ANTHONY TRUCKS: “Maintenance isn’t the thing that gets you to be a champion. It's the thing that lets you hold your spot. But you don't push the line. And so when you're playing not to lose, you're playing reserved. You're playing safe. And when you play reserved, you play safe. And anybody else comes against you and plays even one inch out of that, one inch riskier, their return can be higher. And so when you're playing not to lose, you're limiting your full abilities to express, because what if it goes wrong? Whereas if you go, ‘Look, I'm playing to win, which means when you do something, I'm going to purposely tune myself to go farther, not play safe.’ So you play at this little, I call it one inch out of control, which is not crazy out of control, but it's that one inch of fear that scares you, one inch of difficulty that you haven’t faced before, and so that little one inch is the thing that over time creates feet and then yards and miles of distance between the competition.”
INTRO: I’m Amy Porterfield, ex-corporate girl turned CEO of a multi-seven-figure business. But it wasn't all that long ago that I lacked the confidence, the budget, and the time to focus on growing my small-but-mighty business. Fast forward past many failed attempts and lessons learned, and you'll see the business I have today, one that changes lives and gives me more freedom than I ever thought possible, one that used to only exist as a daydream. I created the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast to give you simple, actionable, step-by-step strategies to help you do the same. If you're an ambitious entrepreneur, or one in the making, who's looking to create a business that makes an impact and a life you love, you're in the right place, friend. Let's get started.
AMY PORTERFIELD: I want to tell you about a podcast that I recently discovered, and it's part of the HubSpot network, and I am loving it. It's called The Shine Online, hosted by Natasha Samuel. And she interviews the brightest entrepreneurs she knows to bring you no-fluff advice—you know how I feel about that—honest discussions about the mental-health and lifestyle aspect of entrepreneurship; and actionable strategies and success stories of those who've mastered the art of shining online. And it's a really conversational podcast, which I love. I personally loved her recent episode. It's titled “New Year, New Strategy: My 2023 Content Predictions,” and she dives into her expert content predictions for the upcoming year. It is good. So you can listen to The Shine Online wherever you get your podcasts.
Hey, there, friend. Remember last year in November when I did my first-ever week of gratitude and giving? Ugh, it feels weird to say last year. It feels like it was yesterday. Anyway, I kicked off that week with a short episode from a very special and impressive guest, and let's just say that episode was fire. It was so good. And you all told me that you loved it and you wanted more of my guest, Anthony Trucks. And listen, I'm here to deliver. So I've decided to bring him back on for a full episode. And let me tell you, you are in for a treat.
Now, Anthony is a man who thinks and works in frameworks—can you tell why we're friends?—and in this episode, he breaks down how to align your success with seeking true fulfillment. So not just success on its own, but success with seeking true fulfillment, and not just grinding day in and day out to achieve something, but to feel really good about what you created.
Now, he's going to break down these different identities that he's identified as a coach and then how to move through the identities to get to a place that you are growing and scaling and thriving. You might be surprised of a story I tell where when he shakes out all the identities, some are more desirable than others. I did not choose the identity where it was most desirable. I wasn't there. I was actually a few steps back, stuck in the middle of an identity that I definitely had to shake in 2021 and 2022. So I'm going to talk about that in this episode because I want you to see kind of where my head is at with all of these frameworks so that you can apply it to your business as well. So, if you like frameworks, if you like kind of like personality tests to kind of figure out where you are now and where you want to get to and what you need to get to, the big success and the dreams that you set for yourself, you will absolutely love this episode.
So I'll let Anthony tell you a little bit about himself. But I will tell you he's a former NFL athlete—Hobie thinks that's very cool—he's an American Ninja Warrior—okay, that's cool, right?—international speaker; host of the Aww Shift podcast—I said shift—and author of the Identity Shift book, and he's also the founder of Identity Shift coaching. He uses cutting-edge research and science and psychology to upgrade how you operate so you can elevate your life and your business to reach your full potential. I'm telling you, you're going to love this episode. I ask a lot of questions because I was genuinely wanting to know for myself, so I think you are going to get a lot of help through this episode. If you get stuck, don’t worry. I probably ask the question you’re thinking.
So, here we go. Let's do this.
Well, hello, there, Anthony. Thank you so much for being here with me today.
ANTHONY: Thanks for having me. Excited to be here. I get to start the day off right.
AMY: Oh, amen to that. And, you know, you were part of my week of gratitude and giving, and it was very apparent for my audience that they wanted more of you. And so to have a whole episode where we get to dive into some really important topics just makes my day.
So what do you say we dive in and get going?
ANTHONY: Let's do it.
AMY: Okay. So I introduced you in the intro and told people a little bit about you, but I think it's always fun if people hear from you as well. So if you got just a few minutes to say, “Tell us about you,” what would you share with my audience?
ANTHONY: Oh, man, tell us about me. I'm a guy that thoroughly enjoys showing up in the world with the intent of helping other people from the crap that I've experienced.
AMY: That’s good.
ANTHONY: So I think the majority of people doing what we do, right? But I found for me that I'm a husband, I’m a father, I’m a man of God, I'm a coach, I'm a speaker, and I like living life in a way that is outside the bounds of normalcy.
I started my life in a funky way, so we don’t have to go deep into it all. But I did grow up in a really kind of awkward, we’ll call it abnormal, difficult childhood that forced me in a direction to make a choice of “Do I want go in the path of what statistics will say, that I'll be in prison, or I'll be homeless, or I’ll be a criminal? Or do I want the path of making that be a great reason as to why I've done well?” And so I chose that direction.
And through the ups and downs of life, I got to the point where I now teach people how to do what I call the dark work to make shift happen. So it's all about diving internal, do the things that aren't celebrated, they're not sexy, to at some point create a moment in life where you look at your life and go, “Holy crap, I made this,” in awe and excitement and appreciation.
AMY: Well, you're absolutely doing that. And if you lost everything and had to start over, you could be a voice actor.
ANTHONY: Thank you.
AMY: So I'm pretty sure everyone would agree with me right now. We could listen to you just because of your beautiful voice. So it makes the podcast even more special.
Okay. Anthony, one thing you really help others do is figure out how to seek true fulfillment as the indicator of your success, and then align that finding with all areas of your life so that you can keep moving toward your goals. And I know you have some frameworks, which I live and die by frameworks in my business, so you've got some frameworks to break this down, and then the solutions for your findings. So I'm excited to dive in. Can you kind of get us started on this road?
ANTHONY: Yeah, yeah. So I mean, for me, like you said, there's this directional path. I think the world we live in nowadays, there's a lot that we're able to see that previously we couldn't see. When I was a kid growing up, I couldn't see a kid on Instagram who got a brand-new toy and delivered in some amazing country and taken trips. And so I knew it was in front of me. And so because of that, my scale of what was acceptable, great, was consistent with what was around me. I didn't have this FOMO all the time. Whereas nowadays, I think there's such a prevalence of “Here's this cool life I get to see, but don't get to live,” and I create that FOMO. And then now any time I accomplish something, I'm presently aware of how much I didn't accomplish.
And so I'm real big on setting a direction based on my own personal scale. Like, you set your own scale. Like, I'm right now, my scale is I'm in season of dad, which means I got a son in college; I got twins that are thirteen. And in this season of life, I'm going to be home way more than be gone. I don't care about being on the road and being a road warrior; everybody sees me. I want to be seen at home. I want to wake the kids up. I want to pick them up from school. I want to train them. I want all these different things to be present. At some point, that will end. But that's my scale. And if I compared that to the world, the world would go, “Oh, but you could work from 3:00 p.m. till 9:00 p.m.. Just find a way to do it around the clock.” Like, that’s what the world would say, so I'd feel less than even if I accomplished it. And so once I know what that is, I'm really good at setting a path direct towards that, regardless of what the rest of the world thinks.
AMY: Okay. I love that because you're right. Comparing yourself to everybody else is such—one of the scariest things that you can do.
ANTHONY: Really is.
AMY: And if that's it, when we talk frameworks, what does that look like?
ANTHONY: Well, first it looks like, where am I at now? because I think there's one part of setting your scale. And if I give it a structural framework, I look at it in three ways: health, wealth, relationships. And I tell people you can frame it up in a way of creating a what's called a vivid vision for it. Now, there's vision boards you can create and all those kinds of cool things, and I'm totally for that. But in each of the areas of health, wealth, relationship—if you choose to add spiritual, you can. I just have three ways I focus on creating a vision that's palpable, because if you can taste it and touch it, you'll almost subconsciously work towards it. It's this weird part of us where we'll just have a picture of a vision put on the board, and all of a sudden, three, four, five years later, this has come to pass. Well, it wasn't an accidental. Part of your brain was still working towards it. And so I want to create that.
So I look at it as when I set a goal for this specific area, say personal, right?, health, whatever you want to call it, I go, “What is that? What could I describe it to somebody else as? What could I say it flat, straight point?” Like, I want to lose seventeen pounds, right? Let's say I want to lose seventeen pounds. Great. That's what it is. Then I go, okay, great. What does it look like? It's not, what is the goal? What does it visibly look like? If I was to close my eyes and have you describe it to me, what would it visually look like? It looks like me fitting in those jeans that I fit into when I was, you know, twenty years old. Or it looks like me hiking this mountain and, you know, getting to the top and having the energy to do it again, right? That’s what it looks like.
The third part is what does it feel like? So when I feel I want to go to that depth and go, it feels like me having this immense sense of overwhelming pride and confidence for myself and my abilities to take on the world. So each of these areas, you create that as a specific, we'll call it scale for myself. That way, if someone from the outside world comes to poke that, you can go, “Hey, great. I realize that in your world this might not be good enough. Hey, but for me, this is amazing.”
ANTHONY: And so that's the third part.
AMY: Okay. Like, you can't lose when you know this is what is for me. And so all those outside factors, they don't even have to penetrate you. You're just like, “I know where I'm going.” I always say, “Stay in your lane; run your own race.” That really feels like it.
Okay. So that's the first thing.
ANTHONY: Yeah. Now, if we go the very beginning of it, I go, let me go start out somewhere. Now I have a method I use called the shift method, and there's a way that I look at it that a lot of individuals want to start working now. “I want to get to work and put my planner in place and color code and organize.” And I go, “Well, have you even taken a look at if this is the right work to do in the first place?” And that’s the hard one because you have to sometimes accept the fact that you've been doing it wrong the whole time. Maybe you didn't see that thing you're supposed to. Maybe, you know, Susie, who was giving you some feedback you didn't like, was right at some point. Maybe Bob was giving you some genuine hard criticism, but it could have helped you, but you didn't want to listen to it.
So if you go back to the beginning, it's really taking a look at where you stand now and what's stopping you, because it also, when you find that out, it opens up opportunities so you can go, “Oh, well, then, maybe that's possible for me.” And so it opens up a hope space.
So what I do is I go back, and I have this kind of concept that I look at is the sense of who you are. My work really is an identity. This end destination should be, who are you? If I take it back to the beginning, if I’m going to figure out who I want to be in the future, I have to know who I am now. And so I have this kind of quiz that I put together, but it's really just a structuring of different identity types you can fit into, where you can go, “Oh, that's more likely who I am. Therefore, if I take this step, I can move past this,” because you don't want to be doing somebody else's work, because you won't get where you need to go.
So there's four separate structures of these identities, and it's called a doer, a dabbler, a defender, and a dreamer. And the way that it's set up is it’s essentially looking everybody has pursuance of goals in life, and you're going to run into opportunities and opposition. And how you approach each of these determines what kind of current identity you have.
Now, a person who approaches opportunity and gets fearful of it, “I'm scared of it. What if it all goes wrong? Oh, I don't want to take that on what we took away,” then a person also doesn't look at opposition with this “I can go after it” mentality, well, they’ll have a dream, but it'll always be a dream. Just dreamers. “I could do this and build this, create this,” but when an opportunity comes to pass, they pass on it. And when opposition comes to pass, they just kind of retract back. So they're always going to be dreaming. That’s the person that is—my heart goes out to them because it's like they're usually just unaware of that reason that started inside of them of what they can do to attack opposition or to seek an opportunity, realize the opportunity could be a great one. And yes, some of them can go wrong, but it could go right, you know? That mentality is that's a dreamer.
Now, the next one, someone who goes, “Look, I do phenomenal with going up for opportunity. But when opposition hits, I get small. I feel scared. I run away quick.” These are what's called shiny-object people, dabblers. So new opportunity comes, “I'm on it.” They run full speed ahead, do their whole thing. The moment they get that first situation that’s difficult, they go, “Oh, man. This is hard,” and they make really phenomenal excuses to tuck away, to stop taking the course, to stop reading that thing, to stop taking the action, because all of a sudden “Someone didn't respond to my post,” or “I didn't get the feedback that I like,” or “I haven't signed anybody up for my program.” And what they do is go, “Well, maybe it's going to be a different way of doing it. Let me try something else,” because they're trying the new thing to avoid the pain of opposition. This is what I call a dabbler.
The next person is someone that has had some success. They see opportunity, they go after it, right? They have this thing. But the biggest thing is at some point in time they stopped chasing opportunity, and they got really good at tackling oppositions. This is a person that's already been successful, the undefeated boxer who’d done some great things. And what happens is they get to the point of being really good at hailing opposition, especially when it threatens their success. But the fear of taking a new success on and possibly falling short or failing in the public eye, it makes them scared. Like, it freaks them out. So what they do is they defend, they hold their position, they don't take the next fight, they don't do the next launch, they don't do the next thing, because “What if I do that, and I look bad?” So they fight to hold their spot. And so what happens is over time, they start to pull away farther and farther from the next level of their success because they stay stagnant here, and the world around them changes.
Now, those three are the ones that are what I call a slow identity because they're slower-go identity. So slow identity is one that slows down when times get hard, and they don't push forward. The go identities go after stuff.
AMY: Real quick.
ANTHONY: The go identity’s unique. Yeah, yeah, go ahead.
AMY: I have a question. Dreamer, dabbler, and what was that third one called?
ANTHONY: Defender. I defend my position. Dreamer, dabbler, defender.
AMY: Got it. Okay. And those are the slow—you called those the slow identities.
ANTHONY: Slow identities, yeah, because it's the structure of how I frame it is, like, whenever we see life and moments come to pass, some people slow down, some people speed up, and some people that speed up, the people that are slow look at them, go, “You’re a crazy person. What are you doing?” And they go, “Oh, wow, they're successful.” It’s not by accident. It's because they're what's called a go identity, which I call a doer.
A doer is a person that approaches opportunity and goes, “I like it. I'm going to go after it.” Now, yes, they know there's an inevitability that there's going to be a problem, something’s going to go wrong, but they bring themselves to that problem. There's this, “Yeah, when something goes wrong, I can handle the opposition. I've done it before. Let me chase this. If it's speaking to my heart, I'm going after it because I know I got something in me to be able to handle the opposition.”
They also know, uniquely, that whenever they face an opposition, it creates an opportunity, because so many other people are facing the same opposition. There's the same world you're living in, right? But if you can overcome that opposition, man, that is an opportunity for you beyond what everybody else is battling for, and you create this new flow. So it's, like, this amazing cycle of “I go after opportunity because I can handle opposition. And when I handle opposition, I get more opportunity.” And it goes and goes.
Now, there's multiple levels to the go identity, I found. I'm not going to go through all of them crazy because it can go a little in-depth, but essentially it's this: there are people who will invest in their energy, their time, their finances to get to the next level. And there's some they want to be self-made. And the self-made people who are goers, they'll go after it, but it'll take them years. The individuals who actually are the I call them the pilots who are flying over everything in life and going from point A to point B faster, those are the people that go, “I'm going to keep investing to shortcut my time to learn the problems, learn the faults. I’m going to let somebody else do the craziness and learn from them so I can bypass that, get there faster.” And so the separation between a go identity, that's what I call a walker or a pilot, is where do they invest their time, energy, money; and where do they actually take those next steps when most people don’t?
AMY: Okay. This is a beautiful framework, to say the least. And so my big question, and I know my listeners are thinking this, to my listeners, if you're being really honest, I think as entrepreneurs and go-getters, we want to say, “Oh no. I'm in that go identity. I'm definitely that person, the doer.” But some of us I think need to be really honest and say, “Are you really… Like, look at your life. Look at 2022—we’re now in 2023—were you an example of that? Or maybe were you a dreamer, a dabbler, or….” I keep forgetting that one.
ANTHONY: Dreamer, dabbler, or a defender.
AMY: Defender, yes. “Are you maybe in one of those?” And the great question here is, how do you move into the doer? Like, what needs to happen to help more people? Because we all want to be the doer, right? So what needs to happen there?
ANTHONY: Yeah. So there's a couple of things I do. Part of our framework is a C stage, right? And the C is what we're doing now. But we—this is great. I think Tom Murphy, I think it was Tom Murphy who said this statement. He says, “It's hard to see the label when you're inside of the jar.” And it's a simple concept that holds a lot of weight, especially in this instance, because there's a lot of people in our lives that see us inside our jar, and they can read our labels. Now, we typically can’t. We’re just in the jar, hanging out, doing our thing, and wondering, why can’t I make more money? Why don't I grow this? Why don't people want to hire me for a stage? Or why can I not find my relationship fix?
The reality is there’s some part of your label that you're not noticing. Maybe you’re a poor communicator. Maybe you don't show up. Maybe you’re unreliable, whatever it might be. But you just keep doing your thing. And then when somebody comes along and says, “Hey, just want to let you know your label says that you're a poor communicator.” “Aw, leave me alone. You don't support me,” and they cut them off. And I'm real big on going, “All right. Well, there's people that are sometimes mean, right? They'll just say mean things. But they're not my person, right?” But there's usually people we respect that they're apprehensive to tell us what we need to hear, but they'll tell us we want to hear.
And that differentiation is problematic for us because where we may be able to figure out where we stand—are we really a defender? Are we really a dreamer? Are we really a dabbler? Which one are you really?—they'll give us that insight, but we don’t want to hear it. So because they know we don't want to hear it, they're not going to tell us, because they don’t want to create a fight. They don’t want to argue with us. They don’t want to be in some altercation. They just avoid it.
So what I say is to go back to people in your life who will tell you what you need to hear, not just what you want to hear, that you respect their position and their insights, and then eat the frog. Let them tell you the truth. And then what happens is now you have this awareness of what your label says, and you can go, “Okay, great. That's my area to work on.” So maybe somebody goes, “You know what? I'm telling you. Sally, every single year, you say this new thing, and then you never do it,” you never handled the first problem. And then when I give you an opportunity for you to tackle it, and then you can go, “Oh, well, if this person said this, maybe I'm a dreamer. Maybe I do need to actually, like, open up my eyes a little bit.”
Or if somebody goes, “Hey. Hey, Ken. Man, I know you've been doing this. You’ve been pretty good at this. You've had some success. I really think this is possible for you, but you just, you keep staying there. It seems like you're comfortable with your spot. Like, do you not want to go?” “No, I do.” “But then, why don't you go to the next level? Why don't you take these things on?” And you can go, “Maybe I'm a defender if I don't want to try something that makes me look bad.” Right?
So once you have these ideas, it's a matter of going into each one. It's very simple, to be quite honest, in terms of the actions, to know what they are. Doing them is different. To know what they are is simple. If you are a dreamer, the idea is to go, “How can I look at the next opportunity and take it even if it scares me?” Whatever it is, even if it scares, because there's going to be some part that we have fear from, and people will go, “I'm not afraid.” And I go, “Well, if you know there's something you supposed to do, but you haven't done it yet, inevitably, you have some fear around it or it would have already been done.” It’s pretty straight forward, right?
So on the other side of the coin, you go, “Well, opposition. Okay, great.” Well, most of us crumble under opposition when it's something we haven't seen before. And what I do is, in the moments of opposition, don't live in a silo. Reach out to people who have done this before, who’ve gone down that path. Or at least look at yourself and go, “Is there somewhere in my past I've actually navigated a hard point and got past it?” and extract some of the tools you've already got. Or somebody else might have and apply them to the opposition to see, what if I solve this? What if I get past this, then what is opportunistic on the beyond point of this? So the dreamers, what you choose to do is you find a way to tackle opposition when it comes at you, using friends typically, and then pursue the next opportunity.
Now, if you're a dabbler, you're a person that chases the shiny objects, the biggest thing I can tell you to do is commit to something for double the time you typically have done in the past. So we usually have these habits. If we're a dabbler, if I go into something shiny, I try it for the first week, two weeks, three weeks. By that fourth week, at some point I'm asked to do something that doesn't feel like my current identity. It feels scary. So I go, “I don't want to do it.” I make the good excuses to remove myself, to go on to something new.
In those moments, I say, commit yourself to three more weeks, because now what happens is you are forced to face the opposition and not open your mind for the next opportunity, because usually what happens is at that moment you don't realize it, but you're going, “This is hard. I don’t want to do it.” And your brain kind of floats to the next—looking for a new opportunity, and then I latch onto that, and I forget about this. So I go, “Don't do that. Just face this. Stay dialed in, and whatever opposition comes, commit to it for a few weeks.” You'll find that you start to get this sense of confidence and pride because you overcome oppositions you usually would bypass and avoid. So it's a good way to get a move to a doer.
Now, if you’re a defender, it's pretty straight forward, but it's a little bit different. The defender is the person that goes, “I've had some success, man. I don't want to be a person that—look at me; the world sees me. What if I try this and I fail? I'm a seven-figure entrepreneur. What if I launch this and nobody signs up or nobody buys? I don't want to do that.” Well, then, what happens is you stagnate yourself. People catch up, they bypass your clients, they find somebody else who's still moving down. So what you do is when the opportunity arises, you do not identify with the outcome of the opportunity. You identify with the efforts to pursue it. And the reason I say this is that if you identify as “I'm successful. This is who I am,” well, then, yeah, the moment you try that and you aren't at that level, you beat yourself up. But if you realize that you have some hidden, amazing intangibles that allow you to apply this to anything and you apply it there, you can go, “Hey, I tried this. It wasn't great. But, man, I tried it, and I used my skills to try it.”
It's kind of like metaphorically I find some people. They’re amazing farmers, right? because a farmer. I went to this amazing area where I could, you know, plant the seeds and harvest, and I grew all these brand-new trees, apple trees, amazing apple trees. And then at some point I go, “It's an opportunity to go over here and grow”—I don't know—”grapes.” Now I go, “I don't know how to grow grapes. I’m going to stay with my apple trees.” Or you go, “You know what? I know the basics of how to be able to till the soil to plant a seed, to get all the different irrigation done. So I'm going to go over here to the grape area, and I'm going to put some of the same things down. But I realize I'm going to learn as I go. And it's not going to be as fast to start a whole new apple orchard, because I know how to do it, but I know that I can figure it out because I've done it before.” If this is your mentality, it's massively different than going and throwing grape seeds in the ground and going, “Where are my grapes? Where are my grapes? What's going on?” Like, well, because you have to apply the same skills, but you don't have to relearn them. You have to just kind of apply them over time.
AMY: Okay. So when you first started talking about all these identities, I was quick. The ego in me was like, “Oh, I'm totally, I've got that go identity.” And I could argue that a lot. However, as you break this down, in 2021, we went backwards in revenue, and it had been a long time since I had gone backwards in revenue. And what I found is I was a defender. I was doing all the things that I've always known to work, and I was like, “I don't want to look weak. I don't want to do a launch and not do well, so I'm just going to stick with what I'm doing.” Well, COVID kind of changed everything, and even on online marketing. And what I didn't know in 2021 is I need to try some new things, and I didn’t. So my revenue reflected it, but so did my psyche. Like, I felt defeated that year, but I was still like, “I'm going to stick with what I know.”
Coming into 2022, you mentioned that trust people that will kind of tell you the stuff you don't want to hear and swallow the frog. I had a good friend that said, “I think you're stuck in old strategies that you've used forever, but you haven't tried anything new in a long time.” And when she said that, it stung. She said it in front of my whole team. She was visiting. And I wanted to be like, “Please shut up.”
ANTHONY: Yeah. Right?
AMY: Like, “You're rude. I don't want to hear that.”
ANTHONY: [unclear 26:47]
AMY: Yeah. I was very defensive internally, but I know not to do that externally and take that pause. And so I took the pause, and I thought, “She’s so right. She’s so right.”
So we go into 2022 and tried all these new things and increased our revenue by a million dollars last year because I was willing to step out of being a defender and wanting to get into that go identity. And so I can't believe I was—I totally was like, “Oh, I'm go.” I wasn’t. So this is really powerful.
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Okay. One more question, and then I want to ask if you've got some examples to share with me. What if you are in that go identity? But remind us again. There's two there: there's the what and the what?
ANTHONY: Yeah. Well, there's actually five, but, essentially, it goes between walking—so I'll give you the—I'll simplify it. The walker is the person, it’s a go identity, but what they want to do is they don't want to invest in any help, don’t want to read articles. They’re going to do their own thing, and they're self-made. They'll walk. So if I'm going from point A, let's say, California to Florida, takes forever; I may die on the way.
This next person's a writer. They go a little bit outside of their current comfortable zone, and this person’s like riding a bike. I can get there faster. So I may read an article. I may, you know, buy a book or something. It's about the level of my invested.
A person, a driver says, “I'm going to invest in a coaching program. I want to get somebody who knows the pathways.” But that person, although it's good, you can get from point A to point B, there's still roadblocks, stop signs. There are still things they have to—detours, right?
The next one's a pilot. They go, “Look, I'm going to hop on the highest level of a program. I'm going get into a mastermind. I'm going to go into a group that allows me to really interact directly with this higher-level human who’s gone through the roadblocks, gone through the stop signs, who’s flying above it all.” No more stop signs, no more roadblocks. They can take off from point A to point B.
The separation sheerly is, how much do I invest—time, energy, trust—in somebody else who's already been there? And so those are the ones where a lot of people, they can be go, but they'll be a go with a hindrance. They'll be a go who’s writing. They won't be a go who's driving, right? And so if you can look at yourself and go, “Yeah, I'm a go identity, but I really haven't taken that next scary investment lead to try something, join somebody.” Like, whatever it might be, that might be why you're going but going slowly.
AMY: Yes. I think a lot—I know my audience well, and those that are listening that identify as the go identity, they are writers and drivers. They'll invest. They'll invest in my programs. They'll use me as a mentor. But they aren't necessarily, some of them, at that pilot. So remind me the difference, because I think people really identify if you're a driver versus a pilot. What is the big difference there?
ANTHONY: The way I explain it simply,—and there's also an astronaut, but the astronaut’s a little different. The astronaut sees above all of it. While you want to go from California to Florida, they go, “I see something in Australia.”
AMY: So cool. That's something I aspire to. I'm not there yet, but that's cool. Yeah.
ANTHONY: And neither am I. The separation between a driver and a pilot’s really—think about this. If I want to get a driver's license, how hard is it to get a car and to get a driver's license? Right?
AMY: Not too hard.
ANTHONY: And then if you go, if I want to be a pilot—like, I’m, just so you know, I'm in the process now of getting my pilot's license. I'm actually looking at all of it. It's, like, twenty thousand dollars just to get the license, right, let alone a plane. So—
AMY: Huge time commitment.
ANTHONY: Yeah. And it's scary. To be up that high, it's sometimes scary. And so the separation is, are you a person that other people look at you and go, you're in that 1 percent of huma—how many people drive versus fly? It's like less than 1 percent. I mean, vastly less than 1 percent. And so the separation is going to be, am I in those groups, those rooms? Or am I pursuing the groups and the rooms that would scare me to get into them?
That's a big piece of it, because a lot of us, we’re good, sitting in our little groups. “I'm good here. I feel comfortable. I want to do more,” but I always look at that statement of you’re the average of the five people you surround yourself with. And I love this statement. I added on to this statement. And I think you’re the average of the expectations of the five people you surround yourself with.
AMY: Ooh. That's even more powerful.
ANTHONY: Because I can be in a room of people that expect to make, you know—so if I'm in a room of millionaires, right, we all got a million dollars. That’s great. We’re all millionaires. But I want to make five million. Well, the expectations of this room are one million. We're still good. There's nothing wrong with us. But it’s not the expectation I have. I need to find a room where people who are making five million or above. And that expectation’s different. What you do, the conversations change. You get in the room, and you feel stupid. Like, I get into rooms all the time where I go, “I don't think I should say anything in here. I'm just going to listen for a while.”
AMY: And that's hard to do. I, the same thing, I've been in those rooms, and I have to really work on my mindset because I will leave those rooms, and I have two options. One, I can be inspired. I could be, like, “If they can do it, so can I. They're a model. I can model that.” But I've left those rooms thinking, “I am a loser. I've done nothing with my life.” Like, you have to be so careful. So to go from a driver to a pilot, there's a lot of mindset shifts you've got to make.
ANTHONY: It's a ton of them. And this is when we go back to that personal scale. I could be in the room and go, “I want to make this,” but I'm going to look at this guy and go, “He's got five planes he rents out, and this guy's got yacht over here.” But I go, “I don't actually want to have five planes or a yacht, so I'd have to feel bad.”
Now, there's things that are part of their life I may enjoy and appreciate, but I go, “I'm not going to hold myself to this weird standard and make myself feel bad.” But I’m in season of dad. So it’s a matter of having that anchor before you enter the room.
AMY: Oh, yeah. Going back to what you first taught us in the beginning, knowing where you are and what you want and what you stand for, that's everything to this framework. I love that you brought us back there.
So, can you think of an example of someone you've worked with that actually was in one of those slow identities and they were successful in moving into the go identity?
ANTHONY: Yeah, yeah. Name's Frank. You can actually look them up. Frank Benedetto, He's a really, really awesome human. He works—he has a company called The HoneyBadger Project, and he works with mostly people who are like PTs, who are private practice and wanting to build their kind of business. And so at one point he had a business that him, and he says he accidentally started it, which is kind of interesting. Start it, and then he sold it for, you know, seven figures. And in the doing so, for some reason, part of him didn't believe that he deserved it.
Now, prior to this business, he had a really tough role. He was, I think he had some issues with some, I don't want to call it drugs. I don't think it was drugs. I think it was, like, he had, like, a drinking problem. And he and his wife were battling, and, like, there was a divorce situation kind of on the future arising. He remembers he was sitting in a shower, and he's in the shower, and, like, he just realizes, “This can't be my life.” And he makes this decision to start changing things, build his business, sells it, but never got rid of that identity that was tough before. So he said he accidentally felt like he did this, didn't deserve more.
So when I found him, or he found me, I was on a stage speaking, and he goes, “I'm making right now a few thousand a month. I got a savings I'm pulling from. But for some reason, I know I have these skills, but I can't seem to grow this next year.” And he was living in a position where I think he was more of the, it was a defender in a sense because he’s had some success, but it was like a mixture of that and the dabbler because he was trying different things.
So we sat back, started realizing, well, the part of him—because he wasn't a dreamer. He was doing some things here and there—the part of him that had the defender personality or the defender identity, it wouldn't take on the new opportunity, was the guy that didn't want to go back to the old, old place he was. He didn't want to revert that far back. So it was scary to do anything less than.
But the part of him that was the dabbler didn't have the goal to take the opportunity on in a certain way because he knew that when opposition comes, he kind of crumbles a little bit. He was scared of it because what if they point me out? What if they're right? What if what my belief is is right? I'm not supposed to have this success.” So we kind of went through a lot of journeys of both the personal mentality of the fact that the dude had some amazing skill sets. I mean, he's worked with the UFC at the time. It was a big name in New York for what he's doing. Like, he was already doing something. Like, what are we going on? You know you’re amazing, right?
And then part of it, also, was trying new things business wise he hadn't tried before. The HoneyBadger Project really hadn't pushed and taken off. And although he had great insights, he's like, “I don't know if they're valuable to people.” I’m like, “No, they're amazingly valuable. Put them out into the world.” And so the more we kind of structured both his mentality and the business structure, he came to this head of, all right, now it's time to put this into the world. Now I have to actually tell the world that I do this, and this is what I charge for this. And so we worked together.
And then he sent me a text message. I think it was, like, sixteen, seventeen months later. And I have the text somewhere. It's one of my favorite ones to go look at. It was a moment in time where he was making, like, three thousand a month. He's had, like, ten thousand saves. And he goes, “Hey, I want to let you know, in the past eighteen months since we worked, I have now brought in the business one million fifty-six thousand dollars.”
AMY: Oh, my gosh!
ANTHONY: It’s super cool. I still have the text message floating around, because a great thing for me to sit back is here's all I'll tell you. I don't know anything about physical therapy. It is not my space. I couldn't tell you what he did or how he did it to the T individual. But I do know that he had to step out of the space of feeling like he couldn't take the opportunity because maybe he didn't deserve it.
And also, he needed to make sure he wasn't trying to, like, be scared. Like, you can’t play scared. You must play to win, not to lose, if that makes sense. And the energy's different. When you're playing not to lose, you're not playing at full tilt.
So playing to win and letting go of that old perspective was what he needed to do. And he shifted into that doer identity. And the guy, he moved his family to Florida. He lives in this amazing, like, design community down there. It looks like a movie, like, where he lives. It's amazing. And yeah, man, I still keep in touch with him.
AMY: What a cool story. I love that story. And something you just said I want to touch on. I've heard the phrase before, I've never really examined it, what does it look like to play not to lose versus play to win? What does that look like?
ANTHONY: So if you think about—how to explain this. So if I'm an athlete and I play sports—so I played professional football and kind of I look at it, when I'm going out there and my goal is not to lose, I play close to the chest. I don't take the actual risks. And it was a risk. There's a calculated risk, right? So if I'm playing a football game, those who may not know football, it's plays. You structure a play up, right? There are some plays that are risky, trick plays and craziness. And there's plays that are just like the ones to make sure you're doing the thing to just maintain, right? And if we all know this, maintenance isn’t the thing that gets you to be a champion. It's the thing that lets you hold your spot. But you don't push the line. And so when you're playing not to lose, you're playing reserved. You're playing safe. And when you play reserved, you play safe. And anybody else comes against you and plays even one inch out of that, one inch riskier, their return can be higher. And so when you're playing not to lose, you're limiting your full abilities to express, because what if it goes wrong? Whereas if you go, “Look, I'm playing to win, which means when you do something, I'm going to purposely tune myself to go farther, not play safe.” So you play at this little, I call it one inch out of control, which is not crazy out of control, but it's that one inch of fear that scares you, one inch of difficulty that you haven’t faced before, and so that little one inch is the thing that over time creates feet and then yards and miles of distance between the competition.
AMY: I want us all to think about that one. Can you play one inch out of control? I've never heard that before, and I love it because I want to be a risk taker, and I have been in my business, but I'm also not incredibly risky. That is not my personality. But I can absolutely show up for one inch out of control. That's how you said it, right?
ANTHONY: That’s exactly how I said it. My college coach brought a military guy in to talk one time. As we talked about the military, he’s like, “Got to play one inch out of control.” I’m like, that's kind of how some of that thought, and it's the same idea for football. Play one inch out of control, man. Be a little bit loose but not too loose.
AMY: That is so good. I'm not a girl that's going to get a bunch of tattoos, but I feel like that's a tattoo for someone. Like, that’s good. Think about it. It may be for you.
Okay. So you gave us a great example of someone going from slow to go. I don't want to totally put you on the spot, so it's okay if you don't have one with you right now. but do you have an example of someone that has a go identity, but maybe they're a walker, rider, driver, and they want to get to the pilot or astronaut or whatever it might be, that made that shift?
ANTHONY: Yeah, yeah. I got a few people. So I know one is Natasha. So Natasha Wilch, she does concussion therapy, and she's actually up in Canada, actually, and it's called, used to be called, I think it's called The Brain Nerds? The nerds, it's, like, look it up. Doctor Wilch, you can’t miss her. So she is a person that had success in a brick and mortar and was doing really well there. Kind of had the realm of, you know, doing the online thing. And then the pandemic hit, like everybody else. And we were working together at that time.
And so she goes, “Look, I got to kind of transition this brick and mortar, from brick and mortar onto my online.” So she's able to do that, and she retained, like, 80-plus percent of her clientele online. And she was good there. She's comfortable.
And I go, “You know that there's a lot of people who cannot do what you just did, right”? “Yeah.” “So why don’t you create something for them?” “Oh, no, no. I can't teach my peers like that. I don't—I can't do this thing. I'm successful where I'm at.” There was an opportunity she didn't want to pursue. So I'm going, “Let’s kind of play this out,” and so we did. As I said, you know, what can be done to make this nuanced and unique? And so we thought through it. I go, “Okay, what can go wrong?” And she thought through what could go wrong. I go, “Okay, so what could go right? Like, if it all went right, what could…?” It was all this upside. She could help people's families by saving their businesses, work with her clients still. And so we did it. I said, “Okay, let's just jump in and try the right side. Let's see what happens if we apply some things here.” And so what she did is she put together a little training, and she got ahold of some different people in her industry that could give her access as gatekeepers to the people she wanted to serve. And she put it out there.
And I was on the phone during one of our coaching calls when she got the first email pop up of a purchase for her program. And I was like, “That feel good?” She's like, “Yeah. It’s good.” I said, “Great.”
Fast forward, I think it was four weeks. Four weeks, she had brought in in that new program online, ninety-five thousand dollars.
AMY: Oh, my gosh! One month.
ANTHONY: One month. And the thing was is she didn't have much of a crazy online presence, but she went the right channels with the right product at the right time in an area she was completely uncomfortable and created something that has blossomed. At one point, matter of fact, I think she had on the news, like, a month and a half ago, and then she got an award in Canada, her province, an award for entrepreneur of the year. And it wasn't anything crazy. It was information she had inside, and had she not got out of that defender mentality, the defender identity, and go into a higher-level go, she would never have had that success, and other people wouldn't have had the transformation in their own lives, the way she helped them.
AMY: Ah, so good.
Okay. So you said early on something that I'd never heard of the term “dark work.” And I was curious where dark work falls into this whole process of moving through identities.
ANTHONY: All of it. It's the golden thread between all these things.
AMY: What is it? Because it sounds very scary.
ANTHONY: Well, it’s scary, but it’s also counterintuitive, but we’ve also already done it. I’ll just say it that way. So for me, I take it back to when I was a high school athlete, and I wanted to play football, and I was horrible at the game. I mean, I eventually played in the NFL, but I wasn't good in the beginning. And there was a window of time where I was like, “I want to be great. What are they going to take?” And I looked at people who were doing things that I wasn't currently doing, didn't feel comfortable doing, but knew it was the pathway to get there. So I stepped in. I go, “What do they do?” Well, football players catch footballs, run routes, they lift weights, all that kind of stuff. I go, “I don't do that.” But I started doing it, and it felt like a fish out of water. You know, you don't feel comfortable. In fact, there's judgment. My friends are making fun of me. “Hey, man. You can't catch a football. What are you doing catching footballs?” “Oh, you're skinny. Why are you lifting weights?” “You're slow. Why are you running, bro?” So you get this feedback, and you start to feel small, but I go, “I’m just going to keep doing it.” And I kept doing it.
What happens is it's tough. It's work that is very hard work that is driven by a pure, we’ll call it ambition that allows you to develop a skill and the brazenness to deploy that skill in the world. So I went through seven months of this work that was unsexy. It was unsupported. It was uneasy to do. It was just, it was hard, right?
But here's what took place. I was doing what I call is dark-work deposits to build dark energy. And the whole goal for me was to be this amazing football player, what I call the shine, to shine the lights. And all of us have that desire. We want to shine as the entrepreneur, shine as the mom, shine as the dad. We want to shine in some way. But that is always equal in opposition to the difficulty it took to get there, the dark work.
And so when I got to the football field the next year, I was a whole different human. There was this mentality in me that I'd done too much work in the dark for you to take what's mine in the light. That guttural sense of, like, what we show up and fight for our life in the shine, it comes from what I sacrifice in the dark work.
So for me, essentially, it's looking at all these things we're talking about. If I want to tackle opposition, if I want to take an opportunity, it doesn't happen on social media in front of the world. It doesn't happen 100 percent with my spouse's support. My friends may not get me. But I stay the course. It's me in a dark room with my computer, putting things out, me look at the numbers, getting the feedback, taking the lumps, right? It's stuff that nobody sees, and it's not celebrated, but that's what allows me to step onto the stage and go, “Look, I have spent the last six years driving myself insane at the work I've done, the sacrifice I've put myself through, the things that I've read, the way I've abstained from certain things. I haven't gone taken trips. I haven't spent the money. I haven't partied. This is mine. I will not let it be taken from me.” And when that is your mentality behind the heart of what you do, you cannot fail. That dark energy, it fuels your shine.
That's why if you look at the best athletes—we got to Kobe Bryant because I love his mentality. That was a guy who, when it came to the game, and it's on the line—him and Michael Jordans, the Tiger Woods—there wasn't a space when you look at their face, they go, “We can do it, guys.” Nah, they hunkered down. They got [unclear 44:42]. They said, “Let's go to work,” right?
There's this mentality, because Kobe knew that he would get up at four in the morning and fly to practice, get a whole practice in, then go home, eat again, and come back. So when you were starting practice with him at, say, eight or nine, it was his second practice. He doubled up your practice. Do you think he's going to let you beat him in the game? No. He's done too much work in the dark.
So if you want to launch the business, create the program, write the book, it's not going to happen because you feel great about it. It's going to happen because you went behind the scenes and did the dark work necessary to develop the skill and the identity of brazenness to deploy that skill.
AMY: I have chills. That dark work. That's what it is. That's where it's at. I've never heard anyone talk about it like you do, and it’s what creates the magic. Absolutely. Ooh, I love that.
Okay. So one more question for you before I let you go, and that is, you've had some hardships in your life, and you're very public about them. And I'm curious, in your own words, how have they shaped and helped you build the business you have today, the life you have today? What does that look like for you?
ANTHONY: Oh, man. It’s the core of me. There's a painting on my wall over here, and it says, “Smooth seas never made skilled sailors.”
AMY: Ooh, amen.
ANTHONY: I have a tattoo of a ship on my arm. It's the same thing, because I was given away as a kid. My mom didn't want me. And I battled a lot of stuff with, you know, my real father, having a kid at a young age, and all these different things. And I think all of them have allowed me to have a greater appreciation for life when it gets difficult now. As an adult, I'm around a lot of other adults, and this world changes quickly, and for a lot of people, this is the first rough seas they’ve experienced, first time they've subjected themselves. There's a statement, a quote. I don't know who wrote it or who said it, but it says, “A boat can stay in harbor, but it's not made for that,” right? Like, a boat is safe in harbor; it's made to be out in the ocean. But most people have their boat in the harbor until they get an opportunity and go, “I want to go out into the ocean.” They go out there. It’s the first time they’ve been out there, first time they’ve put themselves in a tough situation or been scared. And then what happens is when the storm hits, they hunker down. They go below deck. But me, I'm up on the top of the deck, sipping tea, screaming at the rain. It's just because I've been there before, right?
And so I look at all those moments, and while I don't like what happened to me—some heinous things happened—I don't like it. I do appreciate it now because when things go crazy for everybody else, for me, I'm like, “Oh, this just Tuesday. We're good.” It's just the nature of the beast. And it doesn't mean I'm special. I'm not different as a human being.
A lot of what I talk about for dark work, the unique part about it is the way we all operate as an identity now, we're wired that way. All of us have been wired through experiences, right? How I see situations. If we both, right now, someone said, “Here's the problem,” me and you would both handle it completely differently. Well, why? Experiences. And every human has this. We've all done dark work in some manner. And so what I look at is go, “Okay, great. Well, if I'm this way, and I want to adjust this, and my life is my, you know, situation that gives me this wiring, well, we can also rewire.” Neuroplasticity tells us this. So what I look at us and I look at my life, I go, “My life has been difficult. I've experienced these things,” I'm not special, because my brain is like every other brain. The only difference is my experiences.
So when I talk to people about this concept of who you become, a lot of it's you just need to do your own dark-work experience, but don't do it haphazardly. Maybe for the first time you architect, curate a very specific experience you want to go through and subject yourself to with a purpose, and that's, you get the skill sets you desire and the brazenness that is pulling it like you want to. For me, that's just what my life provided for me. And now when I go, “I want to do something new,” I go, “Great. What experience must I subject myself to intentionally to develop a dark energy so I can shine how I want to later on?”
AMY: That last part is so powerful. You're actually putting yourself in a situation that you know is going to be difficult. It is the dark work, but you're doing that because you know exactly what you want and what you're going for.
AMY: That's bravery, right there. Brazen, just like you said.
I have loved every minute of talking to you. I knew I would. I was so excited to have you on. I'm curious, what are you most excited about right now? What are you doing? What's going on? And also, to piggyback on that, where can people learn more? because they're going to want to check you out. They're going to want to get their identity and all of that. So tell me all the things.
ANTHONY: Yeah, well, you just follow me on Instagram. I find that the best—here’s the thing. I like working with people who like me. It's a good way to work, right? That's pretty simple.
ANTHONY: And the best way to find out if you like me is to pay attention to more of what I do. So I say, find me on Instagram, @anthonytrucks. Can't miss me. My son has the same name, but you'll notice the difference. He's a lot younger.
AMY: You’ll know the difference. Yeah, your son is precious.
ANTHONY: He doesn’t have the gray hairs in his beard, because he has no beard.
So that’s the best way to find me.
And then, I think for me, what I'm most excited about, to be completely honest, I'm excited about my family. Like, I lo—my wife, she runs college track at thirty-eight, with her master's, because she never did her athletic stuff early, so she's doing it now.
AMY: Okay. I want to just pause here. Your wife is thirty-eight years old, she is running college track right now, and she's amazing at it.
ANTHONY: Oh, she's, like, state. She's just, this year they should take first in state in a couple things. But she took, like, second and third last year, so she’s, like—girls twenty years younger. So she’s killing it.
My daughter, my youngest that are twins, and they do a great job of their athletics and sports. I’m my wife's strength coach for the college because my degree’s in kinesiology—I used to own a gym—I have a gym in my home where I train my daughter and my son and his five teammates that I'll be coaching as a coach next year. And then I just, the best I can, I support my oldest son as his consultant, no longer his dad and coach, if that makes sense. And so that's fun.
Business wise, my whole future is guiding people to the direction of how to architect and execute their own dark-work experience. Because I think for a lot of us, the dark work happens either on demand or when crap hits the fan. And for 95 percent, it's when crap hits the fan. So for me, my whole focus is, how do I get people to understand the concept of dark work in the go? I want to do that, and then say, “Here's how you do it.” So that's what I'll be guiding for the future.
And then, being a dad and a husband and all that kind of fun stuff in life.
AMY: Well, you are so very extra special. I love that we are now friends. Thank you so much for coming on the show. And we will absolutely make sure to link up to everything in the show notes.
Anthony, thanks again for being here.
ANTHONY: Thank you for having me.
AMY: So there you have it. What I love so much about Anthony is how he breaks everything down into simple formulas and frameworks. What I love even more is that he is a solution-based kind of guy. Like, let's get you the results you want, let's talk about why you're not getting them, and let's move you toward what you really ultimately desire. I can't get enough of that. And I thought that he broke things down in a really eloquent way, where if you're the dreamer or the dabbler, there's no reason to beat yourself up. And I want you to be really honest where you fall in that whole spectrum. But there's always a way to get to where you want to go. And I think following Anthony, getting more into his business, in terms of following him on Instagram, seeing what he has to offer, can really unlock so much potential in all of us. I know identifying that I was the defender, the more I think about that, I'm like, oh, I could see that in other areas of my business as well, where I've defended certain strategies or defended certain people, whereas that's not necessary, nor is that a recipe for growth. I could put my sword down. I could say, okay, I don't know everything. I got to learn some new things, as awkward as that might feel, but it's worth it if in the end I get to where I really want to go.
So that's a wrap. I hope you loved this episode as much as I did. Go check out Anthony Trucks. I’ll link to all of his stuff in my show notes. And I cannot wait to see you next week, same time, same place. Bye for now.