the same pair of headphones. I, I have, I also have the LCD Xs.

And so he would hear exactly the same thing that I would hear and at a high enough resolution that we could actually do our job remotely. It was freaking


It was So cool.

Kyle is actually on episode 1 67, where we interviewed both of our assistants, episode title, how to hire an incredible assistant who will transform your business. So that was a Kyle was in that episode and James. Past and current and hopefully future assistant, who was on an episode, I would like to say I'm to blame for you losing two people.

Now, Chris, partially to blame a least Brian skill is one of my coaching clients for, for


And then Kyle is in my bootcamp right now for the accountability accelerator bootcamp for

profitable producer



those guys are both unbelievable and it has been so fun for me to work with people and then see them graduate.


I love [00:04:00] it. I love it.

It's so cool.

let's talk about ways that we can help more of our listeners graduate in their own

businesses. How


that segue?


Yeah. Talking about today's episode topic today, I wanted to, this is an episode that is, I've been, it's been percolating in my mind for a while now because I am.

I'm having to make hard decisions because of exactly what we're going to talk about today. It's all about bottlenecks in, in our business. There are, we, we actually have this episode outline. So hopefully this goes smoothly today with our three personal bottlenecks and five business bottlenecks that I would call single points of failure. And Ashley, if you go way back to episode 38, we have an episode called a 10 X in your business by identifying and eliminating your single point of failure. This is another one of those episodes where we kind of go back and rehash some old stuff, but we have, that was like three years ago, four years ago. We did that episode.

And there's so much more to talk about today because I cannot tell you how frustrating it has been. And one of my core businesses that I have this massive bottleneck and six figure creative specifically, we're going to talk about that today. Just one of my, one of my businesses and there's this, this bottleneck that has been holding me back [00:05:00] for the past year, probably a year and a half now, and I have just not fully addressed it.

And so I'm going to talk about that today. So this is gonna be real in the weeds stuff for me, but there's just, there's just so many examples. And I think this will apply to everyone here. And, uh, and even Chris and I taught them beforehand on this episode, there's even things in his own business right now that need to be addressed that are bottlenecks.

And I think that if we, if we ignore our bottlenecks in business, it is to our own detriment because I know that we tend to focus on what we love to do. Chris loves tweaking gear and buying new gear and putting headphones on and trying different headphones on and different

camera things

vintage lenses and Lutz

Yeah. And I, and I love like marketing and doing nerdy things like spreadsheets and Facebook ads. And like, I just love, I love certain things as well. And I have my own demons as far as like what I love to tweak and do for fun, but there are certain things that we ignore because they're not our natural gifts.

They're not the things we naturally gravitate towards. And these are typically where our bottlenecks lie. So we're going to talk about these today. And I feel like all of us have a bottleneck somewhere, and this is, this is what separates successful businesses from either failures or struggling businesses.

Is [00:06:00] that the most successful. Are addressing the bottleneck. Always, they're always addressing the bottleneck in some way, shape or form so that there's at least something going through it. There's, there's a difference between a bottleneck and a complete roadblock. And we need to kind of probably talk about that as well, but let's just get into this, Chris, let's start with the outline here.

We're gonna talk about personal bottlenecks first, and then we're gonna talk about business bottlenecks. So first bottleneck on personal is time. I think this is there's. We don't want you to have to elaborate on this very

much if you


have time

I think we could do the whole episode on just the

time as a bottleneck, as a matter of

fact, like.

yeah, I, I take that back. We, we should elaborate on this because if you don't have time to address your bottlenecks, you're screwed. You have to have time to judge your


they could make a joke about this and be like, you know, Hey, you know, I, I made up this new superhero for the Marvel universe. He's called, has enough time, man. And he has enough time. It doesn't matter what it is, but he has enough time to do it.

Th that was a very



It is a weird thing. but

think about it. Who [00:07:00] and when Superman, or has enough time in has enough time in every single time.

what a weird superpower, I'm not going to argue it. Cause it's, it's ridiculous, but

you're, I'm



right, but let's bring this back to business

there's all these weird superhero characters. Like lady, lady luck, whatever her name is from Deadpool. She's just really, really lucky. And if we link this back to our audience here, if we link this back to our struggle as creatives not having enough time is the most important thing because what you do with that time can get you anything.

It can accomplish anything it can make. Any amazing work of art, it can get you any skill that you need. It can get you a relationship with any person on the face of the planet. Time is what you don't have to invest in what you need to be able to do that.

Yeah. And time can also be squander. You can have tons of time and squander it all as well, which is kind of what I was alluding to earlier, where you have certain interests, the things that you love, the things you naturally gravitate towards. And so you squander all, any time you have on these things that are [00:08:00] ultimately not the actual bottleneck in your business.

So time is the first on this list, because again, like I said, if you don't have time, you are not gonna be able to do. I have a bottleneck you have, that is holding you back from actually succeeding as a business owner. Or just as a person, anything you're trying to accomplish time is the most viable thing.

And the whole reason we make money is actually to buy back our time

or it should be to


back our time in our businesses. And it shouldn't be the other way around. We should not be trading time to make more money. We should be making money to get back

more time.

Yeah. This is. Brian that I am still wrestling with. You know, I know that what you're saying is true. I've tasted it. You know, I have more than one business and some of them are pretty hands-off, that's really, really nice, but, you know, having this vision of like what it would look like to continue to improve in that, that world it's, it's, important.

yep. let's move on to number two of personal bottlenecks here. And that is your mental state as freelancers or any business owners, especially freelancers. There is no separation. There's not really any [00:09:00] separation from us in our business.

Like we, we are one in the same. We are art. We are our business and our business is us. So if our mental state is, is not in a good place, then our business is not in a good place. There's no way around it. So this is, this is what I would call an absolute single point of failure and absolute bottleneck.

And Chris, do you want to, you want elaborate on this a bit? Cause that's like, this is an area you've


through a long journey on the


couple of years.

it's funny when your mental state is not at its best, that can manifest in a lot of different ways. Sometimes the way that manifests is that you get dirty fuel to burn and this idea of dirty fuel, I'm fascinated by it. So like, revenge is a dirty fuel, my, one of my favorite books ever is the kind of money.

And there's a great movie about it, but the book is just amazing and it is just the juiciest most vicious, but justified revenge that I've ever heard about. Like this guy was wronged and he comes

Everyone loves a good revenge story in a movie, but

[00:10:00] it is dirty fuel.

It is dirty fuel. So he was motivated by there's arguments that he was motivated by love, but that dirty fuel can drive you to do unbelievable things. it can drive you to spend an incredible amount of time. For me. I love to play the guitar sitting down and playing the guitar is I met my truest self when I'm doing that, I can just go off in my mind for an hour or two, but that comes from a place where I used to play guitar to escape from the war.

It was disassociative. It was like, oh God, like I'm trying to process what happened to me at this thing. And I got PTSD and I can't tell anybody about it. So I'm going to go play guitar. And that dirty fuel drove me to be able to like make a living planet guitar there for a spell, but at a certain point, that dirty fuel.

you have to recognize, okay, well, a lot of my skills and my talents are from having dirty fuel.

I am at a point in my life where I have to shift to a clean [00:11:00] fuel somewhere. I'm doing this for not necessarily non selfish reasons. If your issue might not be that you were doing things selfishly before it might've been like for me with my business is I had a desperate need for country. In my life. I didn't feel safe because I hadn't like wrestled with my demons yet.

I didn't realize what was all buried in the back of my mind. And so I built systems to try to control the world around me so that the world is more predictable because I didn't like surprises. So I got really good at building systems. I did it on dirty fuel. And now at this point, I have to find a way to use those gifts, but to do it clean fuel.

Yeah. So to kind of bring this back a little bit, cause I like the analogy of dirty fuel and clean fuel, but I think it's important to talk about why dirty fuel is bad. Cause revenge can motivate us. It can make us do incredible things. Like you said escapism, those can motivate us to do certain things and like to, to pursue certain things and develop certain skills and implement certain things.

But when it's dirty fuel, it's putting the priority

in the wrong place.

We're doing [00:12:00] something for the wrong reason. And the reason this is a personal bottleneck is because if you are. If you were running off dirty fuel, you are working most likely working on the wrong things.

And so we talked earlier how you could have all this free time and just squander it it's

because you're running on



Not only that, but dirty fuel gums up the engine, dirty fuel,

deposits, nasty crap. And the engine starts to slow down. And let me tell a hillbilly story here.


which I would imagine the, the, the gunk would make

us our

creativity suffer in some way,

shape or form.

exactly. Brian. Yeah.

Like when you've got that gunk from running on dirt on dirty fuel, it makes you less than, than what your potential would allow you to be. Now a great example of this is when I bought my first house, a friend of mine had a riding lawn mower and he was like, you know, my grandpa found this in the trash and he fixed it up.

If you want it, you

can have

Is that the one you were

talking about on a,


a episode before your blue book,

the blue collar mindset


Yeah. I was like, okay, I'd love this mower, but it's huge. It's [00:13:00] 25 horsepower, 46 inch deck. I can't get it on a truck without taking

it apart.

I'll just drive it

across town.

inch deck conversation.

It was awesome. So I, I drove it like five miles across Westerville to my house and I would use the heck out of this thing, but it was like 25 years old when we finally had to put her down.

Oh, you had to

put her down. When did you, when did that happen?

I don't want to talk about

Okay, sorry for your loss,

I'm serious. Like I didn't even, I didn't even put her down myself. Like somebody else had to put her down for me, but

She'd get real gummed up lawn mowers by their very nature, sucking a lot of dirt and they end, they're using dirty fuel and dirty oil.

They get nasty. So there comes a certain point in a lawnmower's life or it won't run very well. It won't start and you need to use a product we're not sponsored by them, but a product called C4. Seafoam you spray in the air intake of, of the engine. And it sucks this fluid down in there, and it turns it into like flashes into steam and it [00:14:00] scrubs the crap out of the inside of the engine.

And all of the leftover gunk from running dirty fuel gets flushed out and like this huge nasty ozone killing cloud shoots out of your

engine, Wonderful the environment. And then your engine runs


runs really, really, really Well,

we're going to do a six-figure creative salute to Chris's old lawnmower. If you want to learn more about that story, go to episode 96, how you're sabotaging your business with these five toxic mindsets. We did that back in September,

2019. Chris, you


about your lawnmower in that episode.

her shifter was a silver skull with red eyes. Yeah,

she was



way cooler than you may

it have

to be on that episode.

Anyways, she was, she was, dope. Like I basically had to mow this side of a cliff

with that thing and it was


We, you talked about already.

But anyways, so let's bring it back to the seafoam and algae of dirty fuel and clean fuel. So when your mental state is not at its best, that will often give you creative superpowers for a little while.

And this is so often like the superhero [00:15:00] story. Let's talk about iron man, right? Ironman builds this thing, and then eventually it starts to kill him and he has to get a transplant so that he's running a different arc generator. That's cleaner, right? That's the same illustration that I think a lot of us need to have this epiphany that like I have not been running an unclean fuel.

My motivation has been trying to impress other people or other than serve other people. And I need to reset everything from the ground up and build this business from a healthy place. Now, I think where this starts to get problematic, Brian is I've got a little tough love. We were having a conversation a couple of weeks ago.

And you were being a little prickly,

I am. That's my that's my default state. Chris, what, what, and

what CA what

occasion, where

you speaking of

I don't even remember. There's so many times when you're just being a prickly Dick. Like, I'm just like, oh, okay. It's Brian and I love him anyways, but you said something, I called you on it and you said, well, [00:16:00] that's just one of my flaws.


And that I think is a really interesting conversation this topic.

When you look at your mental state and the th the behaviors that you do that harm the relationships with the people around you, or that make your business not run as well, or that make that just get you riled up and make you stupid. It's not efficient and it's, it's not smart and it's not a good long-term solution.

And to just say, that's just one of my flaws was probably the stupidest mistake that I've made over the course of my entire life. I would be like, well, Yeah.

sometimes I get nervous and I start plucking at my eyebrows,

That's why you don't have eyebrows I was wondering what

I have super thick, beautiful eyebrows but I, I used to get weird and I start to pluck at them or I would wake up shaking in the middle of the night or I would be in public.

And I'd like, all of a sudden would get really, really uncomfortable. Uh,

And I shake

my hand

let me say [00:17:00] that. I



we need to bring this back to the



and this is where I'm bringing it back to to just accept. I'm a creative and I've got some eccentricities and it's just part of who I am that. Is a mental state bottleneck instead of asking, well, why, why do I not want to watch this TV show about a woman having a romantic relationship with a priest?

Like maybe I should dig into like my complete aversion to this particular thing that I'm avoiding. So I think coming back to when you've got your mental state and you're trying to evaluate if it's a bottleneck for you, you have to accept that your flaws are not necessarily who you are. Your flaws are in a response to something that has happened to you.

And to bring in this back another superhero character that we could have, I've talked about him on the podcast before his priorities man priorities, man just does the right thing in the right order. That's his superhero ability and he can beat [00:18:00] Superman quite easily. You just need to do the right things in the right order.

Step one order kryptonite

from eBay. Or Amazon.

Yeah. Step one acquire kryptonite step two, acquire led line box in order to hide kryptonite from, from Superman's x-ray vision, step three, get Superman. This is actually what Lex Luther did in one of the movies from the eighties. And so if you want to build a successful creative career, you have to prioritize properly.

You have to build, they talk about this in the book. The one thing exponential Domino's if you take, I use this in coaching sessions all the time, but if you take a two millimeter high domino and you step it up next to a four millimeter, high domino, and then a eight millimeter high domino and so on and so forth by domino like 36, it's the size of the empire state building.

And if you knock down that first tiny domino, it will not eventually knock down these empire state sized building. Domino priorities are [00:19:00] everything in business. I'll say that again, priorities are everything in business. And if your mental state is a bottleneck, you won't prioritize properly,

Yep. That is a fantastic point.

we've been talking about this for a long time, but I think this is so many people's bottleneck. Honestly this is probably the root cause of every bottleneck



this list that we're going to go for both personal and business, let's talk about this just for a little bit longer.

Cause I think this is worth talking about a lot of people in our world. I'm just gonna use one example. We talk about niching down a lot. And so many people don't want to niche down because they love doing all these things. And I want to explore all these ideas and they don't want to, they don't want to settle down in one, one small idea or one simple area because of that fear of missing out on these other little things.

I think that is a, that's a mental flaw. I think that's an issue we have as creatives because we feel like if we're going to be pigeonholed into something, it's a false belief that we're going to, we're going to not enjoy what we do. And I think that the truth is if we were to explore inward and see [00:20:00] why do we feel the way that we do.

It's going to be because we are running on dirty fuel in some way, shape or form we are. If you look at Maslow's hierarchy of needs, we are not in the self-actualization, which is the top of the pyramid. We're somewhere

in the ego, which is the second to top. And it's because we, we are trying to go for validation instead of self-actualization and that's running on dirty fuel.

And I think that so many problems are caused by this. And I don't, I don't know the solution. I'm still going to be particularly to you, Chris, because you pull up my strings in a way that's so many people don't do. And it's just the way that you are because of your flaws. And it pulls it my flaws. And then we're, we're a feedback loop at some times.

And people have seen a relationship over the last three years has been up and down. Like, it's just the way it is. Like right now, that doesn't mean that we can't improve and shouldn't improve and try to build our relationship better. Like we had a little Cofer kerfuffle at the beginning of this because of systems issues.

And like, we, we got through that and we're fine, you know, but like, some of these bottlenecks we're going to talk about, especially in business model. Next, later on some of these things are like, fix it, move the on. So some of them that way, mental is [00:21:00] not mental is a, it is an endless game.

It is something you will be working on for the rest of your life, because you will never be at a hundred percent with mental, with your mental state. There's no way to achieve that. If you do, please let me

know. Cause I would

love to meet you and

have you on the podcast

Please let him know via telekinesis because he will have unlocked new and exciting parts of the brain. You'll be that that's the true ability of priorities. And, and is he figured out how to



So, I think it's worth moving on because we've been on this one for so long and I want to get to the others, but this is meant the mental

state is the




this is an as we move on, let's just sort of leave this in a box that we can come back to

We will

have to

revisit this.

it's funny. Cause as, podcast is, we're supposed to be like, Hey, we're smart and we're saying cool stuff. And the fancy microphones and we're clever. you hit the nail on the head and that this.

journey. Goes and goes and goes and you continue to do it because your self actualization is to find your capacity. It's [00:22:00] to find out what you are capable of doing and what, what unique value you can bring to this world. And to close this up with one thought, I'm going to get the math wrong here.

But I think in the human brain, there's about a billion neurons and those billion neurons are all connected with little wires to each other. And there are a trillion wires in there,

86 billion neurons.


nerd, just so you know.

So in the human brain, there are 86 billion neurons.

Oh, no, we're not going to edit this out. We're going to keep it. We're going


keep the correction in there.

Okay, so, okay. So my, 85, a billion of my neurons were not functioning properly just now only a billion of them were online. but there's something like A trillion of these little neural connectors. the pieces of tissue. My point is it's complicated, how this thing works is more complicated than how anything else in the known universe works.

And [00:23:00] so it's going to take some

time, man,

Yup. A



connectors. Just so you.

a hundred trillion,


billion to a hundred trillion.

That's a lot of permutations of




Wow. Yeah. So at this point, the mental state that you are currently in podcast list, No living thing will ever be in including you for the rest of


Yeah, let's move on. Cause we're, we're in the weird, like mindblowing big number of elements. So let's, let's bring this, let's bring this back to, I promise you, the rest of this episode will not be this heady, but there, this is an important one because everything else is, again, you are your business. You're the, what's one of the same.

So cleaner, your fuel, the better off you're going to be. And this probably to be completely honest, should have just been its own


because there's probably more to say

with this, but, well, we've got the outline

here, so we're going to get



that line here. That's how We do


know our priorities are wrong, but that's not going to stop us from proceeding.

Yeah, we are a completionist at heart. All right, so let's move to number three and personal bond next. Then we'll get to the business bottlenecks, but number three, personal [00:24:00] bottleneck. Let's just recap. Real quick. Number one was. Time is a huge bottleneck. If you don't have time to fix these bottlenecks or work on these bottlenecks, you will not fix the bottlenecks.

You'll be stuck forever. Number two, on personal bottlenecks was mental state and not number three for personal bottlenecks is skill. And it's easy to see why this is an issue, because if you lack the skill to, to fix the bottleneck or do the thing, especially in business, then that will be a big problem.

Like, just for example, if you suck at what you're trying to sell, if you're not good at the service you're trying to provide, you will, you will forever have a massive bottleneck on pricing on just anything in your business. You won't, You might not fail, but you will struggle


Chris is

trying to come up with a nicer way of saying


it's an interesting point because every creative that.

I've ever met in my life has been exceptional in some ways, but often they are exceptional in ways that they don't either leverage for their business or that are the [00:25:00] wrong things to be exceptional at in their business. Perfect example, audio

mastering engineer, Chris Graham, who knows more about building systems and automation.

Then 99.9, 9% of the rest of the population.


I've, said it I've said it a million times, but if you'd have put, put all that skill and talent and the Chino from automation and systems building, if you'd have put that into literally any other healthy business model on earth, because mastering is a tough business, it is not the best business model.

I'll say it straight up. It is not the best. Even in audio. It's one of the worst business models, only the best mastering engineers do it. Well if you put that amount of effort, energy, and time into

any other business model, you'd be a


I didn't prioritize.

well, it's not all about

money either. I,

just, just to be clear,

true, true, But

I, I, if I had

had the maturity to understand that, like, Hey, you are crazy good at this one thing. That's actually way more valuable than the thing that you get your ego from being good at.


this actually goes back to the mental state conversation bottling number two. Really? It wasn't a skills issue because you were good at [00:26:00] master. You're like the skill of mastering was fine. The skill of automation you were actually incredible at and, and systems building, if over a tad over complicated at the time, but we grow into it.

But, but there's, there's just anything we're going to talk about, especially on business bottlenecks, it involves learning. And as creatives, when we, when we gravitate towards the things that we are interested in and we shy away from those things that we're not interested in, we are not developing those skills that we need to develop the most.

And we are doubling down on the skills that we need to develop the least. That was why you got so good at systems building. And automation is because you're doing it out of avoidance because you're running on dirty fuel. So you've got really good at the systems, building an automation, and you completely neglected the fact that you had 30,000 people on your email list for your mastering business.

That the fact that you could have doubled your prices overnight, which you eventually did and not have to change anything in your business and doubled your income, or at least brought it up by 50% or whatever, you know, like you ignored so many great things because your priorities were because you were running


the dirtiest fuel

let's be clear. We made a [00:27:00] super popular business podcast while I was sitting all of that. Like, like there was a lot wrong that I was not aware of.

And I'm poking fun at you because like, it's just, the examples are there and it's easy as top of mind, but like, I, I struggle with these same things. There are skills I should be developing that I'm not there are, there are, there are mental issues that I should be dealing with that I'm not or having are, or I am, but I haven't fixed there.

Is there issues with my time that we're going to talk about this episode, what I'm doing to fix the time things that I have in my own personal bottlenecks. So I'm struggling from these things myself. I am. I am just as guilty as

you, Chris. I'm just, it's just, for some reason,

yours or yours are

dirty or laundry for some reason.

it might have

something to do with the gratuitous trauma of my youth. but let me bring this

home. when it comes to your skills, you either don't have the right skills because you have a mental state bottleneck, or you don't have the time to get the right skills because you have a time bottleneck.

you know what? [00:28:00] I thought this can be a two-part episode because we haven't even got to the business bottlenecks yet. And I'm looking at the outline for the business bottlenecks and they are true bottlenecks. There are like, but I'm looking at these personal bottlenecks.

And to me, these are like, these are so interconnected that I wouldn't call them bottlenecks. I just think that they are,

this is


called being a healthy business owner. It could be because if you can't prioritize because your mental state is flawed in, you're running on dirty fuel, then you're going to be working on the wrong things.

You're going to be squandering the time that you do have, you're gonna not be developing the skills that you need to develop. And so these are all kind of just kind of meshed together into one



called yourself.

you see how we just slowly came around to recognizing that we should prioritize our topics in this episode differently. So we're going to change our outline right now. And now we're going to just focus on the personal bottlenecks. Next episode. We'll talk about business bottlenecks. I think a great place for us to camp out here for a little bit.

Brian is how do you tell when you have mental state [00:29:00] bottlenecks,

Yeah. Okay. So this is, to me, this is easy in some ways and really hard in other ways. So mental state bottlenecks there's like symptoms

for it. One of the symptoms is you're always working on the wrong thing. So that's the priorities issue. Some of them are um, it can be interpersonal. So like

people find



your guilty I'm guilty too. Let's see, too, for sure.

It could be like the thing where you are, you know, you should be doing something, but you can't make yourself do it for whatever reason. Some of us accountability in there. So like, that's a different kind of topic for a different day, but sometimes it is like, we know should eat healthier.

We know we should go to the gym. We know we should do this and that we know we should, like, I'm just using fitness examples, because those are easy to conceptualize. I know we should be doing these things, but I'm not because something deep inside of me would rather have these other things would rather have that extra dessert would rather have that on that bag of chips because I'm hungry.

But I'd rather have sit my ass on the sofa and not go on that extra walk or go to the gym or sleep in and not, and not wake up early to go to the gym. Like there's, there's certain things that like, we cannot prioritize [00:30:00] the things that we should be doing in our life. So it's that lack of motivation, I think is a good, another good


a flawed


it's interesting cause motivation really there's two pieces of play there. There's motivation and friction. And often, you know, for me, like I don't really do it that much on air, but I cuss like a sailor in real life. '

'cause on the podcast.

We bleep it out now and

just to be family.

cuss a lot more in real life

Really, which is funny.

Cause I

I guess about the

even like around my kids sometimes,

because your father of the year.

not at them, but like so it's challenging for me because it comes back to neural pathways.

What we talked about before is that when you have done a behavior again and again and again, what happens in the human brain is it electrical signals are being passed between neurons over these neural paths.

a hundred


neural pathways.

I learned

and as, and as these pathways get used, the brain recognizes that it should insulate the [00:31:00] pathways that are being used the most, so that the electrical energy from neuron to neuron is the most efficient that it could

possibly be.

It's basically like a, especially like out in the woods, you'll see, you'll see animal trails because they're going a certain way. Every time the trail is worn down. So it's easier and easier or think about it. Like your brain paving the pathway,

because this is the route


the, example that's very often used in this conversation about what we're talking about called neuro-plasticity, it's the ability to change the pathways in your brain. So the illustration that's often used for neuroplastic neuroplasticity is you're in a mountain with a sled and you have gone down the mountain on your sled again and again and again and again, and eventually you have one path, our rut and that sled.

It's ice at this point, it slides down that one pathway. Now at a certain point, when you have something in your life that demands change, like what I went through and having to get in therapy and all that crap is that you get to the top of the mountain and you [00:32:00] say, I'm going to try something new. And instead of putting your sled in the same old spot, you turn over to some nice, fresh, powdered snow, and you try to take a new path down that mountain.

And it stinks at first. You don't go fast, you get stuck along the way, but you make it to the bottom of the mountain. It takes you 10 times longer than it would to your normal path. You get to the bottom of the mountain, you go back up and you go down that path again and again and again, that's practice.

And that path starts to get worn in and within your brain, those neuro-transmitters start to get more insulated and it gets easier and easier and easier with repetition to do that thing that was initially uncomfortable. That's neuroplastic. And often when we're in a situation like this, where we recognize there's a personal bottleneck here, why do I struggle with this?

Why do I keep doing this? I know this isn't in my best interest, making that decision to do something different and do it again and again and again, and get good at it [00:33:00] is an essential human trait to be able to reprogram yourself, to make some activities that are really difficult for you now really easy for you later.

Yeah. This sounds a lot like atomic habits where you start to have. And then you start to do this routine and then you do it over and over again to where it's now it's second nature. So like it's like habit building, and guess that's PR that's part of neuro-plasticity.

I don't know. I don't know the terms

very well or this whole,

I don't know. The, the, I don't know if this is a


science, so take this for a grain of salt people listening right now. But, But, it's, it makes sense. And I'm looking on Google right now, just to make sure we're

not blowing


smoke up your



here, but from what I'm seeing, this

is real

this is real stuff. This is like Nobel prize, winning scientists that I'm, that I'm quoting what I've learned, you know, reading books over the years. So the neuroplasticity thing it's really easy. So for example, Brian, like you get prickly when you're frustrated,

And you have this wonderful

skill at making me



this is true, but [00:34:00] I've gotten better at like, sometimes you're like, it's like, okay, Brian's frustrated. He needs to vent that by verbally Yeah. A little.

Uh, And then I've got to find a way to navigate around that. But you. do that because that's how you're used to, you've done it so many times so that you're in the sled.

that's my, uh, my


bobsledding route that


me the gold

exactly. The Jamaican. Yeah.

So I think, um,

I think before we wrap this episode up, Chris, we should talk about maybe a fourth little bonus personal bottleneck here that you just happen to add to the list and I argued with you off, off air, and then we decided this is probably worth adding.

And this is a, a bottleneck of, of blind spots where we have mental state. We have time, we have skills, but the, the issue that can hold us back even further is these blind spots where we don't know which one of these things are issue. We don't know, which priorities we should go after, or which skills we should develop or which, which areas we can either minimize or systemize or eliminate to get more of our [00:35:00] time back.

We don't know these things. So blind spots are a massive area. I think.

Most people struggle with this. I know you have blind spots, Chris Lord willing. I know you do. And God knows I have blind

spots. So this is, this is, this is another one where I don't think there's a,

um, I don't think there's an in-state, it's

another one.

That's infinite

games where we will always have blind spots and they are


we don't know about them or else


wouldn't be as


it's a little different than Priorities Priorities is okay. You have all the information. Now, put that information in the right order at, on those things in the

right order, blind spots.

is not having all the information that you should have and thinking that you do

Well, that's the worst. Yes. You


those people

that are


they know just enough



dangerous and they're so adamantly correct


whatever they're talking about?

I am those people

like everybody I know is

Every man only masking the names of those people. They're the ones who have the least amount of information. And then they're most, they're the most

adamant that they're correct. We, we,


well. And that's the funny thing is that often when [00:36:00] you watch a superhero movie, the villain, isn't actually a villain. They just have a massive blind spot. Like let's take, who's the big purple guy from Marvel. I'm great at making everyone really mad. Right now, fairness fairness is not evil. Santos has a blind spot and that blind spot is that he thinks.

That the ends justify the means. It's like, everyone's going to prosper if I kill half of the universe,

I'm I like the outcome, but the man, the way you're getting there is the worst thing ever, even though there's like this dispassionate, like at random, like that's so messed up, you go back to the original iron man thing and iron man's like older buddy. He was motivated by the greater good, but his blind spots made him do evil in the service of the greater.


Yeah. And I, I get what you're saying. I like these analogies, but our audience isn't going to go kill off half the world. At least I hope you don't. I hope our audience isn't like that. the point remains the same, which is when we [00:37:00] have blind spots, we either do stupid things or we do the wrong


or we do



Those are



And I tell you,

if I had to look back at. Myself, when we started this podcast before then

Which is fun. It's literally like a time capsule. You can go back and listen to

episode one through 50 and hear old Chris Graham at any point that you

want you won't

because you haven't

listened to episodes

one through 50

ever in your life, but

you could.

it's a time capsule

that the thing I struggled with the most was blind spots. You know, that's the reason like my marriage failed is I, I had a blind spot. I thought reality was one way. It was not, I was not, completely grounded in what was actually happening around me.

I had other software running in the background that was freaking my shit out all the time giving me nightmares every night. But the blind spots, the blind says, I think are the saddest of the personal bottlenecks

would agree with that. Sort of, because sometimes the [00:38:00] mental state, there are flaws that you know about. It's not a blind spot and you refuse to address, I think that's the


But other than that, I think blind


are the second saddest.

if you know your problem and you don't fix it that is, thank God. I feel like I hope this isn't a blind spot. That that's not an area I've struggled with.

I don't know. Chris is a

blind spot for sure. Yeah,

if I have a blind spot and I don't know. about

it, like, oh, I see what you're doing.

yeah, yeah, yeah. He just got the joke guys.

when I have a blind spot, like I look back at my life now and I'm like, oh my gosh, I would do so many things differently, especially in regards to how I treated other people.

think where you start to get in a weird spot is you start to say, well, the ends justify the means like. Partner can deal with my grumpiness. They should because of how hard I'm working or,

Yeah, that's a


man, like you start to get on all these

slippery slopes and like humans are creatures of blind spots.

For me, those blind spots are part of how[00:39:00] we operate. And I, you know, I look at like, okay, well I had this thing happen to me when I was a kid. Uh, I erased it. That is called disassociative amnesia. It was something my, my brain did to survive. It created a blind spot for me so that I could move on and think God, and that maybe this is too intense for, for this topic right now.

I'm not, I'm not totally sure.

I'm trying to fill out how




the blind spot and the, in a


that is relevant to

our audience, because I'm not sure that It does.

I think suffice it to say when there is a blind spot, it sabotages every. Because of blind spots, often beget blind spots.

It's like a cancer. It's like if you know, you have cancer, things can beat, especially early on. Things can be done to treat it and to potentially eliminate it. If you don't know you have cancer, if it is a blind spot to you for you, can find it later on and it's even more difficult to deal with,

or it

can just kill

you outright and you never knew you

had it.

Blind spots

spread like cancer [00:40:00] and Yeah.

I looked back at my, my, story and I, I wish to add one more superhero here, I wish I'd been able to be blind spot, man. It's like buys. Batman has no blind spots. He is aware of reality. That's his superhero power. He's aware


I don't, know. There's some things I am blissfully ignorant of. Like, I don't want to know what the, like your pinky between your pinky toe and your second toe smells like, and that's a

blind spot. I'm

okay with having Chris.

Easily solved Brian, easily solved.

Blind spot man knows that. And he

has to

live with that

that knowledge

for the rest of his

there that, blind spot man is incredibly powerful, but he's also probably very sad.

are our blind spots.

Blind spot man is



an antihero.

and that's the weird thing. I think a good place to end this topic on

Yeah. Cause it's end of day

and we're


off in a

weird, weird subtopics of now. Yeah.

us normies that are not blind spot, man have [00:41:00] blind spots, not necessarily because they're flaws, but they're a product of nurture.

They're a product of our effort to survive on, on planet. And our evolution and, you know, previous versions of humans benefited from the having certain types of blind spots. And now. those are no longer beneficiary and we have to work through them. We are a strange breed, Brian, because for a long, long time, we were hunter gatherers and we are not hunter gatherers anymore, but we are most well adapted to be in hunter gatherers.

So our blind spots in modern society are ample. And that is the long-term. I think journey of a modern human is to start to really question, what am I blind spots? What are the assumptions that I have

Well, I don't think you can. I don't think you can find those. I think this is the one area that, that you absolutely cannot do on your own. You have to

have someone else, mentors, coaches, you have to have friends a therapist, preferably the pricklier the friend the better [00:42:00] when it comes to blind spots, because they're not going to hold back from me.

Like Chris, if you came to me and asked me point

blank about

things that you want to

know, blind

spots, I would tell

you a

hundred percent

without holding back. And I, would try to

deliver it nicely. I'm

no you wouldn't,

demon. I would try. I would depend on the

depending on


blind spot.

that's, I think the,

thing that's an essential ingredient in a healthy relationship is that the person that you're in the relationship with is able to tell you where your blind spots are, but that you also have the ability to hear them and accept it.

That's, there's two pieces of that.

Kind of how you call me prickly earlier. And I said, man, I feel personally attacked by this, by this bald


looking at

me right now, but

dammit. He's


it's difficult. And I

think that's one of the things that makes my friendship. So with you, so fun for me, Is that we have a good feedback loop in there. Like we're both prickly enough to tell the truth without being cognizant of the consequences emotionally do each other when we do that.

And we have to all have friends

[00:43:00] like that though, to help because those friends are the ones that will call out blind spots and not, and not hold back because the fear of making you feel bad. And there are some things I don't bring up because it's not going to benefit either of us to bring up. And that's just being a good friend, but there are certain things where like blind spots that are detrimental to someone, you have to bring those up

as a friend, you have to


this up for people,

even if they'll

hate you for


you just tiptoed around a really interesting Pandora's box of stored up complaints and feedback.

And we're going to leave it at that. So come back for next week's episode, we'll tackle business bottlenecks. There's five of them we didn't even get to in this episode, but you know what, sometimes these episodes evolving in their own thing. And uh, and I kinda like it.

I like these two-part episodes where we get to kind of dive deeper into like an initial outline we had just because there's, I mean, man, I didn't think we talked for so long about the, around these personal bottlenecks or these personal single points of failure or whatever you want to call these personal ones.

But this has been a good episode because I feel like I have to now go self-reflect I'm gonna go, I'm gonna, when this episode comes out, I'm going to listen to my walk and just think through objectively as a [00:44:00] listener, what kind of shit I have to deal with as a husband, a business person an influential source of information.

Like, and I don't say that

as egotistical,


like we have thousands of people listen to us,

so I have to make sure that I'm in a healthy spot. if my mental state is not good and I'm not coming from a healthy place, then I'm passing on my dirty fuel


other people.

So I also have


take that


We're sorry about that guys.

now. We're sorry for our flaws.

And I think to end this

one of the things that I love the most about being a small business owner is that my small business gives me feedback about what I am getting better at and what I'm getting worse at. And there's an impetus there to work on myself So that I can prioritize better, that I have less blind spots that I have more free time that I'm just generally a healthy person, because I know if I'm healthier, my business will do better.

You're not going to do better by being less healthy. And I think that's where these personal bottlenecks start to get so interesting. A lot of people experience a lot of personal growth [00:45:00] because their business revealed flaws in them. And that's absolutely like, I don't know that I would have ever got into therapy if it wasn't for my businesses.

Like it's, I started to see patterns in my life. Like, why do I do this? Why do I keep doing that? Why can't I stop doing this? So when it comes to these personal bottlenecks, there's a big opportunity for not just the cancer of blind spots to spread through your life, through your bit, through your business.

But when you start to get healthy, healthy, begets healthy, when you start to get healthier for your business, you often start to get healthier for other relationships and other parts of your life. And that's cool that makes this podcast not just about here's how to make more money by doing what you love.

Like here's how to take what you love and not just make money with it, but lead a better life. Be able to get that feedback from your business about what are your blind spots? What are your flaws? What are your priority issues? And to start to pour that back into growth.

So tune in next week's episode, [00:46:00] where we're gonna talk

about how to

make more money because




Let's make some money,


Always be selling a, B,

money. Y'all it's all about the

money ABC.


We just lost all of our listeners.

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