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Someone wrote to me after reading Swim! and said that a few days after reading it, she found herself thinking about CiCi as if CiCi were a real person. She had made an emotional connection with the character even though the character wasn’t real. I hope that everyone who reads Swim! can connect and identify with at least one of the characters. Check out the breakdown of each of the main characters in Swim! and see who you identify with the most:

Paul

Paul comes from a background of brokeness. He has a strained relationship with his father, a powerful man who shows his love in the form of expensive gifts. He grew up seeking validation from people, especially his father, and would do whatever it took to his father’s approval. Paul found himself chasing money and women and expensive toys to fill a void. He can come off as arrogant and “showy” but these characteristics are just a way to cover up old wounds and prevent new ones. Paul is a successful, wealthy, and powerful businessman. For him, success sometimes means sacrificing relationships. Paul is hesitant but willing to see things from a different perspective and can identify weaknesses in himself, although it takes quite a bit of searching. 

Scotty

Scotty also comes from a background of brokenness and strained parental relationships. His teenage years were dotted with drug use and jail time, but he was lucky enough to find a mentor to turn things around for him. Scotty is hardworking and values his family and his faith. He looks out for others and sees the beauty in the flaws of other people. He can be self-conscious and insecure at times but would do anything for anyone. 

CiCi

CiCi is everybody’s cheerleader. She is supportive and kind, but don’t mess with her family. She is fiercely loyal and confident, loves deeply, and has experienced plenty of heartbreak in her life. She forgives but she doesn’t forget, and she uses her obstacles and painful circumstances to help others. She is thankful for the life she and Scotty have built, and encourages everyone around her to be the best they can be. 

Drew

Drew is high-energy, friendly, and focused. He is a deep thinker, hard worker, and profound leader. He’s unconventional, a little behind when it comes to technology, and sometimes a bit much for people. He puts the success of others before himself, and can always turn an ordinary moment into a teachable moment. He works hard, is not afraid to show emotion, and is an eternal optimist. 

Brittany

Brittany is smart and independent and clever like her mom. She wears her heart on her sleeve and you can tell everything she’s thinking by the look on her face. She loves her family, values education, and has big dreams and goals for herself. She can be quick to judge but is always willing to give everyone a chance. She puts her family first and has no time for nonsense.

Zach

When you first meet Zack, you may assume he’s antisocial and maybe even a little arrogant. He can come off as detached and uninterested. However, Zach is a thinker. He also has a deep-rooted need to be accepted, and everything he says or does is based on receiving validation from others. He is tech-savvy and a man of few words. His attitude can be a little rash at times, but when given the opportunity, he is a free thinker and stands for what is right. Zack tends to be a follower, but put in the right circumstances can rise as a leader. 

Which Swim! character do you identify with the most? Maybe you are most like Scotty, but there’s a little bit of Zach in you too. Perhaps you see a lot of yourself in Paul, but also know there is a bit of Brittany within you too. Being able to identify with one or more of the characters allows you to immerse yourself in the book and really soak in all of the lessons it has to offer.

My challenge for you this week: Identity which Swim! character you relate to the most. Find our most recent post about Swim! and comment with #SwimTeamPaul or #SwimTeamScotty (or whatever character you choose) We can’t wait to see which character you relate to the most. 

 

I am always very open to feedback. I intentionally surround myself with people who tell me the things I need to hear, even if it’s not always the things I want to hear. I cannot learn or grow if I am not open to feedback and constructive criticism. I’m happy that most of the people who I’ve talked to really are enjoying the book, but I’m even more thankful for the people who have stepped up and given me insightful and honest feedback about how the book has impacted them. These are the three things I wasn’t expecting to hear about the book:

“It helped me see the ways I could be a better parent.”

This is a business fable. It says it right on the cover. It is a book designed to help entrepreneurs and business owners understand the power behind mentorship, leadership, and next level success. So when a friend of mine told me that It helped her see the way she could be a better parent, it caught me off guard. She explained that she could relate a lot to Paul, a bold and dynamic character who has a lot of material things but is lacking when it comes to building organic relationships, especially with his son. She said she was humbled as she read the book, and realized that she was showing her love for her children by buying them things and taking them places, but couldn’t remember the last time she sat down with them to have a conversation or ask them questions about their lives. 

“I didn’t want to see myself and Paul,” my friend told me, “but the more I read, the more I realized that I was doing a lot of the same things that he does. Childhood trauma made it hard for me to open up, and it was my kids who are suffering.” 

We had a long, deep, thoughtful conversation, and at the end of it, she walked away with a few key action steps to help heal her relationship with her children. I was not expecting that, but I am so thankful that Swim! impacted her this way. 

“It helped me feel confident about my career path.”

One of the most impactful comments I received about Swim! was from a childhood friend of mine. He wrote to me to tell me that reading Swim! helped him feel more confident about his career path. All of his brothers were lawyers, his dad was a lawyer, his mom was a school teacher, and he even married a lawyer. But he was passionate about music and dedicated to pursuing music full-time. 

“Sometimes, I feel guilty for choosing this career. I felt like it was not the prestigious career that my family had hoped for me. But as I read this book, I really related to Scotty. He didn’t have a college degree, he didn’t own a Fortune 500, but he did what he loved with purpose. And that’s what I do. I’ve let go of a lot of the guilt that comes from not having the career everyone else expected me to have, and become more confident in the musician that I am.” 

This was a big deal for me. When I wrote the book, I was hoping that everybody could find a character that they relate to. I was so happy to hear that my friend could relate to Scotty, the owner of the AC company, and realize that the key to a happy life is pursuing what sets your heart on fire. Success does not have to mean a penthouse office or a fancy car or an impressive title. Success is doing what you love, challenging yourself daily, and consistently striving to be a better version of yourself.

“Swim! made me realize I’m not the shark I thought I was”

A stranger approached me recently after reading the book, and at first, it felt like he was not a fan of the book. His attitude and body language made it seem like there was something about the book that rubbed him the wrong way. As we discussed the book, it became clear that the book revealed to him some things about himself that he wasn’t entirely proud of.

“I’ve always been proud of the fact that I’ve reached success at such a young age. I’ve watched your videos about having a shark mindset, and I was confident that I was a shark in my industry. But after reading this, I realized I might not be the shark I thought I was.”

We had an hour-long insightful conversation, and at the end, we both walked away with a gentle reminder that there is always more to learn. We can always be better. We can always do better. But we can’t do better if we don’t know better, and I think this book helped him identify some of the things he could work on to truly adopt the shark mindset.

I am so thankful that Swim! is helping small business owners, entrepreneurs, parents, college students, musicians, and so many others learn the importance of mentorship and mindset. I am always open to feedback and input, and would love to hear how Swim has impacted you, your family, and your business! 

My challenge for you: 

1: Order Swim if you haven’t already
2: Reach out to the author of the last book you read and let them know how their work has impacted you. 

 

Swim! is officially out and entrepreneurs, public speakers, business leaders, and industry leaders are already eager to learn the principles they’ll learn in this book and apply it to their teams and organizations. Here are 3 things I want you to take away from this book when you get your copy:

Becoming a shark is a life-long process

I love the part in the book when Scotty asks his mentor if he’s finally adopted a shark mindset, and is surprised and a little offended when Drew tells him no. Drew explains that although he now knows and understands The Sacred Six, he’s going to spend the rest of his life practicing them and incorporating them into every decision he makes. Scotty was a little disappointed in this answer, but it is a good reminder that we are always a work in progress. We are always learning, growing, and getting better. There is always more to learn, and if we ever get to the point where we think we’ve “made it,” and stop our journey to self-improvement, we are doing ourselves and those around us a significant disservice. 

“Facing The Fear Is Faster”

This is something Scotty learns early on in the book. He finds himself in the middle of the woods, as it is getting dark, and standing at a crossroads. Through a series of quick decisions, he learns that sometimes just facing the fear is faster. Just doing the thing you’re scared of is so much faster than all of the things you will do to try to avoid it. He could have taken a well-lit, safer path to get to his destination, but it would have taken twice as long. He went the way that made him nervous and uncomfortable and found himself at his destination much sooner than he thought. “Facing the fear is faster” is a motto he uses throughout his life to remind himself of the power of stepping out of his comfort zone.

“There’s hope for the parasite.”

This is a line Paul and Scotty say a few times during their adventure out on the boat. As they dive into the characteristics of a shark, a suckerfish, and a parasite, they begin to realize that everyone can have parasitic tendencies. There are times, in our personal lives and our careers, that we can take more than we give. There are times we focus on our own best interests instead of the interests of others. But just because we make these choices, it does not define us. There is hope for us when we act in a self-serving way, and the faster we identify this behavior and thought process, the sooner we can change and work towards adopting a shark mindset instead. 

I’m excited to hear what you think about the book and the lines or chapters that make an impact on you! 

My challenge for you this week: 

  1. Order Swim! if you haven’t already
  2. One morning this week, instead of scrolling social media when you wake up, listen to this short YouTube video and watch how it dramatically shifts your mindset and in turn, the rest of your day. 

 

We’re heading full steam ahead into June with so much in the pipeline that we’re excited about. Here are the two biggest projects we are working on right now:

iTeam Training

We are working on a way to revolutionize the way businesses build teams. The iTeam Training Program enables you to eliminate “bad fits” in your teams. It is designed to help you build a blueprint for a highly effective and productive team based on individual work expressions. Businesses who have implemented the iTeam series into their team building blueprints report stronger communication, trust, and chemistry within their teams

Get in on this dynamic teamwork building program and change the way your team works together!

Swim!

Our biggest and most exciting news is the launch of our book. We’ve been working on this for over a year now, and are so excited to see it finally coming together. And if you know us, you know the debut of Swim! is not going to be like your typical book launch. We’re throwing a party, and your copy of Swim! is your invitation. Here’s how it works:

  1. Order the book
  2. Register for the private virtual party and live Q&A session with Walter
  3. Enter to win Airfare for Two to South Florida with a 2 night hotel stay at the Ft. Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort and Spa and dinner with Walter and Antoinette!  

The characters is this book, Drew, Scotty, CiCi, Julia- they feel real to me. They feel like family and I’m confident you’ll fall in love with them like I did. (and one may rub you the wrong way. But give him time….)

This book dives into the fundamentals of developing a shark mindset and the power of mentorship and team work.

We’re diving into summer with big plans and big dreams to help business leaders and entrepreneurs develop a shark mindset, eliminate excuses, and reach next level success. Keep an eye out for more exciting announcements!

In chapter two, one of the main characters, Scotty, finds himself in the middle of the woods with just a canvas bag of supplies. He’s been left there, the sun is setting, and he’s absolutely sure there are bears all around him. Because he has no other option, he uses the tools in his bag to find his way to security and safety. Waiting there for him at the end is his mentor sitting back comfortably, awaiting his arrival.

Scotty’s mentor had given him everything he needed in that tote bag to be successful. But most importantly, he saw something in Scotty that Scotty did not see in himself. It was not until after he was pushed out of his comfort zone that Scotty was able to see his full potential.

I can relate so closely to this part of the book because I’ve had so many mentors in my life who have pushed me out of my comfort zone. They didn’t tell me what to do; they didn’t tell me the things I wanted to hear. They gave me the tools and the resources I need to be successful and then let me do it on my own. This is what it true mentor does.

In business and life, we have to take advantage of the opportunities we have to mentor and be mentored. We must constantly be looking for people who have more experience than we do and strive to learn from their mistakes. We must also always be looking for those who could use a little guidance to get to their next level.

This week, I have three challenges for you.

Number One: Pre-order your copy of Swim

Number Two: Reach out to someone who has been a mentor to you. Thank them for their wisdom, time, energy, and advise and tell them specifically what their contribution had on your life.

Number Three: Look for opportunities to mentor someone new in the game. Without being pushy, offer gentle advice, words of wisdom, or guidance to help someone make their next right step.