What is Neuroplasticity & How Does it Help With Indecision

What is Neuroplasticity and How Does it Help With Indecision

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Mr. Biz Radio: What is Neuroplasticity & How Does it Help With Indecision?

Unedited transcription of the show is included below:


Welcome to Mr. Biz radio, Biz. Talk for Biz owners. If you're ready to stop faking the funk and take your business onward and upward, this show is for you. And now here's Mr. Biz, Ken Wentworth.


Alright, welcome to another episode of Mr. Biz Radio with me, Mr. Biz Ken Wentworth. And I wanna talk about a topic this week that I know impacts each and every one of us, and some of us more than others. But one of the things we're gonna talk about amongst the many other things is we have an expert on the show that's gonna help us on how to overcome indecision. So how often do you have to make a decision, whether it's in your personal life, your career, your business, whatever it might be, and you just get paralyzed. Sometimes you just can't pull the trigger. Is this the right thing to do? Do I have enough information? Do I need more time? You know, how, what are some of those things that go into that and what causes that sort of paralyzation really when you're trying to make those decisions?


So this week our, we have Mr. Rob Paterson on the show. Rob has been in the hotel industry for more than 25 years. He worked his way up to eventually become C E O of one of the largest international hotel brands in the United Kingdom. And 2021, he decided to walk away from all he knew and start again in a new field. Not only did he switch careers, he chose to do that on a, on foreign soil here in the US where he knew nobody and nobody knew him. Today, he is the author of "Flip and Decide With Confidence" a book aimed at solving indecision through modern science and psychology and his company Grind Academy consults on the topic of topics of leadership and high performance. Rob, welcome to the show.


Hey, Ken, thanks for having me on. It's I really appreciate it.


Yeah, I've been looking forward to it. I know it's been a while. I appreciate your patience. We were trying to get you on here. It took us a while, but I'm glad we got you on now. And looking forward to, before we start diving into all this stuff tell us a little bit, I mean, I touched on some in the intro here, but tell us a little bit about your, your entrepreneurial journey.


Yeah, I, you know, I come from a tiny, tiny little town in Outback Australia, and I, I didn't wanna leave, you know, I, I had a little job there. I was delivering milk. I loved it, and <laugh>, and I thought that was the world, you know, that that was where the world ended, the borders of that town. And, and, and my parents fortunately sort of pushed me out into the, the big world. And I went out to, to Sydney and Australia and, and I studied hospitality. And, and, and the only reason I studied hospitality is 'cause I was all right at sport. I did all right. And I got onto a sports scholarship, and I kind of went through the list and I went, Hey, hospitality, that looks like the easiest one out of all these things that you have to, and you had to study, you know, I had no choice.


Yeah. So I ticked it and away I went in hospitality. And, you know, a couple of years down the line when sport didn't work out, it was I, I fell back. I was already working in a hotel. I loved it. I had loads of friends in the hotels. I was starting to love city life, and it kind of escalated from there. You know, I traveled all around the world and ended up out in the UK for 10 years and, and yeah, running one of the hotel brands out there there for, for a number of years. But yeah, that, that was in a nutshell from a tiny little outback town all the way to, to London and United Kingdom.


So I gotta ask Rob, what sport were you involved in?


<Laugh> Australian football, which okay. Yeah, maybe nobody, maybe nobody knows too much about, but it's maybe a cross between soccer, rugby, and grid eye and all three, all three of them. Or American football, as you say. Yeah. So, yeah. Yeah.


Interesting. Yeah. So so hospitality, and it sounds like you made, especially, I, I hate to say this stereotypically, but I think a lot of athletes maybe make that decision, right? They, they go on to school, to, to play sports or whatever, and they're like, Hmm, I gotta go to school. I gotta study. What's the easiest thing I can find? You know, or whatever, <laugh>. So, but obviously you, you, you ended up working out, you enjoyed it and got into the industry.


Yeah. You know, you start to, well, it took me a long time to settle into the Sydney life as well. So coming out of a small, tiny country town, and just to give you a flavor that there were, there were five people in my final year, you know, it was a, a, a very tiny town. So removing myself from that environment and going to a big city with, you know, big in Australian terms that had about two and a half million people was a huge culture shock. But, you know, once you settle in, I lived with a host family, and, and they were wonderful, and I made friends really quickly. And then it just kind of escalated from there. You start to sit back and go, Hey, there's more to this world than just the, the boundaries of the little town, country town that I was from. And that got me thinking about moving overseas. And, you know, I ventured out to New Zealand first, and then I went to Asia, and then eventually across the other side of the world. And, you know, I wouldn't, I wouldn't trade it for anything. I loved it.


Yeah. So I was gonna ask that. So what, what sort of led you to towards United Kingdom?


Well, firstly, Australia's still a part of the Monarch. So <laugh> Yeah. From a visa point of view, it was and my grandmother was born there, so that Okay. Made me, that entitled me to a five year visa. And then once the five years was up, I was able to apply for permanent residency and then eventually citizenship. So I'm actually a British citizen now, dual citizen, Australian, British, and living here in the U.S.


So that's, now my follow up is what led you from the United Kingdom to say, Hey, let's keep going. Let's go, let's go to the United States.


Yeah. Well, you know, <laugh>, I, I, I describe it as, as climbing a mountain and kind of, you know, I worked my whole career to, to grow one more position. You know, I always, when I was in a role, I was thinking about the next one, and I was thinking about the next one and the next one, and, and you kind of get to the next one, and then you're like, right, I want that one. And then I got the c e o and I was like, Hey I'm at the top of the mountain here, and, and I'm it's the wrong mountain <laugh>, you could say. I, I, I, I've kind of climbed this mountain that I'm not that excited by anymore. And, and, and I, and I lost the passion, and I lost the, the excitement for it. And so I kind of thought, you know what? Let's just do something really crazy that I've never done before, but follow what I wanna do. And it took me a while to figure out what it is, you know, what is it that I want to do and what really gets me outta bed. And, and once I figured that out, it was all right, let's go and do this.


So was there any, there was any like, epiphany moment, or like, was there like something that happened that kind of was a straw that broke the camel's back that you said, okay, I'm gonna leave this, I'm gonna take an entrepreneurial leap, because that's, that's quite a, quite a leap to take being C E O of a, a large brand and then, you know, kind of, you know, coming to the US starting something completely different.


Yeah. Can I, I started to get easily agitated and frustrated in the role. And of course, even when you're C E O you report to someone, I reported to a board and I was becoming increasingly impatient towards the board. And, you know, those, all those signs, there were just signals that something's not right here. And it sort of all added up. And there wasn't one incident or one event. It was just a, an accumulation of a little bit too much frustration and, and a little bit too much impatience. And, and I thought, you know, something's gotta change. So and it took, yeah, as I say, it took a long time to really figure out, you know, what is it, what, what is it that I wanna do? What's my purpose, if you can put it that way. So yeah, it was a not easy decision.


So was the move from the UK to the us was that part of the, like, Hey, make, let me make a clean break of this and start sort of a, a, a second new life. Was that part of the decision to change geographies as well?


Yeah, part partly, I really wanted to live in the US .In Australia growing up, we watch American tv, we watch American movies, we watch, you know, I watch Carl Lewis winning all those gold medals. I watch Michael Jordan, and there's kind of a, like a, you know, star in the eye kind of thing about the U S A. And I always had that, and I never lost that. And I just, I really wanted to live here in the US and that was probably the big drive around, okay, can I actually do it? Can I really even get a visa? Like, is it even possible? And that took me two years. So that was quite a, I've only just got that in February this year. So that, that was a long road, a long journey. And course, financially as well. I mean, you, you walk out of a Rollie, the, the C E O of the company, and all of a sudden you don't have an income and you've gotta scramble and hustle, and you don't have a marketing team to lean on. You don't have a finance guy that you can go and talk to. You're on your own. And partly that appealed to me in some senses. Some days I, I thought, what the hell are you doing <laugh>? This is ridiculous, <laugh>. But but yeah, that, that was the appeal for the US and, and, and really trying to figure out what I wanted to do was you know, I took a little bit of sabbatical for that, so, yeah. And, and wrote the book at the same time.


Yeah. So that book again, "Flip and Decide with Confidence", we're gonna hit a break here. We're talking with Rob Paterson. You can find out more about his Grind Academy. He's a f founder of Grind Academy. And again, flip, decide with confidence, we'll put it in the show notes as well. Come back after the break. We'll give the Mr. Biz tip of the week, and we'll continue talking with Rob.


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Alright, Welcome back to the show. Its Time for Mr. Biz tip of the week, as we always do at the top of the second segment. And this one is a, it's a short one, but actually sort of tangentially ties into what we're gonna talk with Rob a little bit more about, about this whole idea of indecision. And the tip this week is no one shrinks their way to financial success. And one of the, one of those things, when you have those decisions and you know, you're considering, oh man, do I make this big investment? Do I spend this money on marketing and things like that? Of course, you have to make the good decisions. But again, you have to, and the, at the end of the day, you have to keep in mind no one shrinks their way to financial success. Cutting, cutting, cutting is probably not going to help you grow scale.


It's not going to, it's not, probably not going, it's not going to. So keep that in mind. No one shrinks their way to financial success. Think about growth when you're making decisions. Think about, you know, the, the 2, 5, 10 year timeline and some of the goals you have and when making some of those decisions. So that is the Mr. Biz tip of the week. Alright. So Rob I guess next I wanted to talk to you a little bit about so you, you, you move to the us you take a bit of sabbatical, you're trying to figure things out. I can relate to that. I did that as well when I left my corporate career. So what led to the book "Flip and Decide with Confidence", what led you to say, you know what, I think I'm gonna write a book and here's what I'm gonna write about. Well,


Almost a circumstance I was in, like, you know, I made this decision just to, to flip and, and to, to get up and, and move to the other side of the world without really a network or you know, too much financial support behind me. You know, it was, it was a, a pretty bold decision. I was like, well, what is it that, you know, when you're sitting on the beach and you're reflecting you, all these thoughts run through your head? And I was like, what, what is it? That decision making for me has always been a pretty I, I I, I haven't been challenged by that, by that aspect of my life. You know, I've been comfortable to make a decision. Do you get 'em all right? No, of course you get some wrong, but I think the only bad decision is the one that you don't make.


And, and, and particularly in today's world, where you've got so much data available and you can, you can learn quickly and you can iterate so quickly. So it was, it got me thinking about what is it that drives that? And, you know, what are the fundamentals and the principles behind it? So I started by interviewing some psychologists and three psychologists I interviewed, and three different neuro neuroscientists, just to understand what happens in the brain and what is it in some people that leads them to being indecisive, and what is it in other people who can just go, well, I'm just gonna quit it you know, a well-paid job and move to the other side of the world, which will put me into financial ruins, <laugh>, you know, what is it that does that?


Yeah, so interesting. I guess fast forward, you write the book you start The Grind Academy. Tell us a little bit about The Grind Academy. What is it, how, you know, what does that look like for folks that that join The Grind Academy?


So it's all, it's a, a strong focus on leadership. There is a decision making aspect to it, but it's, it's very much about working with hospitality teams. 'cause That's my background. You know, I haven't took, completely lost that connection. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative> working with hospitality teams and working with even restaurant teams or crews, any, any sort of aspect of tourism, hospitality on developing leadership aspects. And in today's world where a lot of the functions within hospitality are being talked about because of the labor shortage shortages around what, how can we automate them? One aspect you can't automate are the soft skills and the leadership skills, which really are the, the principle, the backbone of any hoss, any business's success. Not just hospitality, but any business's success. So that's what the Grind Academy was set up for is, is to to really strengthen what's already great in the hospitality industry around leadership and soft skills.


Yeah. And I think, honestly, you know, this whole push, you know, all industries and globally for automation and things like that, I think those, those soft skills are gonna become increasingly important because we're gonna lose so much of that, that, that, that, you know human element to things, the human touch to things with a lot of the automation things. So I think a lot of the companies, especially in the hospitality industry, that maintain some form of that, and it's not all automation. You're not always talking to a bot or what whatnot is gonna really help separate you at least some of the, you know, some of the more well-known brands are gonna help separate you because you're not just all automated. Have you, is that something you think is gonna happen as well?


I fully buy into that. I think people, particularly after Covid, where we really, a lot of certain states in the US were very disconnected. And, and certainly in the UK where I was, was very disconnected. And we, we lost that human touch. And I, we all yearned for it. I, I think you could see that in the hospitality industry. Soon as things opened up, our hotels were boom. And pretty much here in the US it's still boom, you know, people still want to get out and have an experience, a human experience. They want to interact with people interact with nature. And the soft skills are critical for creating that experience. You know, a a robot or, you know, a vacuum cleaner that's just automate automatically runs around the floor and cleans up. It's not gonna create any kind of experiential loyalty or any type, any type of emotional loyalty, you know, or hotel brands have a loyalty program, but I prefer to call 'em a bribery program.


The reality is, you know, they're just points. They're just are trading money for, you know, you spend with me, I'll give you some money, it's a bribery. But when you turn up to a hotel and, and the person that you check in with is a really incredible person and they make you feel really welcome and, and they give you some great tips about the local area, you remember that. And, and that's an emotional connection. So I think soft skills is particularly in hospitality, but all industries will become even more and more important. They're only gonna get more elevation.


So what do you think Rob, in your experience, what are maybe one or two things that are sort of different in the hospitality space that are sort of nuances that are kind of special to the hospitality space as far as being successful in that space versus, you know, being in a professional services or in a service-based business that's maybe like a plumbing electric and things like that, as far as running the business successfully. Have you found anything that, you know, again, a couple of nuances that are a little different in hospital hospitality side?


It's hard to ha hard to have that conversation 'cause I actually haven't worked outside of the hospitality industry. So Yeah, I guess that's true. Yeah. Only from a consumer perspective. I, I guess if you think about I could probably compare airlines and ho and hotels and there's been a big push recently for you know, automated and you know, airlines have been great at it for a long time. You've been able to check in on your, on the website, turn up, scan a QR code, you know, restaurants have started to bring it in. And I think that that's not the greatest solution in the world for our industry. It's, it's, it's an option that should be there. And some people want to use it. If you're there for corporate or you're just, you know, you're turning up for a business meeting, you just wanna get in and get out, fine. But the reality is that human interaction, that human emotional connection is yearned for now more than ever. And, and, and I think the hotels who implement the, or any business that implements great technology alongside a human who can you know bring that to life, then that's the secret source for technology is, is really not losing the personal touch. And I think that transcends all industries.


Yeah, I think, you know, it's interesting. I think there's a fine line because you don't want it to appear as though your company is behind the times and you haven't automated anything, right? So the experience they get at other pe, you know, consumers get at other places, but at the same time, I think there's that fine line of maintaining, as you say, that sort of the, that human interaction, that experience. We were actually at a restaurant, this has been maybe four or five months ago, and it was something unique that I hadn't experienced before where you know, you scan a Q QR code at your table, the server doesn't really come over to you, you just scan your QR code and, you know, automatedly not even a word, but an automated fashion, you put your order in. Yeah. You don't even go through a server and then the server brings your food or your drinks or whatever it might be out to you.


And at that point has a conversation. But it was a unique thing. And literally my wife and I were like, I mean, this is kind of cool because you don't have to wait on a server to come to you, but yeah, you, you do miss some of that. So it's, it's kind of interesting to see a we've been back to that place a couple times and you know, just the, the the, the difference between that and the normal experience you have at most restaurants nowadays, you know, with the servers and things like that. And on the flip side, just this last weekend, we were at a place and we had absolutely horrible service from our server. And so literally my wife said, oh my gosh, it'd be so much easier if we could just scan it in and do it, you know. So we're gonna hit a break here, Rob. We're gonna come back and we're going how do you give us some tips on how to overcome indecision


Attention Mr. Biz Nation, we have an exclusive offer just for you. Get lifetime access to scarcity, countdown timers, and logic links for only $69. Yes, you heard it right? Only $69. These tools will add urgency to your email campaigns and website pages, helping you increase conversions, sales, and capture more leads. Don't miss this incredible opportunity. Visit tools.thepulsespot.com/get-lifetime-access now and take your business to New Heights.


Check out all three of Mr. Business best-selling books at mrbizbooks.com. Now, once again, here's Mr. Biz.


Alright, welcome back to the show again. We're talking this week with Rob Paterson and he's the founder and C EO of the Grind Academy, and the author of a book "Flip and Decide with Confidence". We'll put some links in the show notes for those,if you wanna check those out. But Rob and I, I want, didn't wanna, I, I apologize. I think I kind of, it looked like you wanted to say something towards the end of the, the last segment. And I I, oh my gosh, we're running outta time here. We had to hit a break, <laugh>, so I didn't know if you wanted to,you know, comment on what I, what I was talking about.


No, I mean, I love the the QR code in the restaurants. What I don't like is that when you have to keep reentering all your details every single time and it's, it becomes frustrating. So I think there's some great tech QR technology and some, some yeah. Less desirable <laugh>. Yeah. But yeah, I, I agree.


It goes, it goes a long way, you know, I preach this to, to my clients and everyone, and it's so simple, but I think it's, it sometimes we lose sight of it, is you have to make it as easy as possible for people to do business with you. Yeah. And even taking that step further, not just to do business with you, but to pay you. Yeah, exactly. You gotta make it a seamless process. Again, having to reenter information all the time is just so frustrating because there are other places that, where you don't have to do that. Yeah. And it's so convenient. So when you have to, it's like you're taking a step back and it's, and it's, it is frustrating. So I tell people that all the time, especially honestly, again, somewhat tied into making decisions, you know, if there's something that's anything customer facing at all, does what does making this decision? Is it make it easier for folks to do business with us? Or does it cause more friction in the process? And I think that's a big determining factor,


Massive. And I think a lot of people will look at that and say, or does it save me money as a company? And they forget that number one question is, does it, does it help the customer? Is it important? Is it, is it important for them? And that's the key. Yeah.


Yeah, for sure. So so Rob, you're the master at this. You've written this book flip Inside with Confidence. What are some things that you've noticed or some tips that maybe we can implement to help those of us who maybe sometimes get that, you know, like I talked about at the outset of the sort of paralyzed by decision what are some things that we can, you can do to work through that?


Yeah. Well, I think the first thing to say is that there, we all have internally a decision threshold. You could call it a and once a threshold is met, we'll make a decision, right? If, if, if I say, okay, I'm gonna wear this white shirt today, and I feel like not much could go wrong and the white shirt looks good, it's, it's, and it reaches my threshold. Let's say it's 80% and it reaches 81% then I'll, I'll make that decision and it's quite easy. And if it's below, then I might be indecisive. I'm not sure, maybe, maybe I, I could easily get a stain on this or something could go wrong that threshold neuroscientists and, and psychologists aren't really geared to answer why some people's are low, and it's, sometimes it's genetic, sometimes it's, it's hit trauma, things that have happened in your past.


But the one thing to say is that it's changeable. So even if you are indecisive, there's something called neuroplasticity. And, and scientists have now proven that no matter what age you are, yes, your age stop, your, your brain stops developing at a rapid pace up until around 25, I think. And then, but neuroplasticity has now been proven to, to remain possible for the entire entirety of your life. So you can change the neuro pathways in your brain. And, and I think the biggest tip from the book, or the biggest takeaway from the book is certainly what I learned from the neurosciences and psychologists is that is, is going back and dealing with some of your trauma as one of the, one of the first things. And, and I talk about, you know, a traumatic experience in my life that I went back and had to deal with.


And, and that's one, there are kind of six areas that you should focus on to really sharpen your decision making. One is going back and dealing with the trauma. Two, two is, is really having a compass in your life. And, and what does that mean? That means being clear about your values, being clear about your goals, and being clear about your purpose. And that can take some time. I, I took off six months sabbatical to figure, figure it out for myself. So you know, I, I'm new to this by the way. I'm not, I'm wouldn't say I'm an expert. I I'm just learning as I go and, and, and sharing that. Another one is education. A and I've always been an advocate of this is, is constantly educating yourself, listening to podcasts, reading books. We spend hours scrolling through videos and, you know, the FaceTime on, on, on oh, the screen time on Facebook and Instagram and TikTok.


And it's mindless. It's, a lot of it is just pointless. And switch that up for reading a book, switch that up for listening to a podcast, whatever it is. And that can make a huge difference in your life. So education. And the last one is, is is environment is really surrounding yourself with the right people building a network that you know, that, that, that can help you grow and not shrink a as you were talking about at the start of the segment. And those are the six dimensions, really, that if, if you wanna work out work on your, your indecisiveness focus on those six things and, and you'll go a long way.


Yeah, I would think too, and again, I'm just as you were saying those, I've started, I was kind of really kind of melting them together and thinking about it is, is I think, I would assume a lot of it has to do with confidence as well is and in a couple different ways. So maybe it would be helpful for folks as, as they have that in decision to think back on decisions they've made in the past that turned out well. Yeah, I, I would almost think it's like, at least for me, I guess, I guess I'm kind of speaking from personal experience to be honest with you, <laugh> is having the confidence in myself to make a decision go forward, knowing that, as you had mentioned, of course you're gonna make some bad decisions. That's just, you know, not, not 'em are gonna be perfect, but knowing that even if that occurs, I'll figure it out. Yeah. It won't be ca catastrophic. I'll be able to figure it out. I'll be able to work myself out of whatever predicament maybe that, you know, a, a, a bad decision caused. And you know, how much do you think that that maybe plays into it as well for at least for some people?


Hugely. I mean, there's a section in the book on confidence and what I call the confidence tree. And there are ways your brain is not inherently confident or unconfident. It just, it's educated that way over time. And the great thing is that you can, you can teach your brain to be confident and, and it's, and it just comes through, I call it stacking bricks, right? If you can imagine like two piles of bricks and you say I, I do it through journaling. That's, that's, that's the building internal confidence for me is through journaling. But I'll write down at the start of the day, these are the four or five things that I wanna get done, and then at the end of the day, I'll tick them off if I did them or not. And it's stacking bricks. If you do it and you, you tell your brain at the start of the day and you write it down, I'm gonna do this, and then you do it.


It's building confidence in your brain and you can stack a brick over here. And when sometimes you won't get, you know, you might, might not get to one of them and you put a brick over here, as long as your brick's on the good side are higher than the, the the bad side, you're kind of building confidence. So, you know, you can trick your brain into being confident. It could be something so tiny, your brain doesn't know the magnitude of, of the thing you say you're gonna do. But if you, your brain's, if you say, I'm gonna do this, and you do it, your brain will get accustomed to, Hey, when this guy says he's gonna do something, he does it. And that builds confidence. So I think that's a, a really simple trick. Without going into too much detail on the, on the, the whole section on confidence that that's a really good good trick.


And the other thing to say on that, you made a good point about bad decisions, it's also important to separate a bad decision from a bad outcome. And the example that I use in the book is, is, is a a, an English football example where one of the last year, and I think it was about three years ago now, 'cause it's been a while since then, but there was a Carrabelle Cup final one of the two, two of the big teams, Chelsea in Liverpool, and they had a penalty shootout. And incredibly, the penalty shootout didn't split the teams right up until the 11th kicker, which then became the goalkeepers. Now what Chelsea had done really different to everyone else is just before the penalty shootout, they substituted their goalkeeper. This game ended nil all. So this goalkeeper hadn't conceded a goal all game.


They took him out and they brought another guy in their backup keeper. And, but the backup keeper, all he'd done is prepared for a penalty shootout, studied all the players, so he didn't have to think about the game. All he had to do was focus on the penalty shootout. They'd done this three times before it had been successful. So he subbed the keeper out for this thing, and it got to the two keepers having to kick. And Allison was the Liverpool kicker. He struck it sweet and he put it straight in the back of the neck. Neck. And what Kepper was the Chelsea keeper, what he hadn't planned for is having to kick and kepper missed the goals. Like he put this thing on the moon, like he way over the goals and immediately the media and all the fans and, and Twitter was a mess with what a crazy decision, what a stupid decision, what a bad decision.


The decision was perfectly okay and actually made total sense. The outcome wasn't, this, wasn't, wasn't good, it wasn't what they expected on this occasion. And if you separate a bad decision from bad outcome and you accept that when you make decisions, there's gonna be bad outcomes occasionally, doesn't mean you're a bad decision maker. Once you realize that, once you accept that in your brain, you'll start to understand that actually with the information that I had at that time, which can change over time, I made a good decision. It's just information changed later on. So it's not always a bad decision. Sometimes it's a bad outcome.


Yeah. Good stuff, Rob. Well, unfortunately we're outta time here. Excellent information. Really appreciate you coming on the show, Rob.


Appreciate it. Thank, thanks for having me on. I really appreciate it.


Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Okay, we'll put it in the, in the show notes, but his book, again, "Flip and Decide with Confidence" founder of the Grind Academy. Thanks for watching. Thanks for listening guys, and have a great rest of your week. And don't forget, as always, cashflow is king


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