My guest on the show today is Wayne Mullins for whom life is about being a better person every day. Our conversation is his journey through transition and recovery; living with deep integrity and commitment to personal progression and relationships; and creating experiences that lead to having good stories to tell when the journey is over.

Gaining Insight

What you will discover through this conversation is how ‘script’ and ‘ego’ trip us up, how it is possible to recover from depression and the value of connection and self evaluation.

Like many people, Wayne followed a success script that ultimately leads to crash and burn. If you regularly listen to this podcast you will know that breaking this pattern is a repeating theme and there is good reason for this. We all follow different scripts, but there is a common thread: A script is a path that is not of your choosing. It is an external model given to us through family, friends, culture and media. These models work to an extent, but measuring happiness, success, joy or contentment on outside circumstances leads to breakdown. We begin to lose our way.

The breakthrough occurs when we start to gain clarity on what is more important to us and start to create our own personal success model. That is what happened to me and it’s why I created the Life Passion & Business podcast as a route out of the wilderness. This show is about exploring the journey of others to draw parallels and gain insight into your own existence.

The point is when we choose a path that is in alignment with our wishes, values and beliefs, the ups and downs on the journey become part of the quest of life. 

Wayne’s Story – Where It All Began

Wayne Mullins had a classic US upbringing. Unlike many guests he has no childhood ambitions, however just before college he began to pay attention to some family friends in the medical profession. They appeared to ‘have it all’, the life, the cars and the house. To a young boy, it was the classic success model and a medical career seemed like a very attractive prospect.

Whilst he was in college, Wayne’s parents gave him a set of Zig Ziglar CDs. (If you are unfamiliar with the sales world, you may not have heard of Zig. He is considered one of the original authorities on relationship based sales.) One of the things Wayne learned from Zig was that in order to be a good sales person you needed to fully believe in your product. This meant going as far as owning it and using it yourself. Believing in the product to this extend meant that you could bring genuine integrity to the role of selling it to others. Wayne was hooked when he heard this and it brought about a major shift in career direction. Wayne dropped the medical profession to go into Sales.

Following The Success Model

Wayne’s journey with Sales began in the Construction Industry and moved on to Outside Billboard Advertising. He quickly learned that selling wasn’t as easy as Zig Ziglar made it out to be, but eventually he was able to make good money. It was then that he started becoming aware that his remuneration was significantly lower than the value of the sales he generated.

“I started looking at these numbers and thinking, if I’m generating this kind of revenue for them, what if I actually went out and did something on my own?”

Going it alone became the temptation that would lead him to his next career shift. So he started figuring out what skills he had. The list was short, but he could cut grass, so he decided to start a Lawn and Landscape company from scratch.

Leaving his current Sales role was a painful process, especially because he had done well and wanted to leave with integrity. He had given his word to his employers that he would finish correctly and would not cut corners. This meant committing to long hours juggling his current job and preparing the way for his new career.

“Every single weekend I was out knocking on doors, trying to be ready so that when I left my job I would have clients lined up”

Eventually fully leaving sales, Wayne was able to commit wholeheartedly to his new business. It became the second biggest operation in the area and along with creating beautifully manicured gardens for his clients, Wayne also inspired them with his success. At the young age of 26, Wayne was on top of the world. He had it all. His ego was strong and he was eager to take the next step in his success model. So within 3 years of starting the landscaping business he sold it to take up a new direction.

When The Ego Takes Over

The plan was to set up a Marketing Company. Using his own success model, the aim was to help other people build their dreams and create bigger companies for themselves. This was where his problems began. He was fixated on the one route that had worked for him. His ego led him to believe it was what his customer’s needed, but his customers were not so convinced.

“I had carried over this ego that I could sell, that I could grow a business… When I decided to launch the marketing company we had a nice house. We had just bought 50 acres of land. We had two vehicles, we had a boat. Kind of the American Dream… Over the course of the next 3 years I sold a lot of things, but I didn’t sell people on our services.”

Wayne’s customers were only familiar with the tradition brand of marketing and unable to recognise the benefits of direct response marketing. So when Wayne tried to pitch this approach to them, they just didn’t get it. Wayne was so convinced that his was the only way that he was unwilling to compromise and work in a way that could lead to transitions. His ego led him into arguments that broke the relationships with his customers.

Gradually the business drained the success he had built for himself and his family and it led to severe depression. He felt he had given his life and soul to a business that was not working. 

“You can keep going hoping and believing that tomorrow’s going to get better. But over time when tomorrow doesn’t get better it wears us down. It grates on us and we start to believe the reality that tomorrow’s not going to get better. And that thought progresses into, not only is tomorrow not going to get better, but today’s horrible as well.”

Being Willing To Learn & Grow

The breakthroughs came when he started to step back and see the patterns from a different perspective. It enabled him to take control of the situation and turn things around. Wayne had to learn to keep his ego in check and develop a willingness to suspend the strong beliefs that he had been holding on to.

“I had to learn that you can sell people what they want and still give them what they need.”

This was the start of a long, slow and painful process that gradually enabled him to turn the business around and make it the success it is today.

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