Breakthrough to Success the Easy Way, with Mike Kitko
Today, we’re talking with Mike Kitko; author, speaker, coach who helps you lead powerfully, love selflessly, profit shamelessly, and play recklessly. If you’re an elite business owner who wants to break through to success and live soul out… tune in now!
Table of contents
Does success have to be hard? Mike Kitko argues that the breakthrough to success doesn’t have to be! You can make it simple, and today we’re talking about how to simplify your journey to success. It starts with letting go.
[1:48] “For 43 years, I made everything in my life as hard as I possibly could because I was taught…that if it’s not hard, it’s not valuable. And if it’s easy, then you’re missing the point.”
Working in Your Zone of Genius
Your “zone of genius” as defined by Gay Hendricks, author of The Big Leap, is the space where you rely on your innate abilities. Many people call this “purpose,” and when you’re working within this zone, as Mike says, life is easy.
This is where the magic happens, energy is limitless, and synchronicities occur. And yet, because we’re conditioned to believe that success is hard, we distrust ourselves when we’re in that zone. We are trained to think we have to work hard to be worthy. And it’s the exact opposite of what we should be striving for.
Mike breaks down the steps for working in your zone of genius in this way:
- Find and understand your purpose
- Create a vision for your life that reflects what you want to experience
- Understand your desires and know that new ones will always surface
- Get into your flow in your zone of genius
- Act from within your zone of genius
[5:50] “Life doesn’t have to be hard. I have too much fun having joy and success and happiness and wealth the easy way. My wife termed them grind gurus and hustle whores. Let all those guys teach everybody… I’m looking for the path of least resistance.”
[13:40] “When you’re in your zone of genius, it’s like time stops and things happen for you and because of you.”
Breakthrough to Success and Happiness
[6:45] “I think the mind has a problem with happiness. The mind creates problems where they don’t exist… We don’t understand what’s happening [in our mind], and we don’t understand how to discipline this, and we don’t understand how to eat the fruit and spit out the seeds… We don’t understand that we can let the thoughts go—the ones that don’t serve, that create struggle, that create stress out of joy and happiness. When we can let them go, we don’t have to follow them into a problem-solving space. You don’t have to solve problems that don’t exist.”
The average human has 6,200 thoughts per day, and we spend so much of our mental energy on our problems. What would happen if you identified the problems that don’t exist and let them go? When we allow our thoughts to have control and run rampant, we drain our mental energy. The breakthrough to success occurs when we can let go of thoughts that don’t serve us, or take us down a rabbit hole of worry and doubt.
Mike’s Personal Breakthrough to Success
In 2016, Mike Kitko was fired from his second executive level position in 20 months. And it was an easy climb to the top, even though he “made it hard” for himself. And he admits that he was fired because he himself was toxic at the time.
[10:10] “The struggle that I felt inside, and the pain that I felt inside, I wanted everyone else to experience it too. We see in the world what we feel…We experience the world from our internal lens. When we expect life to be hard, or we expect life to be painful, then we see it everywhere and we create it where it doesn’t exist.”
Despite the challenges of job loss, Mike recognized the call to do better. This was the catalyst for his personal breakthrough to success. It began with two things—the willingness to embrace uncertainty, and the desire to make things easy.
[11:35] “If you trust yourself in the presence of uncertainty, entrepreneurialism is for you.”
How Do You Own Your Zone of Genius?
[15:41] “When I was in corporate, I felt like I had to do nine hundred and ninety-nine things so that I could get to do the one that I loved…. After I was unceremoniously uninvited from corporate, I said I’m never doing those nine hundred and ninety-nine things ever again.”
The key is to find your one thing—the one that you’re willing to suffer for the opportunity to do—and then do it. Just drop the suffering from the equation.
If you’re looking for more of a formula, find the intersection of these things:
- What are you great at? And what are you good at?
- What are you passionate about?
- What will people pay you for?
When you can find something that resonates with you, you can simplify your success and bring joy back into your life.
[17:22] “If we’re not solving problems for other people, then what we’re trying to do is create problems that we then try to help them solve. Why don’t we just find that thing that we love to solve for people, and offer that to the marketplace? Because there’s only 7.8 billion people on the planet—there’s a couple of them that need what you have to offer.”
Solving the Money Mindset
This mindset of either creating problems or solving problems appears in our financial lives as well. When we have fears and experiences about money, and view it as our lifeblood, we project this same world view onto others. We assume that we are bleeding people dry because of our own money views, when really there’s a value exchange.
This is a part of why it’s critical that we heal our own beliefs about money and profit, so that we can continue to see it as a resource and a transfer of value. If you are truly solving a problem for someone, then that exchange is a value to both parties.
[21:10] “You see the world as you experience yourself. And every fear, every trauma, that you possess inside…you see the world through that lens. So if you’re holding a really poisonous and toxic money mindset, a money heartset, then that’s going to show up everywhere in your life. But when you resolve that, then you’re going to be let go from that burden. But then you’re going to let everybody else go from that burden too, and things are going to flow a little more easily and effortlessly for you.”
The Breakthrough to Success Begins with Real Leadership
Real leadership starts with leading ourselves—and sometimes we are the hardest people to lead. Yet when we do this, we encourage other people to lead themselves and take ownership of their lives. Owning your life gives other people permission and a blueprint to own their lives, too.
[34:15] “I tried to get my kids to make better decisions, but until I made better decisions, they didn’t know how. I had to show them…My teenage daughters don’t listen because they’re too busy watching. Think about that. They don’t listen at all, they put their fingers in their ears–they don’t want to hear what I have to say. But they are watching. And they’re learning from my behavior.”
[35:05] “Success, happiness, and wealth are a product of a healthy blend of selfishness and selflessness, mixed in with heaping servings of trust and gratitude.”
Mike’s quote, when broken down, is about taking time for the self first. When you put your own oxygen mask on, you’re freed to help others with their oxygen masks. When you take the time to get your mindset right, and to lead your own life, you have the space to help others and be selfless. If you sacrifice yourself, you cannot work at your greatest potential.
Mike Kitko’s Prosperity Principles
Mike’s breakthrough to success ultimately began with the steps he takes in his book, The Prosperity Principles. Here’s a high level view of the principles he covers in his book:
- Know what you’re built for, and be that shamelessly.
- Big dreams, big life. As your dream expands, so will your outcomes.
- Physical wellbeing creates energy.
- Mental clarity–you are in control of what thoughts you attach to and what you let go.
- Have courage to feel things and go through uncomfortable scenarios.
- Social connection can make you unstoppable.
- Obtaining mastery in your craft.
The first six steps give you the confidence to put your competence in play. We usually start with the sixth principle, yet it’s so important to start from one and climb the ladder so that your mastery means something.
Get in Touch with Mike Kitko
About Mike Kitko
Mike Kitko is an executive coach, speaker, and published author. After a colossal career and personal meltdown, he found his true purpose: inspiring leaders to find the power in their authenticity, purpose, and passion.
A Marine with an MBA, Mike has decades of experience in leadership roles for Fortune 500 companies, yet he always felt like an imposter. His outward persona was one of strength and wealth, yet he struggled internally with self-confidence and self-fulfillment. His inability to understand his emotions led him to a toxic relationship with alcohol, uncontrolled anger, and ballistic rage. The abuse of his marriage, family, professional career, and health are documented in his latest book, The Imposter in Charge.
Through coaching, intense study, and deep work, Mike learned to embrace self-doubt and care for his body, mind, emotions, and soul with self-mastery. Now Mike’s overflowing energy, clarity, and love inspires souls. With an infectious zest for life, internal power, and inward confidence that matches how people perceive him externally, Mike has turned his life around. Now he helps small business owners lead powerfully, love selflessly, profit shamelessly, and play recklessly.
Lead. Love. Profit. Play. Why not have it all?
Mike is available for private coaching, professional development executive training, and keynotes.
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