W/ CJ FINLEY
Adrenaline junky, athlete, serial entrepreneur, husband, CJ quit his engineering career to pursue his passion of helping the world, and the people on it, THRIVE.
"Someone asked me today, what are my life hacks? And then I told them, I rephrase it. And I was like, the easiest way to find life hacks is what aren't your life hacks? drink less, sleep more like, don't get a little bit of sleep? Like, just figure out what aren't the life hacks and then everything else is falls in line."
"The thing that makes me feel alive the most, and I think it goes back to like my childhood playing sports all the time is sweating. Like just sweating at some capacity. So I've in the past year, I've really been diving into like what it is to set myself up for the day of success."
FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPT
CJ Finley 0:00
I was looking forward to this evening yet.
But Welcome to the audio part, guys. It's Friday afternoon Friday evening. I guess it's dark already because of the time change, right?
Jon Mendoza 0:08
Yeah, it's healthy, happy hour. We are going to be talking to see CJ Finley today. He is the CEO of thrive on life, amongst many other things, I'm sure and he's a great person to work out with. I don't know if you've worked out with him yet. But I think we have yet but I've been doing those exercises you taught me man, dude, my abs are like constantly sore, but like, but I'm but I'm getting that extra, like, cool on my climbing now. So it's fantastic. Of course, we got nerves doza here, and we're gonna be talking health and vitamins and all the great things and we have some great plans for December and I don't know what this is going to turn into any more because we're we're pretty excited about a lot of things. So let's get the party started.
Jon Mendoza 0:50
Do you work out more at thrive or squatch? gym? Okay,
CJ Finley 0:55
I've been doing squats a lot more lately, only because actually. Fun fact every winter I typically switch gyms. So I was already on the lookout for looking for a gym. Last winter, I was at Austin bouldering project. And this winter, I was looking into other things and squats just happened to be right down the street from my house, which I think I'll stick with this one for life. But the reason I do that is I have a gym in my office. But when it's winter, it gets dark really early. I don't want to stay in the same place. Like for 14 hours straight. Yeah, I just want to like get out and go to do something and also to see other people and stuff like that. During the summer. I see enough people as it is. So working out like a quick 30 minute workout at my spa is ideal. Yeah. But when it's wintertime and you're just starting early. I still want to see people swatches.
Jon Mendoza 1:47
Yeah, fix right now. Yeah. And for people who are listening squatch Shem is owned by a good friend of ours named Jason. And I'm sure that he has a couple of things. Right? It's almost like it's almost like just come in and do what you need to you got your biohacking aspect. You got your straight hit. You got your CrossFit you got your crypto cafe they have ice baths like
assignment been over there. Saturday is the time to go right. It's
Jon Mendoza 2:11
Yes, you do. The ice baths are what Saturdays?
CJ Finley 2:13
Yeah, every day every Saturday. Now it's great because the song is there. So it's a sauna first get an ice bath. get right back in.
Jon Mendoza 2:20
Yeah, that's badass.
CJ Finley 2:21
Yeah, so that's like, and then I'll shoot some basketballs.
Jon Mendoza 2:23
So do you do the how many how many times you do that? Like two three times?
CJ Finley 2:28
So I haven't I bought what I'll do is I do sauna. The nice bath than the sauna? I haven't gotten back in nice bath. I've actually done that ocean lab though. So I've done where you do we would do the ice bath first then the sauna. Then ice bath again then on again. But I did that there because you like you can show on the sauna longer there. Yeah, so that's where we kind of did there but squatch I just do sauna ice bath sauna get more backup and then yeah,
Jon Mendoza 2:59
yeah, that's amazing for anyone who has not tried an ice bath before. It is an incredible sensation. Right? How long do you do your ice bath for
CJ Finley 3:11
typically me four minutes. And theirs is like when you say ice bath like it's straight ice. Yeah, it is literally ice in a metal tub. Yeah, other ice baths I've been in it's like kind of a mixture of water and ice because they didn't fill the entire tub up. But this one is the coldest one I've been in straight ice.
Jon Mendoza 3:29
Yeah, it is.
CJ Finley 3:30
Yeah, it's the way that I equate it is the first like one minute you start freaking out and then if you can like hit the two or three minute mark and like calm your breath like you should be good but yeah first minute decides everything.
Jon Mendoza 3:45
Yeah, it does. It does I for people who don't know what an ice bath is really is like you go into a trough and you're sitting there and I see water up to your about what do you go shoulders neck?
CJ Finley 4:00
I do I typically leave my hands my fingers out. I don't like that sensation. But I'll like put my shoulders in just to get my shoulders and up to like my collarbone. Yeah. But it ranges every single week just kind of dependent on how I'm feeling. Yeah, yeah,
yeah, there's times that I was like, I'm not doing this and that kind of just pours once Oh, and there's other times that I'm just like, Fuck yeah, I'm doing this all day long.
Jon Mendoza 4:21
How long? Two years.
The most I've gone is five minutes. Five minutes. But I remember in college we just have to go 15 minutes. Just Yeah, but I'm sure it's not ideal. Oh, it wasn't ideal. Yeah, no, it's just like a like if you had a back injury just like you're gonna get in the ice. And I remember
Jon Mendoza 4:38
those two ever that in high school even the trainer's like you just go hang on the trough over there for 20 minutes or whatever it was. I think it also depends on
CJ Finley 4:46
the temperature though. Like I think the college ones were not as cold as
Jon Mendoza 4:49
that's no, that's true. There was nothing like this. No, it was not as cold and I know
CJ Finley 4:53
people like pushing like shade pushes over 10 minutes. I just don't see the point. Kind of like, once I get the four or five, I'm just like I'm numb. And also, I don't know if you guys have done the research but like, I've seen that some of the benefits just like
it's, it starts to decline,
Jon Mendoza 5:11
even before you can overdo it actually. So there's this thing called C band. And technically, it's what you look at when you're applying a lot of cold directly to a localized Area C band is cold, burning, achy and numbness that's the equivalency of or five minutes of what the eyes can do directly applied to a local area. So by the time it gets numb, that's where it sets in. So imagine whole body's numb Finally, after the first couple minutes and ice bath. The benefits after that is very small. Like it's not long, like the longest day an ice bath isn't mean like you're getting healthier by does a counterintuitive thing where it starts like freaking out because you're not getting out of this. Right? He's kind of the same way to like you can tolerate heat for a while, but you don't do sauna for like two hours, right? You can do sort of like 60 minutes, but you have to regulate your breathing. And so I imagine with I like I don't know what Wim Hof is
more of a breathing technique,
Jon Mendoza 6:02
but but how long are they in there for?
Oh, I don't that I don't know, I think it's just I
CJ Finley 6:08
think a lot of those people were pushing like, 10 minutes. Yeah,
Jon Mendoza 6:10
I don't know, like 10 minutes, but it's not like an hour are still like 30 minutes or 15 minutes.
CJ Finley 6:15
And that's like,
Jon Mendoza 6:17
that's because of the because of the health benefits like the coal would I mean, essentially get frostbite, I think. And the
benefit armies is right is is is the idea. And then the
CJ Finley 6:27
benefits after five minutes, I think is more of like a mental benefit. Like oh, like you get it off to like that. And for me, like being an athlete. Like, I know if I really wanted to stay in there. I could to a certain extent, but it just doesn't. It's not enjoyable to me. I'm like, Alright, the benefit of the health of me. Alright, I worked out really hard all week. And now I'm gonna get in this tub for five minutes. That makes me feel good. Yeah, I'm kind of the person that like after that happens, I just doesn't even matter to me. I'm waiting.
Jon Mendoza 6:56
I wait. But it's part of your self care routine. Yeah, right. Like on a weekly basis, it seems like now under percent. That's badass. So what else are you doing for self care?
CJ Finley 7:06
A bunch of different things. But I think the the biggest thing that because I try to relate to people, and a lot of people don't have access and resources to some of the stuff we were just talking about this before. Yeah, on here that we live in a bubble here in Austin. So I don't know who listens to this. But I try to relate to more of the general population of what you should be doing for your health. And it's more of what you should not be doing compared to what you should be doing. And what we all should not be doing is immediately when we wake up, jumping around on our phone on our laptop and stimulating ourselves in some way. And simulus can come caffeine, your phone, a million different ways you can stimulate yourself. I think the number one self care thing that I do when I wake up is I wake up, hydrate myself, and then actually try to think like, what does my body need today? And that's kind of how I start, where I'll have l glutamine, lemon, water and salt. And then I'll go open my front door, go outside for a minute. And then I'll just think like, okay, what's today? What do I got on my plate and then figure my shit out pretty much. And then the only non negotiable I have throughout my data, I think is also a number one thing I think for self care that 99% of people don't do enough of is read. And I think everyone out there right now it's a hot trend for exercise and working out and meditation and all these things. But to really work your brain and your brain is going to help you in all areas of your life is to just read 10 pages a day. And if you read, if you open a book within 10 to read 10 pages, you're probably going to find yourself reading more than 10 pages, you're going to get into the habit. And that's just going to if you've read because I'm big on education solves everything. So if you read you're going to start reading up on okay, how do I also have a better habit and other areas such as ice fast such as meditation, such as coming to Msw lounge, if you read if you naturally are curious and want to learn, you're gonna figure out these other ways. So that's why the two things that I would recommend is like the biggest self care habits that I have, are waking up and not being stimulated. And then reading. Everything else kind of just falls in line. Yeah,
after that. That's awesome. I love it. hydrating is so important, right? Because you know, especially if you had a long night of sleep like you haven't been drinking water this whole time. Yeah.
Jon Mendoza 9:32
Well, you've been detoxing all night. Yeah, right. So the first thing you do in the morning is you should urinate because you've been detoxing your brain all night. And the deeper you go into REM sleep and doubt and then delta sleep which would be you know, regenerated. The deep sleep you start detoxing your brain. It's like one of the few times throughout the day. You're not doing anything so your body's like Alright, I'm gonna recharge everything and so we pee first thing in the morning is your p&l. The toxins need to rehydrate, right. I love how you said you're not stimulating yourself. I The million dollar warning for me is getting up and doing legs on the wall. First thing, breath, breath, work gratitude. And then I do read, I that is almost like a non negotiable now for me too. And I'm not saying like the Kindle, or you know, an iPad, I'm holding a book. And I'm feeling the pages. I love the smell of a book. And I flip the pages on my bookmark. And it's incredible because the 10 pages does last like I read a whole chapter right now reading Joe dispenza. And so, you know, next will be Gary Keller. And I've read, you know, soil, read vibrational medicine, I just finished mitochondrial health. It's cool, because that serves me. And I think that's what you get out of there eating too, it serves me, because if you look at like Netflix, like you're picking something you want to watch, right? Well, the book is their original Netflix, like I can pick a library of things I want to really get lost in. But it's, it's always the right docu, you know, movie or, you know, documentary that's like, what you're looking for, right? Because Netflix doesn't always have what you want. It's like, I don't want that shit. I'm not care about that. Okay, I want, I want something that really is like I want to learn about it resonates. And so knowledge is power. When you read, you're empowering yourself to learn more. So you start the day off saying like, I'm worthy enough to learn more information I I'm reading because I want to learn something. I'm not reading to reread the same book I did over and over again, I'm rereading it because there's something here I didn't quite understand. I want to learn more about it. Yeah,
CJ Finley 11:31
right. It's powerful, right, the way that I that I thought about it that I got into the habit was I'm super competitive. And when I looked at when I like study, like successful people, and by successful people, I don't, I don't put everybody in a bucket of like millionaires and billionaires, I look at like a full spectrum from like, Gandhi, to Martin Luther King to, to the billionaire. So it's like people have made massive impact and are successful in that way. It's the people have also made massive amounts of money and then use that money for impact. And the number one thing that I always found that all of them did, they could say they meditated, they could say they worked out, they could say they did these other things, but almost 99% of them said they're voracious readers, all them all, every single one. So I deduce down to okay, right now, what is the number one thing like I'm about to exit my 20s? What is the number one habit that I could create going into my 30s. So that when I'm in my 40s, I'm like lightyears ahead of everyone else that I'm sitting around. And it's, again, a lot of people do now focus on exercise. It's it's becoming a trend and taking care of yourself and meditating. And we have all these apps that help with all these different things. But you, there's no app for reading. Like, you have to just pick the book up and standing. And a lot of people have lost that habit. I'm with you with the spelling of the book. Like one reason we got an office for thrive is because we have a community bookshelf, bring a book, take a book. So if you're here in Austin, you hear this, like just, I have a ton of books. Yeah, bring your own book and take the book. But we got it because there were so many books laying around my house, my wife is like we got to do something. Yeah, we're getting because of COVID. I've been like keeping a lot of books at my, I've been ordering a lot of books, reading them and keeping them in our house. And she's like, you got to take another box over
Jon Mendoza 13:17
CJ Finley 13:18
to drive because I've had more time to read. So I was reading an average, like a book a week now through COVID. And so I have these other books that take over and for anyone out there, like, I'm not the type of person that's like, you have to read a certain type of book, like, I'm not trying to be facetious, like, you need to read certain types of books become a certain type of person, like, I don't care if you like sci fi, or business or health, just the nature and the habit of reading is going to serve you in your life, just like you said, is such an advocate for that, because I've seen it transform my own life. And I'm pissed at myself, because I didn't I started in my 20s and not even earlier. And that's why I'm obsessed with education reform, because I should have been reading way earlier, but they were trying to force me to read certain books. And now like, I realized if I pick up a book, and I don't like it, I just put it down. And then I pick up another book and I'm like, oh, and then I read this thing super fast. So my my advice is, just pick a book up. And if you don't like it, don't be afraid to shut it down on page 20. Yeah, even if there's 300 pages, like go find another book. And then yeah, you create that habit. It's gonna serve you.
Yeah, you don't you don't you don't harp on like, I got to finish this book and like, read all this whole thing. I mean, either. I used to there was a point where there was like, a thing for a while that is, I don't know, cuz it felt like I wasn't finishing something I started until I just let go of that from a from a reading sense because I still have that in other aspects of my life. Like if I'm gonna start this, I'm gonna finish this kind of deal.
CJ Finley 14:49
I think I started accepting that I didn't have to finish it. The moment I started becoming a better entrepreneur, because I started realizing like the book essentially because it's about this.
Yeah, I'm reading that now. Actually the
CJ Finley 15:00
best entrepreneurs pick up and drop things faster than mostly every other person. They realize, alright, this is not for me and they put it down. The people that aren't successful, try to like trudge through things that don't serve them at all. It's not gonna serve you.
Yeah, that makes sense. When you pin it, right, that's kind of like we've done that all our lives. Like he's like, Well, that didn't work. But that's fine. Because we can just do it this way and learn from that really quick and just move on. But but from the reading aspect for some, I think it was I don't know, that I also used reading from like, cover to cover as an excuse not to show up to classes in Jesus, like, why read it already. So I don't have to go to the lesson. And I learned better that way. But just by reading, because I can take my time. And I'm not good at writing notes anyways. But if I read it all, I understand the full concept as opposed to like, what's the notes that I need to take to learn enough? And so I used to just read,
CJ Finley 15:52
I would do, this is a trick that I did, if we're talking about like, when you're in class, I would go to office hours. And that's when you really, that's when they would really tell you what, so I'm backstory. I'm choppy, a little bit here. But I'm an engineer, and they wouldn't tell you like what's on the exam. Sure, when I went to school, but if you went to office hours for people, they would open up a little bit more and be like, oh, like study this section of these, like, really thick books. So I would try to learn what actually mattered from the book rather than reading front to back. And then I just wouldn't go to class. And then how, like, right from the beginning, if they saw me in office hours, they didn't really give a shit that I wasn't Yeah, so just be like, hey, like, I'm an athlete, or this or that. And I would try to figure out ways to take things from the book, that and I think that also transferred over into the books that I read today, is I have I do this weird thing where I don't know if you guys do this, but like, sometimes I'll read a couple pages. And I'm just like, did I even read these couple pages? Yeah, right. But I did read them like, and I think that's because, again, when in your entrepreneurial world and health world, you're looking for things that serve you right in that moment, and sometimes they don't serve you in that moment. And that's why rereading books, some of the best books that I have, I reread every year, and I take something different from theirs in my life, something's going on, in that matches that book right then and there. But so it'll be like I read 20 pages, but I only took from five. But then if I reread the book, A year later, I'll take from the separate five pages. So you said that was powerful. It's more about what you read than it is how many how many pages and how many books?
Jon Mendoza 17:27
I agree with this. Yeah.
And you also get it get a cadence of the author's like words. And at some point, you're just like, Oh, I can skip through this whole chapter. Because I know exactly like, you can pretty much predict what he's about to say, or she's about to say,
CJ Finley 17:38
yes, it's an audible at all.
I just can't
I don't do that. Like I was gonna mention that.
Jon Mendoza 17:42
I was like, I just can't do it. Because like, I don't, it's not, but when are you listening to it because you're not, you're driving, or you're working out, you're not sitting there paying attention to your book. So like, think about this, I like to think of like, if I am reading fiction, which I really don't want a lot of
fun. I also usually sit down to read with a highlighter.
Jon Mendoza 17:59
Yeah, but the thing is, do you read a lot of fiction because you don't like to read? Well see, that's the thing. I don't read a lot of fiction. See,
I don't like to I also gay, I don't like to. I also don't like to watch documentaries. I rather watch science fiction, but because I'm like, I want to be stimulated. If I'm gonna watch TV, then I want to see all the fucking badass things that I don't care to read about.
Jon Mendoza 18:19
So if you're thinking about that, then you're creating that in your mind when you are reading it, especially if you read it before the movie comes out. Because then you're like, Okay, well, what does this look like? In my head? I do this with music videos, like, like gorillas came with the album, right? Something like, what would the video look like in my head? What are they thinking? And so you start designing. And that's the beautiful thing about a book is you get to, you get to create this whole universe in your mind. And then when it comes out, you're like, Whoa, that's not exactly at all what I was thinking. And it's cool. But when you don't read fiction, that creativity is lost. Because there's a there's a different kind of creative mystic, it's kind of filtered, it's more of like, imagine if you're just telling someone tools to help them think about things in a different light. There's so much misinformation and analytical information that won't happen to where if I tell you, this is the meaning of life, you might not understand what I just told you. So people who pick up the book and say, Yep, it doesn't resonate with me. I don't understand their meaning of life in that way. That doesn't serve me I'm going to go over here. Whenever people read books, you all read differently. My father in law skips like every other line. And he can finish a book in like two hours because he hasn't read every single word.
Jon Mendoza 19:29
I don't work that way. I read every word.
Yeah, I skipped the first the first two in the last two words. Whatever sentence
CJ Finley 19:39
so I've noticed when it when I used to when I first got into reading it was every single word I read every single word. But now like I did take a speed speed reading course on online on YouTube. And then I also i was i did commute a lot more like before. I have Office of a strike like, for my old apartment, here's like 30 minutes, I would, I would listen to audible on two and a half x five. And I would go through a book, my goal was to go through, read a book a week and listen to an audible book every single week. And I was crushing them for a little bit. But then now that I don't drive that much like I completely stopped doing it. But I started realizing that listening at a faster rate for it, because I'm like an ADHD mind, it actually forced me to pay attention more. So contrary to like what you were, yeah, I, because I know when I'm tuning out of it. So I have to really focused when I put it up to 2.5. And then even now on Audible, they made it you can do like 2.6 2.72 point.
Yeah, love it
CJ Finley 20:43
right now. So because I'm like challenging myself. And I'll literally sit there and intently listen for so for somebody out there. If you're like me, it's actually a good challenge, because it forces me to focus. But what I've noticed is I can't do it for more than 10 minutes. Yeah, so I'll put an audit log on for like a 10 minutes 2.7 and inject all this information in and I'm like, I'm done. It's like that. I get it.
I do that with podcasts, I do 2.5 on podcasts,
Jon Mendoza 21:08
right. So James, that you love this. So we have a Wahby machine. Now it's an ECG machine, it measures your brain, and it measures the velocity and amplitude of which your synapses are firing. So what I found was that I have a ton of speed. For whatever I do create a synapses in my brain, I just don't have a lot of power behind it. And so the way I think of it is like, Alright, well, I just don't need a lot of power behind because I can get it done quicker. And I'm like two steps ahead, everyone. So like, imagine if I tell you what 10 things I want you to do, I can get the message across in like 10 seconds, but it might take you longer interpret it. So the effort that you're going to need to say Wait, slow down, let me write this down. I'm like you should have gotten already like, I didn't need to tell you like that much. I just gave you all information. So to me, I'm like I can move on again. So ADHD is very similar. Except the problem is, is that we also measure something called theta waves. So theta waves, there's a ratio between data to beta theta waves are like almost like a hypnosis kind of trance that most people will get in when they're about to fall asleep. Like when I just wake you up, and I started like, Oh, it's
like that, like that half asleep. Yeah,
Jon Mendoza 22:13
like, Oh, I was just about to fall asleep. Okay, that's data waves. ADHD people run wild in that. So your brainwaves are firing data waves most of the time, which means when you're trying to knock down something and say, I got 10 seconds to do it, it's very hard to say, Oh, shit, I'm going to put all that into, like 10 seconds really quickly, not overwhelm me. With you, you're doing the same thing because your ADHD says, No, that's perfect. I can knock out as much as I can in 10 seconds, because I'm going to focus on one thing for a second, because I can't focus on everything else. I'm gonna, but I'm gonna knock this out in 10 seconds. So I work the same way. If I you have my attention. I'll give you all the information you need. And I'll shorten a 60 minute talk into five minutes. And if you miss things on it, I'm sorry. But that was it. That's all the effort you're getting? Because I gotta say, my effort to do that 10 times more throughout the day.
CJ Finley 23:01
So man, it's it's crazy to hear the science finest and I, I don't want to miss my point earlier, you're asked about the reading. Yeah. But because I got into like the 2.7 I started noticing that I would read at a faster rate, but not faster, meaning I would read every word. I started skipping words. Yeah, you guys were talking because like the does and the ends, and I notice I don't pick that up in my brain. I'm only reading starting to read keywords. Yeah. And I think it's because when I listen, that's what I'm listening for. I'm listening to key topics and key key things, um, every time that someone says like, um, and whatever I like shifts out of my head, and I'm only listening.
It's almost like that gives you permission to to now.
CJ Finley 23:37
Yeah, so I'm like tuning out. I'm tuning out while I'm reading. It's the brain.
Jon Mendoza 23:40
But but that's why they say in presentations don't say, um, yeah, don't like, um, because you're like, you lost me. It's really incredible. The attention span that someone will have because you think about keywords, if I'm mumbling to you. And I'm like Baba, Baba, Baba, Baba Baba cancer. Like, whoa, say that, again. I got your attention denied it, because it's not one of the words in your vocabulary on a daily basis. So when you scan, you're looking for words, you're like, oh, you're looking at the source. Like, what is that word? That's why most people used to read was they that's how they learn vocabulary. It's like, I don't know what this word is. I'm gonna look it up. Right? I don't know what that was. So, like, there's certain words that I'll use and my, my vocabulary like that some people don't use anymore. I'm like, I haven't heard this word in a while. So I can go back to education thing, like where would you hear some of these words is like, I heard him in a book. I read them in a book. And so I'm thinking like, even the
way the Christian language, there's words that if you're listening to an audio, and if you don't understand the word like that, then you don't look it up. You don't look it up because you're just like
Jon Mendoza 24:45
so. So not to knock on that but goes back to the reading thing is because if you do have the Kindle, where they have that, like, look up the word Roku, even the iPhone has it looked this up real quick, and then you go down the rabbit hole of studying about it. But that's the Curiosity you have because even with the movie you won't you have to stop the movie like, Wait a second, let me look that up again real quick. Right?
I usually watch movies with congressmen. So
CJ Finley 25:06
this is the spring. I so if I if you scroll through my Audible, it's all like general type of business stuff in general mindset in general like leadership. It's not like the heavy books. Like anything that's heavy I read. And I think innately it's because of that reason. Yeah, it's heavy. I read it. So I'm reading the Four Hour Body right now, by Tim Ferriss, like some of the stuffs heavy, I would never listen to that. Because I want to read every single word of that book and like, learn, like some of the words in context he's using, but like the book I'm listening to now on Audible is the culture code. So we're just talking about building good culture. Within your business? Yes. It's more storytelling. So it's like, I don't anticipate them saying the scientific word.
Yeah. Like I've heard it before.
Jon Mendoza 25:49
I could do it. You heard all this before? See, that's the difference. Here's what happened. You're putting white noise in the background, when you're not concentrating on what
you're trying to? Cause you're also trying to recap some of those, like, what are those phrases? That's exactly nonsense. Yeah, I've kind of forgotten about Bingo. Because that's the moment you hear a little bit, you're like, Oh, that's the one like, that's what I needed. But
Jon Mendoza 26:07
it's a refresher, because the thing is, just like in marketing, you've always told me like, you have to hear it. 100 times over four sticks, right? So imagine, instead of me just putting bullshit on in the background, I actually put on like binary beats, or I put on like, white noise I put on something that's going to raise my vibration or my thought process. But at the same time, if I'm hearing something subliminally in the background, and it's more of like, you're powerful, this is how you do it. And you're incredible. And you can do this, and I hear it over and over again. I'd much rather hear that, then pop music on the goddamn radio, because to me, I'm like, there's times now that classical write a symphony, because you have to build it internally to pay attention. The lyrics a lot of times don't mean a lot until you actually like, what are they really trying to say? Oh, I get what they're trying to say. But you don't hear it. Most of the time you hear the beats, right? When you're hearing music, whenever
you like, as far as like how they sing. And the lyrics is the last thing I care for.
Jon Mendoza 27:07
And it's incredible, because most men hate to hear this, right?
Yeah, exactly. But it's like, but I want you to I want I want to love the music to then like, Listen to what you're saying, then be like, Oh, shit, that just made the song so much better. Right? Like if it's if it's if it's good
CJ Finley 27:25
of it, because I'm going to link it to this the ADHD. That's, that's why I didn't fit in like the corporate world. And I had to become a serial entrepreneur because that this lifestyle fits my strengths. Like it fits like focus on this one little project for a little bit today. And then you move to the next one, and the next one and next one, okay, you need to call 20 people today, not just the same project over and over again, I couldn't focus for eight hours on that one project, I had to like, give all my energy just like in a podcast, give all my energy for that 60 minutes, but don't expect anything else out of me for like, yep, that particular thing. You know, I can jump into something new and like, give another full energy, but I can't. And even when I think about music, that my favorite artists are the ones that do contextualize their lyrics. Yes, I'm the type of person that actually like you mentioned, the beats and stuff like that. But I think I like it, where they have to mean something like with, and I don't know what that means, but it in my life in my business, and everything that I do. When I listen to music, when I thoroughly listen to it, if it's just background music, it doesn't really matter, right. But if I'm actually thoroughly listening to the music, I want the lyrics to actually mean something. So it's just like, I grew up in classic rock. And like, when it wasn't just like f this or F that other word. It was like they were writing about life. And as I got older, I kind of navigated myself, and focus on the artists that are continuing to do that. And I've realized that in my own, like, again, life, business, health, wealth, that's what I kind of navigate to at all times is something that has some type of meaning meaning
Jon Mendoza 29:07
what's what's interesting, right, because a lot of I don't like a lot of hip hop, because I just don't connect to the lyrics. But but they're also very overpowering. Right, like, like, Radiohead is our favorite bands, right? But like, and they have very meaningful lyrics. But I fall in love with the music first, and then I fall in love even more, because then oh, it actually means something, right. But like, a lot of hip hop, I just can't do it. Because it's like, I'm trying to listen to the beats, but like, I'm already like, turned off by the fact that it's not really saying anything. Right? And so then it's like, it doesn't matter how good the beat is. I'm just I'm already tuned out just because I already know that it doesn't really mean anything anymore. Well, and but but I also have a lot of trouble like understanding words. So like, I always have to go back and read lyrics. And once I fell in love with music, I was like, Alright, let me look up the lyrics. I know exactly what they're saying.
CJ Finley 29:53
Interesting. I like what you said there. And the interesting thing for me when I think back, it's like I'm a really positive person, but I like negative music. Why is that like so the Red Hot Chili?
Oh, I love very
CJ Finley 30:05
depressing lyric. Like if you actually listened to the under the bridge is very sad. I know the lyrics like I read scar tissue, I know Anthony Kiedis in his life and like, it's like, I'm a positive person. But why is and like right now, and f is like one of my favorite artists, and he he's a Christian rapper. And it's like, it's not really like, normal hip hop. He's talking like, it's really depressing. Yeah. But like, I just like, I don't know what it is, it like makes me want to be more positive.
It was like Thom, Yorke said, right, people stop making sad, sad music. Well, and I think that's very important.
Jon Mendoza 30:39
So we make me feel something, it makes you feel something. So this is I had this talk yesterday with a friend about music. Because I think you always go back to music whenever I need, I don't want to check out I want to do is I want to leave this conversation for a second put on pause and then go out here and just not think about what we just discussed. Because it might be business, it might be finance might be the pandemic, I come off the science, I just don't want to deal with that for a second I want. I just want to sit there and have something that I can just get lost in and I get carried away with. So music always does that because what will happen is there's there's two sides, I think music, there's the beat. And the reason it means that the first thing that resonates with me as beats is because it's a heartbeat, synchronicity that usually have with it because I like fast paced music, right? If I like something that I cannot. And also your heartbeat kind of gets with it. And that's why people love dance music, right? I listen to artists that are very deep, and they have accents. And so like bother said, I don't always pick up the word right around like what is because Radiohead is the source, you have to go back and like they're not even referencing this word. I've never heard of the represent a time and 17th century British, you know, landed. I'm like, I never heard this story. What? And it's an old folk tale. Yeah. And you know, like, it comes back to, you know, the idea of like, well, that's a local regional thing, dialect almost. But it's like, I learned something because I'd go and look it up. And it meant some childhood fairy tale dim, but like,
there's like a now that song means so much more.
Jon Mendoza 32:06
It took me eight times. Yeah, listen, I was like, I don't understand that what he's talking about. So when I hear it over and over again, if it means something, I go on my way to say let me understand what they're talking about. So like, gorillas, there last out. And the reason I can't put it down, is because it's a love song to the world during a time when you feel so disconnected from any individual. And so imagine if you wrote a love letter to someone that you missed, what would you say in that letter? Well, imagine if it was to the world, I missed the world. I miss conscious I miss seeing my fans, I miss talking and hugging people. Imagine someone sitting at home right now they're reading, and they're looking at what was like in the 1900s 1919. And then when the roaring 20s. What was it like? I'm gonna write about it? What is it like to miss my favorite person? What is it like to miss this? And when you start creating that, how do I relate this to someone who can resonate with someone and say,
put a beat and put a beat?
Jon Mendoza 33:00
Imagine that thing is the creative standpoint, you're creating some app there that's going to make someone inspired. That's what music does, inspires us. A book will inspire you, but it doesn't it's not glamorous and sexy, like a mid drift or yoga pants worth. All right, that is the thing.
Guys are sexy, right?
Jon Mendoza 33:18
So when you put an artist up there that sells that, I don't care who they are, because someone like St. Vincent is sexy as hell, but she shreds on the guitar. And if you capture my attention, like Alright, what are you gonna say? I have this to say I want to tell you about voting rights. All right, cool. We'll hear about voting rights. Right? And we'll talk about it right. But maybe it's background noise, maybe it's not, but when it hits you hard, it makes you think about like, Tam, let me hear that again, a lyric. Wow. Like the present is a gift. And I just want to be like, Look calm and said that the present is a gift. And I just want to be I say wow, just be what's it like just to be just to be in the morning as getting up and saying just be in his reading. For me. It's having a cup of coffee outside barefoot, walk around the grass. Maybe you don't read the paper anymore. So it's more of like me, I'm just going to hear the birds chirp. Right? To me. That's health to me starting off the day, that way is going to wake me up. It's going to make me feel alive. It's going to say where am I at? I feel the air. I feel the gentle breeze against my hair. I feel the grass in between my toes. I'm connecting with the ground. And the inertia. I'm feeling the the bugs crawling underneath my skin,
the Earth's heartbeat.
Jon Mendoza 34:32
Yeah. Right. So think about that is that if I sync with your heartbeat you sync with mine? Most likely we hug but if I sync with your energy, I don't need to hug you to understand the energy that you're bringing to the table. I can eat healthier if you bring healthy energy my way. So then if I connect with healthy people, it's not that I'm doing an ice bath with you. Is that you say hey, I learned something today I'm gonna share something with you. What do you want to learn today? Like hell yeah, I want to learn CJ, what can you Teach me today, I'm going to teach you that blah, blah, blah does this like, that's cool. I didn't know that Where'd you learn? I read this book, you should try it. And I'm like, wow. So then our book collection over there is Starbucks, you know, or it's Joe dispenza. It's burnback teece. It's Tony Robbins. Ben Greenfield. I mean, it's almost like, the reason I want to hear I don't read fiction is because I want to hear people's stories. How did you get through life? How do you what do you do for hell? How do you help? What does CJ family do to get better? And we haven't even talked about anything other than reading. I see
some sleep. I do want to get into systems, right? Because I think that that's Business Health.
CJ Finley 35:42
Yeah. And before we get into that, you brought up like, feeling the earth and like feeling alive. And for me, I think that's different for every person. I think that like, thrive on life, like what I created was to make every heartbeat count. Like I want people to feel alive. And that starts like, right when you start your day. And for me, like after I read the thing that makes me feel alive the most. And I think it goes back to like my childhood playing sports all the time is sweating. Like just sweating at some capacity. So I've in the past year, I've really been diving into like what it is to set myself up for the day of success. And it was the non negotiable is the reading and then now it's been unless I'm on vacation or on intentional recovery day. It's read and then meditate and then sweat. And the sweat could be peloton, it could be run a mile it could be worked out, it could be whatever. But if I do those three things, I feel like I can conquer the world and anybody. The thing is, they're all free. Well, for the most part, you got to buy a book, but you can go to the library. I'll give you a book.
Jon Mendoza 36:51
Okay, you come over here. I'll give
you the book books are my favorite gifts anytime like people were like, Hey, you should read this. I was like hell yeah. Like that's, that's awesome. Like you're trying to you're gifting me knowledge. Like that's badass. Yeah. Mine. I have to I usually give out. Well, lately has been the dispenza book supernatural. And then Psycho Cybernetics. Yeah,
CJ Finley 37:18
I don't even know what that means.
Yeah, he's, I'm gonna give you that. Because you wouldn't know it. Oh, you love this. It's
Jon Mendoza 37:24
all analytical. So yeah, but what's your books?
CJ Finley 37:28
So it's depends on the person. But I found myself in my 20s. I'll relate the book that I've given out the most of my 20s because I hang around a lot of people that are soul searching, and the book. Believe it or not, I found this book I was in a, I never shopped but we were killing time in like, kind of like the domain but of Houston. It's called city center. And what was this store called? I forget what the store was called. It's like a clothing store. But it also has like knickknacks, and all and books and whatever. But I got a book called The ship shit. The crossroads between should and must. And I think a lot of people in their 20s they line themselves up over the past decade from like 14 to 24 with things they should do, rather than things they must do. So the things that I should have done where what I was considering I should be doing is I need to get my engineering degree because it pays a lot I should do that. I should go to all these events, because then I should network because it helps me get this job. Rather what I must, what I really should have been doing is I knew I was sick. I should have been focusing realistically I must must was focusing on my health. Yeah, when I got to 25 I switched my should go to the job to get the money to I must focus on my health because the money will never matter if I get sick and die. Yep, like so it helps a lot of and it's a it's a painting book. Like it's literally illustrated, it's I don't even know how to describe it. It's like a book for adults. That's watercolor. It's really interesting. But you can read it in a day, every person I've given given it to has read it in one day. That's awesome. And I think it's like 100 hundred and 50 pages, but it profoundly changed my life. Because everything I look at now, like we're here on a Friday, like to some people would be like, like, this is weird. Yeah. Like, this is what I must do, like
getting an IV getting drinking some water. Do
CJ Finley 39:27
not I don't think like what should I do on Friday night anymore? Like, or what should I do on Monday? It's always what must CJ do and then align everything to that. So that's the book that I've given out in my 20s and we'll see like, my birthdays in two months, we'll see what I do. And yeah, in the 30s now, I think the books that I'm hooked on a lot more now on our, I think a lot more in depth with health, finance, just the lining the things that I think will get me to the to the next level. So, in my 20s, it was a lot of how to do marketing how to do these types of things. But now it's more. So how to how do you build? Not an empire? But like, how do you connect the dots is what I was, yeah.
Give us a little background of your health story, like when you were when you were sick and doing all that and coming back around to what you do now? Yeah,
CJ Finley 40:23
so my whole life, I've had stomach issues, and they told my mom, when I was probably five or six that I had anxiety, I was anxious. And I think back and I'm just like, what little kid is anxious. Like, I just loved life. I was fun. I like, I was curious. I wanted to be everywhere I was running around. And then I got into high school days, and I would get in trouble because I couldn't pay attention. And that caused them to think, like, Oh, I have attention, problems and stuff like that. But when I think back, the reality of it was my gut, like my gut was messed up. I was anxious because my gut was messed up. And they're trying to say that you're anxious. That's why your gut is messed up. It's and we know it's the opposite. So long story short, I have celiac disease, and I was eating, my entire childhood was Pop Tarts for breakfast and toaster, strudels, and cereal, all the shit that like literally was killing me. And I wasn't gaining any weight. I wasn't even 100 pounds going into high school. And it didn't really affect me. Until once I graduated, because I was numbing in college, I would drink a lot, I would smoke a lot. And I kind of hit it because I was the scholar athlete. I'm just super competitive. So I would numb and then I got into my job. And that's when I really realized like, Damn, something's really wrong. Because on a Saturday or Sunday in college, you can just sleep like, no one's no one's checking on you. Yeah. But when you get into the workforce, I would have to go to happy hours have to know to be with my boss and have a drink with them. All the shit all the shit I should do to like, get a higher job, right? And I would have one or two drinks. And the next day, I just felt terrible. And all my friends asked them like, All right today, like, are you okay? And then it started getting to the point where like, I was afraid to travel because I was afraid. I didn't know where the bathroom was gonna be and like not to be graphic. But like, the issue I've had over my life is just like constantly running to the bathroom and only go to the bathroom. And I didn't fully dive into my health until I started dating my now wife and she had severe stomach issues growing up as well. She fixed hers. And then when she met me, she's like you are fed up with you. And it was messing her life up. So really, we would try, we would be like, oh, we're going to a dinner at 8pm. And we would shop at 830 because like I was like I can't leave yet. We can't go I gotta go the bathroom before we go because I was nervous and anxious that my stomach was gonna get upset. And then she got anxious because we're showing up late and she wanted to be on time. So sorry, creating conflict, I was like, Alright, any I need to I need to take a step back and really look at my life. And what really put the nail in the coffin was my grandfather died. And my aunt has Crohn's and schizophrenia and she was at the at the well, we think she's like schizophrenia. We know she has Crohn's. But she has some type of mental disorder. And when we were there, I saw her and I saw myself in her. I was like, Oh my god, like if I don't take care of myself, she's been on humera for like 20 years, she's been all these hardcore drugs for the krones. And I came back from that trip it was November is literally four years ago, almost to the date. And I came back from the funeral. And I asked Aaron I was just like, I didn't ask her. I told her I was I'm done my job, my career, like my I have to go full time health. And that's where I started my own personal training company, and was studying nutrition. I got my nutritionist license, and I joined a startup hub. So my business was I was personal training people just to buy myself enough time to study as much as I could on my own health. And then I got my nutrition, became a nutritionist not to serve other people, but to just understand more about food so I can understand like what I was putting in my body. And that kind of spiraled into everything I do today, which is like, a lot of like, I'll take my own blood work and do all this testing to set my own to reset my baselines because all the doctors, they look at my stuff and they're like, you look healthy. You're shredded your grain. And I'm like, No, there's something wrong like what is wrong and it's funny because you have to clarify on
the difference. Have you have on the front door? Oh, yeah, I took a spectracell test in February micronutrient test. And my autoimmune function is worse than like eight year olds. Everything else is like flying colors. But my glutathione process was really messed up. Now, the interesting thing about this is my whole life, I thought that red meat was causing stomach issues. For me. Now red meat has glutamine in it. And that helps the glutathione process what I found out. And essentially, I was avoiding red meat because I thought it was causing me to be sick. But it was the sauce and the pasta caused me to be so when I ate red meat because I only ate red meat when my mom made it. And we would have either meatballs or ground beef or steak and it was like there was always a carb or sauce involved. And it was the sauce because there was gluten in the sauce that caused issues with my stomach and I would have issues. The minute that I started figuring this out, and I added more red meat in and then I'm also a conscious person. So like sustainability. I don't like I know, vegan, keto, paleo, whatever you are, I try to be conscious of like, where I'm sourcing my foods from, and stuff like that. So I was actively avoiding some different meats that I for me, though, actually make me feel a million times better just because that soul thing. So as soon as I started adding more red meat in and supplementing with glutamine, I feel a million times better. Yeah. And also supplementing with the other things that I was kind of lacking in just from that one micronutrient test. But because I saw death, that's really what started. Yeah, I was like I don't want to die. And I didn't tell this but my my dad's, that's one of my dad's sister that as krones his other sister died at 40 of colon cancer. She got it at 37. I remember I was 10. My other the kid she had were nine and 12. I remember losing their mom, I didn't go to the funeral. And I asked at my grandfather's who asked my dad like, hey, when did Ambrose die because I was 25 at the time. And he was like, she died at 40. And I remember thinking Holy shit, I remember 15 years ago, and it's 15 years from 25 to 40. And if I die at 40, right now, I'll hate me myself. Because I am not doing what I love to do. I'm miserable. That's kind of like what changed. My whole game was, I just don't want to die living the life that I'm living right now. And I kind of just went on this mission. And that's how thrive started of I'm going to create an Instagram and I'm going to showcase me completely pivoting my life. And it's cool, because if you talk to my friends from back home, I'm 180 degrees different than what I used to be and a lot of different ways. And when they come out here and they see like the HQ and whenever they're just like what the hell, man I'm like Baldo and john, or what happened to me like the people I started surrounding myself with our what happened to me, I started, just like you said, with that energy, I started hanging around the types of people that were giving me good energy, rather than let's go get drunk. Let's go eat out. Let's go do these things that were literally killing me faster than they were killing everybody else. Everybody else gets to like 4050. And then they realize, Oh, shit, I need to turn. But someone with my disease like a 25. I was like shitting blood, something's wrong. I need to go hang out with people that don't do. Yeah, they can help. But because you're poor, you can help them and it's
just very cool. I can hang out with you.
Jon Mendoza 48:38
That's true, though. The your story is similar to my story. And it's similar to probably his story and a bunch of other people. And it's cool that you're on this side of it. Right? Because with thrive, there's a limited potential there. But thrive is a representation of you. Right and your potential as CJ and just for the listeners. One of the best examples of CGS systems and the way your mind work is when we were at deliver great story conference last year, and you had your own breakout session. And Bala and I went up I think I was talking to you. And I went over there and you had like 2030 people there and your breakout session they all these little breakout groups and monks, the 30 people, and you came up with a laptop. He started talking to me I was like, Hey, dude, it's been like 10 minutes. Like, don't you need to get back like Nah, I'm not doing anything. Every every it's already running. Like I haven't done anything I just showed up here. I said, but you're running this whole thing all day long. You're like, I'm not I got people to do that. They're doing it. They're doing it themselves. And you go watch this. And then you show me what they were doing. And it was these many systems in organizations that literally were created within five minutes of instructions handed to them to create which was a pitch for a product that has not been invented yet. And you're going to do it with three other people who you just met. And in 20 minutes you were going to pitch this, like you were pitching a shark tank. And all of this organized chaos was going on and you didn't lift a finger, and it was all under your watch.
CJ Finley 50:12
Yeah. And when you say like that, like you make me sound a hell of a lot better. Like that, because I'm in my element I'm like, and that's what got me into trouble in my life, as well as like, I thought that she was normal, I was not taking a step, I had no self awareness to like what my gifts were. And I thought that people just thought the way that I did. And I didn't align myself with the types of people that saw that as a gift. And like most people looked at me, like, I was crazy, like, why he's fit, like, let's just go get a shot. Like, that's that. When I was living on the East Coast, that was the life I'm so I just want to build things and I want to, I want to make things I want to create things and bring them to life. And I'm obsessed with helping other people do that. Because I'm not the builder, I'm the guy that like gives you the hammer to like, go build it.
This is how you build it. But I'm
CJ Finley 51:03
not gonna lift the finger. Like that's just not who I am.
Jon Mendoza 51:07
But it was, but that's exactly the prime example. And this. So you came in here another time, we were talking about the organization of MSW, and you picked it up right away, which I knew you're going to and you're like, Well, here, you've wrote on this window is mirror up here, like this is how it should. And it's funny, because we've written out that diagram, hundreds of times, I've driven that drawn it and you drew it like 10 seconds of just listening to us. And like this is how it should be. And here's how that should come top to bottom. It was incredible. Because when you have a mindset that way, go back to what I was saying earlier, I will tell you tell you 10,000 things in 10 seconds, it's up to you to sort them all out your mindsets the same way. But what's cool about it is if you have the system in place, you're supposed to find the right people to make that system work correctly, it doesn't work unless you were able to pick out the talent. And that's really hard for a lot of people, right because picking out the talent like to see that ball does the able to become the incredible marketer he is we knew it from the beginning. But then on top of it for him to resonate and want to teach fasting and be a fasting expert was only because he basically started learning more about himself. And he realized, well, why outsource I can do it myself. But you're a CEO, right? You're running nutrition, your systems now don't allow you to step into that role.
So eventually timewise It's time.
Jon Mendoza 52:32
So then what you learned was I maximize my time, how can I be a fasting expert and run a SEO business I have to have a system in place
was it's a lot of little systems is what it is, right? So I want to get to this the the idea or the concept of like, the health of a business really is systems. Would you agree with that?
CJ Finley 52:52
And to to go into 100% agree. Because when you think about anything from a granular like, how do I relate this to health, so cells, right? It's on a cellular level, if if your cells are great, your whole body is going to be great. So when you think of a business, a business is just a bunch of cells, like humans are the cells in the business. If you have cancer cells in your body, even just a few, they're going to wreak havoc, it's the same way in a business. Now, systems allow you to figure out where the cancer is, so that you can fix it. If you have just chaos everywhere. You can't tell where those cancer cells are, you can't, you just can't. And what a lot of businesses do is they take on more than they can handle. And they don't know where the cancer is. Because they're just overwhelmed. They're just like all this is a clusterfuck. I don't know what to do. So my job is always like a deliver great story conference. The first thing the reason that they could run it themselves is the first thing that they did was decide who's the CEO, who's the integrator, and who are the helpers. As soon as you allow people and when they don't know each other. You You are you automatically have people that just fall in line. Because if you don't know each if you don't know anybody, and you want to be the CEO, you're gonna hesitate a little bit, but at the end of the day, usually the CEO becomes the CEO. Yeah, he's like, Yeah, I got this. Yeah, I have experienced being run my own company. But then the people that showed up to the workshop that maybe haven't run their own company before. And they don't really have that experience. They're like, I'm the helper. So then you have the CEO and the helper, so everyone just falls in line. And when you have that, and when you have that ability to just have people kind of fall into the seat and agree to be in that seat. One, you're already kind of like reducing your level of having cancer. And what that stems from the most important system in the health of a business is the people system, because at the end of the day, what like I have the iPhone in front of me, right like this iPhone. was made by Apple correct. Apple is then when you go a layer down is teams. Yeah, organizations. And when you go layer down from that it's a little pods of people. And then we go down the pods, it's just individuals. So at the end of the day, the individuals, the better that you have individuals, the better the product is going to have over the course of any type of company. But how do you then dial into what makes a great individual. And this is what kills a lot of companies, because when you're a startup, you need generalists. But when you start growing, you need specialized people, now specialized people, you're going to have assholes, you're going to have like people that just don't get along with people. But if I need an app, and the guy that's sitting in 12 hours a day at a computer doesn't need to talk to anybody. What a lot of people mess up with is they think that he has to be like me, it's like, no, he has to be very good at what you need him to do. Now, if you have a generalist, they have to be really good with people. So they have to be really good with everybody. And what a lot of companies mess up in the beginning, is figuring out, when they don't have core values, they don't have a mission statement, they don't have these things to delineate who they need in their company and who they don't need. And they just take on cancer from the beginning. Now, cancer can also be
like somebody that is really good, but you just don't need them at that point. And you because we're nice, we allow them to stay around. And a lot of companies I interact with, they're just too nice. They won't fire people when I'm like, they're like, but yeah, they're, they're great. They're a great person. I'm like, Yeah, but they're just not right for your company, you're actually hurting them by keeping them here. So the first system that we look at is the people system and making sure that like, whether it's a test that you take a communication test, so you know that you're communicating the person the right way, a skills test, and ethics test, testing people to see how do they think, how do they interact? Well, what are they What do they like when you're not in the room, because if you only have somebody that is a fear based person, and I'm the CEO, and they only work when I'm there, because they're afraid of me, that's not going to work for me, like you got to have people that are passionate are going to work when I don't even look like you're the one bringing me the work and saying, Hey, what do you think about this idea, there's ways to test for that with with, with analytical personality test, stuff like that all online. Nobody does that. The second thing, these are the last two systems that break it down into a pyramid is you have people, you have a database, and you have a project management system. Everybody needs one. So you need to figure out what makes what would make great people for your company, whatever that is, you need to have a database where all these people are storing everything, especially in the startup world, because everyone's storing shit on their laptop. But what if I spill a slender oil drink on their laptop, then they lost everything that they worked on for the past year. So we need a central hub. And the reason that you really need this if you're CEO is because you want to sell your company or day or you want to have the ability to sell your company or to bring people into the company. So you need slps standard operating procedures, and you need these things in a central hub, so that everybody can find it. And the last one is How the hell do we communicate with each other a lot of startups will do it through text, prom with text. You can't search things you can't go in. It's like Google, like, I can't search through text messages, I have to scroll and it just the communication is terrible. But if you use something like I don't really like Slack, but if you use like a slack, or Trello, or Asana or places where communication is huge, so people can see it. So that like I can ping the entire team like, Hey, watch this YouTube video, it's really important to x, then everybody watches it. And I can then if I missed it, because I was on vacation, I can easily see what's that thing that follows me and I can search that. So those are the three key pieces that I would break down to start anything. And I don't want to ramble. But you asked me So
Jon Mendoza 58:52
yeah, I know that that's I can attest to everything you just said right there, because that's what we do. We use a sauna for communication, that we have a ton of slps I've always looked at from a medical standpoint, you have to leave it to where someone else can pick it up and continue on and understand what you're doing. So anyone that comes in core values mission statement, they have to buy into the idea of what you're doing. And it's never fun having to get rid of someone that is not contributing the way it should be. And it's it's tough, but the systems have to be in place because the best. The best CEOs I've always seen stay out of everyone's way.
Stay out. Yeah,
Jon Mendoza 59:33
they don't. They're not authoritative. They're not tyrants. They're not dictators, the ones who are they screw everything up.
CJ Finley 59:41
If the CEO has to do work, he didn't build a good company.
Jon Mendoza 59:43
I agree completely. I did such a good job building a company I got out of the way and I had everyone and it's just a system it's operating on. So that's what I saw from you. When you came over start talking to me because we were talking anything about, you know, the breakout session we were talking about something else completely. That's easy. Don't you got to get back. You're like, Nah, man,
just look at it. It
Jon Mendoza 1:00:03
was beautiful, well orchestrated system. And it's a thing of beauty. When you see assembly line, I'm one of those minds that when I see the assembly line, and everything's going well, I'm like, Yes, that's beautiful. It's like it's perfect. In the assembly line is like six sigma right up. There's the problem. There's the there's the issue, let's get rid of it. And then the assembly line starts again, chills, man.
CJ Finley 1:00:25
My first internship was at a pharmaceutical pharmaceutical manufacturing plant. And my senior project was I had to code and assembly line to stop, we did files and I basically coded the vials to fill one milliliter and two milliliters with this software called Arduino. It's like an open source, open source coding, and I had to solder everything, I had to put it on a board. So it brings up really good memories that you said, what you just said about like the assembly line, because I think going from school again, the best, I think the best entrepreneurs in the world are the people that bring this skill from the outside world where they were into a new like industry or a new thing. And for me, it was in health and wellness space. And in small businesses. I have a, I have the systems that like most small business owners, they didn't learn what I learned. And I thought that people just knew this innately knew it. And I realized this when I was doing Personal Training, because my personal training, I would have like, here's a really simple case, I would build out client one client to client three, client four, client five, like I had client 10. Already, before I got one client, I had all client 10s. A 10 clients set up to be managed. And it had their invoice it had their, their book, it had everything that they needed. As soon as I signed up, as soon as they signed up with me, I change it from client one to nurse doza, Susie got Klein to ball dough, and it was already there. And then they would immediately get hit with that, that the customer would get hit with that and be like, how did you do this so quick? And like I was just like, Oh, no, this is my this is my system is already set up. And I would talk to other personal trainers and be like, this is how you do it. Right? And they're like, no, like, every time. It's just like, I fill out the form. And then
I was like, I'm dreading it every time I get a new client, I'm dreading it.
CJ Finley 1:02:15
No, what I did was I spent an entire Sunday and was like, I don't want to do any of this work. So I'm gonna just do the work one time, and then figure out how to replicate it over and over again and pay someone to replicate that. And a good case study I have today is like podcasts, right? Like, I have my own podcast. I test internally before ever do anything externally. And internally. We got rid, we didn't get rid of my first podcast manager moved on to a new career path. And we had to re hire somebody. So Carla's son Jake came in, and we have to do slps. And I've known I know to get out of my own way. Now I hired somebody to even write my ESOP. So I hired someone to come in as like a mole. Check out what we're doing someone that's really good at writing documentation. Peter, like 800 bucks. She wrote the documentation. I have not talked to Jake, what he's been doing it for three months. Now. I've not talked to him one time, but our emails are going out or headliners going on everything's going out. I haven't touched it. Because I literally what you said, you said get out of the way. That is the number one problem I've noticed in startups over the course of my entrepreneurial path is don't hire somebody, that person will work out and be like, that person sucked, blah, blah. And I was like, No, you suck. Like, you're the problem. If if the person that came in, didn't work out, you hired the wrong person, you had control in that moment, which means you didn't build a good enough system to vet them. Yep. And that is the number one thing that a lot of people mess up and don't think about is me. I'm the opposite. When you build a bridge, like as an engineer, and when I went to school, like you don't immediately start building and that's what most people do. If you build a bridge, I have to like check under 50 yards on the ground. Make sure there's no oil mix. There's no piping me. There's so much that goes in before I even break ground. Yeah, and then but once we break ground, man, we're gonna have that bridge done in like, yeah, on time, right. So that's where, when I'm working with the small businesses, the most difficult thing that I work that I really do work on with them is that people aspect to get them to understand they, especially when it comes to the firing and like putting systems in place that are like checks and balances, they immediately want to be authoritative and be like, well, we're gonna dock this, like you did this wrong. And you did that wrong. And it's like, no, if you build a good system, like the people just weed themselves out, like, what's, what's a really good example. So you hire somebody, and they're coming in to give IVs right? And if, if you come in and before that they get here and you have videos of how to do an IV. The number one thing that you need to do is think okay, what is the worst case The worst things that could happen, and what are the things not to do? Most people do the videos like this is how you do a proper IV, actually, the system works better if you say, don't do any of these things, because human nature remembers the things not to do. And then they're just going to fall in line with what actually to do. Rather than spending the time of like, do this, and whenever that person is gonna zone out, and be like it, but if you make a video, these are the worst things you could possibly do, they're actually going to watch that training video. And then they're not going to do those things. Because they just see it, they're like, yeah, I'm not gonna do that, like, and you just online and you do that across the board for you.
But it also gives you permission to like, so then I could do pretty much everything else as long as I don't do it is
CJ Finley 1:05:44
exactly, and it gives them free, free to operate and stuff like that.
But creativity is over,
CJ Finley 1:05:50
over, like overdo it with their rules and their regulations. Rather than being like, as long as the building's not burning down. Like you're cool, bro. Like, just don't do anything, like really stupid. And here's the video with like, just don't do any of these things. And you're cool. And that's where walking on eggshells is the number one thing that every person hates. And so many companies put that in, into their processes and into their system. Because they they don't ever, like actually take a step back and think like, I'm the CEO, why did I become a CEO? Why hated authority? So all the people I want around me either, I'm gonna hire people that love authority, which is rare. Yeah. Or I'm gonna the sharpest people of all the sharpest people around me, they don't like authority, either. They just want to know that they're safe, and they want to know what not to do.
Jon Mendoza 1:06:37
what's funny, because I've been I've been talking a lot lately about like, what's been helping me make the most progress is not my to do list, but it's my not to do list. And that's helped me so much more like incredibly in the past month, month and a half. And it's just, I don't know, it was I re read the four hour workweek. And I was like, Yes, I need to do that again. And I was just like, that's right. Like, and then yes, it was just like, it's instant, right? Because then it's just as long as like, Look, I can do whatever I want, as long as I don't do these things. Because I know those are the four things that always slow me down. And then I don't end up doing the things that I really want to do. But if I just avoid those things falling into place, percent,
CJ Finley 1:07:15
right. And someone asked me today, what, what are like my life hacks? And then I told them, I rephrase it. And I was like, the easiest way to find life hacks is what aren't your life hacks? drink less, sleep more like, don't get a little bit of sleep? Like, just figure out what aren't the life hacks and then everything else is falls in line. So it's just like, what what stresses most people out? Again, when we, when we were talking ideas before the podcast, I was like, when you have more than one or two way methods to do things. It's overwhelming. But the way to get to the one or two, so that makes the decision easier is like what do I not want? In any case scenario, and a lot of like, what I teach just comes from that personal thought of like what not to do. And then when you integrate that into a business, it's like, what do you not want your employees to do? Don't teach them what to do, just teach them what not to do. And then they're going to be creative and in their own lane, and everything else is just going to work itself out. But you need to have documentation and slps of like, what not to do like what is a failure. And when we see, like, we're all like, if you hire good people, none of us want to fail. So if you show me crystal clear what failure looks like, I'm not going to do that. And I'm just going to stay in that line. But most people spend, most companies spend hours and hours and hours building these training platforms that shows people exactly what to do to a tee, which nobody wants, then they never get to throw their own creativity or their own flavor their own thing. So you have to be very careful. The kind of hell you integrate those people in and the easiest way, again, is just like, what do you not want from people? And that's the easiest way, because if they start doing the not the ones, it's like, a hire fast fire fast kind of guy. Yeah, I will vet you, the system, that's you. And if you get through those cracks, and then you do one of those not to do things, it's like are you got this one chance to mess up. And again, you're done. Like, that's it, because the system just weeds them out. And it takes kind of the emotion out of things. And that's what causes a lot of pain in a lot of different companies is people just over, over rationalizing over being over emotional when it comes to everything in there.
What's crazy is they're bringing them back around to gut health, right? It's like you want to figure out what are the things that don't work for you and eliminate them from your diet. And it's sometimes that easy? Well, it's really hard.
Jon Mendoza 1:09:27
It's hard to be constructive with yourself. Because if you're if you're being constructive with yourself or the business, you're having to critique it. And not everyone wants to be told you're doing it wrong. But what you want is I want to speak to someone who is telling me I'm doing it wrong. Because if I am then they're telling me that guy, let's do it this way. And that's part of the system in place as well. And so, CJ has always been very upfront, you've always been honest. I think that that's what you want out of people you want honesty, you want the courage to speak up and say do it this way. Instead, they can probably fix the problem. Because if you're doing the same thing over again, it's not working like try this way, man just. And that's all it is, is sharing the knowledge to basically try a different approach. When it comes to health is the same thing with you, you're just doing it from your life, say, this is what worked for me. You love health, so much you incorporate into your business, your your business isn't really health. But it really is, because it's part of what it means in order to function better. Right? By default, you became involved in health because you're like, if I'm not healthy, I'm not functioning, my systems are off. Right? And so that's where the overlap comes into play. But I, but at
the same way, if you're stressing about all these things, stress is probably the second worst thing that can happen to somebody after like sugar. Like, I would think those are the two things that are the biggest problems in the health in the US is sugar and stress. Yeah. Which pretty much are correlated anyways, right? Because of cortisol rising and insulin and all that shit.
CJ Finley 1:10:58
But it's how you respond, I would I would add something to to the stress. It's working too hard. And what solves working too hard systems. So that's how I literally got into health. I was like, my systems of health were just off like I'm doing way too much. I wasn't, I wasn't just saying, you know what, I'm going to cut out alcohol. And I'm going to make this simple. I'm just going to eat this one food, these one or a couple foods, and just keep it super simple. And see what happens. Yeah, I was trying one thing one week. And then the next thing next, because I was following the system, the educational system, the job system, and then that more is more as really just less is more. And when I fine tuned back to like, why I went to school in the first place. It was a systems like you build systems so that we can do less work. Like literally at the end of the day. And that's why I got obsessed with it was like, I became a systems engineer, because I don't like working like I like hanging out and doing the fun things that I like to do. And that's what startups fail to see is like, why did you build a company like I the number one question I ask people is like, why did you leave your company? Did you build the company to do the work of all 10 employees that you have? Or did you build a company with a mission so that you could hire people to do what they love? And everybody can have more fun with their life? They always say number two, and I'm like, then why are you doing number one? Yep. And they're like, that's a great question. Like, but they're doing number one, because we grew up in a system where if they're doing it, we think that like, if they're doing it 80%, I should just go do it at my 100%. And you get pissed off at the employee. But the This is also where math comes off, even if 10 of your employees are doing it. 80% If you try to do the work of all those people, now you're operating at 10%. But they think the ego allows you to think like my hundred percent overhead 80% and then my 100% over is 80%.
But like, we only have 100% Yeah, one.
Jon Mendoza 1:12:48
CJ Finley 1:12:50
80% is good enough. Like that's the thing, but we're always taught to strive for more and more is more, rather than, like, no less is more. And the goal was to get him from 80 to 100. The goal is to get him from 80 to 80.1 80 to 80.1, across the board, and then over a 10 year span with your business that was 80 to 80.1 start getting to like 90, over and that's like, if you add point one across the board, that is going to be exponentially greater than if you try to go do 10 of their jobs. Yeah, nobody understands. It's just it was like, that's where I sit in my world. And that's the health where the health aspect comes in, is just like, a lot of it is like, okay, you're trying to do the 10 jobs or 10 jobs like do you feel healthy? Like mentally physically? Are you with your family? Are you doing it? So it's the sell them what they want, give them what they need aspect, a lot of my clients, the first thing we run through is like, sell them what they want, they need. And this is it has nothing to do with systems actually. It's everybody wants marketing out every everybody wants social media help and all these things. So when I talk to people about social media and all these different things, like they're like, Oh, I need that, like I need this. Then once I get them sitting down, I'm asking them all these questions. I'm like, well, even if you did the marketing, you're gonna get 10 more if I gave you 10 clients today, could you handle them? And they're like, No, I don't have enough time. I'm like, Okay, let's solve that equation for you. Because you're gonna get a ton of clients, right? And then basically, I'm teaching them like to have a healthy business. At the end of the day and a healthy business isn't throwing food all the way into its mouth and then being indigestion. A healthy business is taking one bite intentionally at a time, over the course of every single day, a year 10 years. And that's the easiest way that kind of deduce down to all the companies that I work with. So it's interesting that you kind of mentioned you you figured that out without me even saying that. Yeah,
Jon Mendoza 1:14:38
yeah, I love it. I fucking love it. Yeah, that's cool. Well, that that's a good place to wrap up, CJ man, where would everyone find you?
CJ Finley 1:14:47
Everyone can find me. The most active place I am is my personal ID which is at CJ dot Finley. Shoot me a DM there. I will probably respond with a video message. So be ready for that. And then or go to cJ finley.com because that shows where everything, everything that I'm up to thrive on life, the fitness stuff I do all the podcasts. I'm grateful to be on and chat with amazing people like yourself. So yes at CJ dot Finley or cJ findlay.com is easiest way.
Jon Mendoza 1:15:16
That's badass man. Thank you so much. Thank
you guys so much for listening
"Walking on eggshells is the number one thing that every person hates. And so many companies put that into their processes and into their system. Because they they don't ever actually take a step back and think like, I'm the CEO, why did I become a CEO? Well I hated authority. So all the people I want around me either, I'm gonna hire people that love authority, which is rare. Yeah. Or I'm gonna the sharpest people of all the sharpest people around me, they don't like authority, either. They just want to know that they're safe, and they want to know what not to do."
You can find the How do you Health? Podcast on Twitter @HDYHPodcast, and use #HDYHPod to submit speaker ideas, health questions, or topics you want discussed!
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You can follow CJ on Instagram @cj.finley, or visit www.thriveonlife.com
Flabs to Fitness, Inc.
Hosts - Jonathan Mendoza, MSW Lounge; Baldomero Garza, MSW Nutrition
Guest - CJ Finley
Podcast production - Andy Havranek [@ajhavranekphoto]
Guest coordinator - Baldo Garza
Intro song - Benjamin Banger