What causes a man to want to go to Warrior Week when his business is the most successful it’s ever been, and life is good? Welcome to this week’s episode of Warrior Week: Parables From the Pit with coach Sam and his guest, Mike Cottmeyer, where we discover the answer to that question and learn why Mike chose to walk through the gates of Warrior Week #52 even after learning about his wife’s life-threatening diagnosis a mere two days before.
Parable #1: Feeling Isolated
- In the summer of 2018, it was the viewing of one video that caused Mike to step into the world of Warrior via the Kings Kit Challenge, which proved to be a poignant turning point in his life. Although he had more monetary success than ever before, he was feeling disconnected on every level and was feeling completely isolated.
- The message from the video that resonated with Mike the most was this idea that guys who are really successful in business are bored. “I know people have problems paying their electric bill; I had a problem making my million and a half payroll every month. Who do you share that kind of pressure with?”
How is having an association of men to share life with making a difference in your life?
Parable #2: Taking a Leap
- When Mike took the leap out of corporate America to start his company, he gave away the security and promise of the paycheck for the uncertainty of doing his own thing. “What I found was, that was just the first of many leaps.”
- Pre-Warrior, Mike felt that he had reached the ceiling on what he could accomplish as a leader, as a husband, and as a father. He was feeling overwhelmed. Two days before he entered the doors of Warrior Week, his wife was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness.
Where have you been taking leaps in your life? How has your life changed because of those leaps?
Parable #3: The Cemetery
- When Mike was 23, his mother passed away from cancer, which was the most painful thing he had experienced up to that point in his life. Fast forward two decades to Warrior Week where the group is in a van traveling to visit a cemetery. When asked by one of the coaches what his reaction would be if his wife were to die from her illness, the best response Mike could muster in that moment was, “I would be sad.”
- “With my mother’s death, that was a pivotal time in my life which turned off a range of emotions for me. If it doesn’t crack that level, fuck it. It is what it is. You want to trigger an emotion in me? Put me in a cemetery thinking about my mom and writing letters to my kids about what would happen if I were to die. I can get to that emotion, but I’m not comfortable living there.”
When was the last time you gave yourself permission to experience deep emotion?
Parable #4: Modeling Behavior
- Mike’s involvement in Warrior has allowed him to create space for conversations with his sons Zach, Daniel, and Noah. What he’s trying to model for them is “just because things get fucked up or go a little sideways, doesn’t mean it’s over. Don’t give up.”
- “Basically, it’s modeling behavior. They’re seeing me get into better shape, pray & meditate, emotionally connect with their mom & them every day. They’re seeing what’s going on in the business, that we’re going to continue to collide, and that I’m not giving up.”
What behavior are you modeling for your children?
Parable #5: Letting Go to Lead
- Post-Warrior, Mike has chosen to spend more time with his wife which has meant letting go and whittling down the hours he works on his business. “In my little niche of the world, I’m the Garrett White of my industry. I’m the speaker, I’m the rain-maker, I’m the one who’s out there. When I take a step back, there’s a real risk for it to slow down.”
- “When you have strong leaders, you’ve got to give them space to lead. And when you’re a control freak like me, it’s hard to know which pieces you can let go of and which pieces you can’t. It’s a tough balance.”
Whether in your home or business, what can you let go of in order to create space for others to lead?
Parables from the Pit:
“It doesn’t matter what the fuck you say – whether it’s wrong or right – as long as you’re certain, people will follow.”
“Warrior Week for me was the beginning of a journey. It was like having a veil lifted and realizing there was a whole different way of looking at the world that I hadn’t been paying attention to.”