Side Hustle City

Journey from the Basketball to Boardrooms: Gaining Mastery and Balance with Alan Stein Jr.

September 18, 2023 Adam Koehler & Kyle Stevie with Alan Stein Jr. Season 4 Episode 45
Side Hustle City
Journey from the Basketball to Boardrooms: Gaining Mastery and Balance with Alan Stein Jr.
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

From the basketball courts to corporate boardrooms, Alan Stein Jr.'s journey as a speaker, author, and performance expert is unparalleled. With over 15 years of experience working alongside basketball titans like Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, and Stephen Curry, Alan has honed his skills as a performance coach, ensuring the world's best got even better. Beyond physical prowess, he instilled in them an unshakeable foundation of habits, mindset, focus, and discipline—the very principles he brings to the corporate world today.

In this episode, we delve deep into the essence of high performance. From revealing the unexpected nutritional intricacies of a PB&J sandwich to sharing the significance of the basics in achieving mastery (like Kyle's Jiu-Jitsu journey and Gladwell's 10,000-hour theory), Alan offers a unique perspective on peak performance. Moreover, he opens up about the challenges of balancing a demanding career with fatherhood, offering insights on how to avoid the modern traps of comparison in our social media age.

What sets Alan apart? Before gracing corporate stages, he was globally recognized as a top-tier performance coach in basketball. He wasn't just training athletes in their physical game, but in leveling up their mental prowess and discipline. Today, Alan transfers that expertise to business leaders and organizations, teaching them to employ the same strategies, rituals, and routines that have propelled elite athletes to global acclaim.

Whether you're an entrepreneur, executive, or an intrigued listener, Alan’s tales and teachings promise a transformative experience. Ready to explore the principles that power world-class athletes and successful businesses alike? Dive in.

Learn more About Alan:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/AlanSteinJr/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AlanSteinJr

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AlanSteinJr

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/alan-stein-jr/

Website: https://alansteinjr.com/


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Speaker 2:

Welcome to Side Hustle City and thanks for joining us. Our goal is to help you connect to real people who found success turning their side hustle into a main hustle, and we hope you can too. I'm Adam Kaler. I'm joined by Kyle Stevie, my co-host. Let's get started, all right? Welcome back everybody to the Side Hustle City podcast. Kyle Stevie once again at my side here. Yep, looking good, kyle, thank you.

Speaker 1:

Feeling good. Yeah, yeah, he just dogged Ohio right before the show because I'm trying to he dogged Like outside of South Carolina. It's the worst drivers in America for no reason whatsoever.

Speaker 2:

Yeah that's Chicago. That's definitely not us. I mean we're pretty bad, but Anyway, we've got Alan Stein joining us today. Alan Alan Stein Jr, right.

Speaker 3:

That is, we can add the Jr just makes it easier for SEO and for people to find me and if you ever get a chance to meet my dad, he'll make the dad joke that he's the original and I'm the carbon copy. So yeah, I'm the Jr on there for fun, of course, of course.

Speaker 2:

Well, and that's like the football players now too, right? They all got Jr or Sr or whatever on their thing. He should put Sr. He should get a jersey, just walk around when he's with you and just have SR at the end of his name.

Speaker 3:

He absolutely should. That'd be funny.

Speaker 2:

So, alan, you a success coach. You work a lot with businesses, you do a lot of public speaking. It looks like the list of names of businesses Pepsi, starbucks, amex, penn State, charles Schwab the list goes on and on here. It's awesome to have you on the show, somebody who's trusted by organizations like that. So welcome to the show and love having you. Oh, man, well, thank you so much.

Speaker 3:

It's great to be with you guys. You know, it just popped into my mind kind of with this junior versus senior thing. So most of my career I spent in the basketball performance training space. So I spent 20 years as a string thing conditioning coach in the basketball space and had an opportunity to work with some pretty elite level players and coaches and when I was doing that I simply went by Alan Stein. Then in 2017, when I decided to leave the basketball world to pursue the corporate keynote speaking and the stuff I'm doing now, when I went to get the URL alansteincom, it was already taken, as were some of the social handles, so I needed to add that junior so I could get alansteinjuniorcom and at alansteinjunior on Instagram and Twitter and so forth. So some of it was for branding. But from an SEO standpoint, you know, anything you find with just Alan Stein is usually what I did in my previous career of basketball and anything with the junior kind of separates to what I'm doing now. But yeah, you hit it on the head. That is my main focal point now is helping both individuals and organizations improve their individual and collective team performance.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and I'll throw your URL out there. Is it alansteinjuniorcom that?

Speaker 3:

is it?

Speaker 2:

Okay, so you even put the junior on your domain name. That probably made it easier to find and buy and it was available. Absolutely yeah, I love it. I love it. I mean on my website I see a who's who here of of ball players that you worked with. I mean you got Kevin Durant here, you got Kobe, you got I mean, look at these guys LeBron's on there, Curry's on there. I mean this is pretty impressive. How'd you get into the whole NBA basketball world?

Speaker 3:

Well, for context, basketball was my first love and my first passion, and I fell in love with the game when I was five years old. And here I'm knocking on the door of being 50 years old and I'm proud to say that I'm right here with you. You know, four decades later, basketball is still a major pillar of my life and you know I was able to play the game up through the collegiate level. I played at Elon University, a small school in North Carolina, and when I graduated from Elon, I only saw one direction that I wanted to go and that was to stay heavily involved in the game. So I became a basketball strength and conditioning coach, which would be later called performance coach, and I helped players improve their athleticism, the way that they would move on the court, as well as their mindset and their approach to the game. And I was able to work at two pretty renowned high schools here in the Washington DC area, which is where I'm from and where I currently live. Both of those schools have put over a dozen players in the NBA, so that got me some opportunities to work for Nike and Jordan Brand and USA Basketball. So I'm incredibly grateful and very thankful that I've had some amazing opportunities to work for, and work with, and work alongside and observe some really elite players and coaches, and I've taken all of that stuff that I've learned from them their mindsets, their routines, their disciplines, their habits, their strategies, their approaches and I now focus that to help entrepreneurs, executives, business leaders, managers, sales professionals show folks how to apply those same strategies to their businesses.

Speaker 2:

Oh, that's awesome. Well, before we dig into any of those techniques, what is up with the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that all the NBA players eat? Have you heard this thing where, like I think it was LeBron's that was eating these peanut butter and jelly sandwiches he's like it's the best thing to eat, or whatever before a workout or before a practice or something? Did you have you heard about this thing?

Speaker 3:

Well, I can attest that I've been eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches my entire life and still, to this day, do Now. I will say that the quality of peanut butter, jelly and bread is much better today than what I used to eat when I was much younger. And if you go to a whole foods of sorts and you get a really natural peanut butter with minimal ingredients and you get a high quality jelly without a lot of extra sugars and preservatives and you get a refined and high quality bread, yeah, it can be a really nutritious snack pre or post workout, mostly because of the macros. It has good fats it has good carbs, and it mixes every day and protein, of course, in order to make it a really nutritious snack.

Speaker 2:

Well, if it's good enough for those guys, good enough for me. And Kyle Stebe, right? Oh my God. Kyle says he doesn't even need to work out, he's an MMA guy so Keep saying that I'm like.

Speaker 1:

I'm not an MMA guy, I'm the worst Jiu-Jitsu guy in my gym. I'm the worst purple belt in the United States right now. I'm the glass like. I'm the glass Joe of the competitive circuit.

Speaker 2:

Well, I'm glad you said that, because guess what we have the man on right now. What would you tell Kyle? First of all, I would say this attitude he's got is probably needs to go right. This defeatist attitude is nihilistic outlook, like he keeps going to the gym and he keeps saying he's the worst. He has to be making some progress over here Alan. Worst purple belt Worst purple belt.

Speaker 1:

yeah, there's a big difference between a white belt and a purple belt.

Speaker 3:

There is a big difference and I have the utmost respect for anyone that just goes to the gym, but certainly anyone under that MMA or grappling or fighting or contact sport or Jiu-Jitsu or boxing or mixed martial arts. Just the other day on a flight home I watched that four-part docuseries about Conor McGregor and just have the utmost respect for and I say this with a huge smile and a wink anyone crazy enough to do those types of sports and activities.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely has my respect. I got a guy from our gym that's in the UFC now and he moved to Vegas. When he moved to Vegas, that's where he does all. That's where he does all. He lives there now for all his training. He was getting something at a convenience store and his ears are all shriveled up. They look like buttholes on the side of his head.

Speaker 3:

Oh yeah, most of those guys have the cauliflower ears from years of the wrestling and the grappling and the oh my goodness, it's crazy.

Speaker 1:

So he was in a convenience store and a firefighter in his uniform came up to him. He goes are you, will you fight? He said yeah, I just signed with the UFC. He goes man, you guys are nuts. Chris looked at me and said you run into burning buildings for a living, I just get punched in the face. They're not the same. That's hilarious.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah. What are these books back here? You got the. Raise your Game, sustain your Game. Are these things that you wrote here?

Speaker 3:

Those are yeah. So Raise your Game was my first book. The subtitle to that is High Performance Secrets from the Best of the Best, and it's really where I took a collection of all of the biggest lessons I learned from Basketball's Best and share folks how to apply those to their business and their lives, and that came out in 2019. And then, just over a year ago, I came out with the follow-up, which is Sustain your Game High Performance Keys to Manage Stress, Avoid Stagnation and Beat Burnout, which is kind of a built on the first book, although they're completely separate works and could be read in any order. But it's been my experience that once you've kind of gotten to a groove of what you need to do to perform at your best, the main things that will undermine your performance for long periods of time are stress, stagnation and burnout. So that was really the focal point of the second book.

Speaker 1:

That's hilarious because there's a school of thought that says you don't burnout, you just plateau and then level up. You got to break through the burnout. I don't know that I've ever trained hard enough to truly burnout to see if that's actually true or not. But I was reading about that and I was like I don't know, because I know that I get burned out at work. But I guess you get a new challenge and it changes it and then you get a little bit more excited. Where do you find that the burnout occurs? Is it because they're in week seven of a 16 week preseason and they're preseason camp before they get to report the teams? Or you got guys that are in, I don't know. They've got a project that's got to be finished at the end of the quarter, but they're a week six and they've been just burning both ends of the candle. But where do you find that the burnout occurs? And that is.

Speaker 3:

Well, on a macro level, burnout is when your passion and your purpose for doing something no longer aligns with the sacrifices that you're making, the commitment that you're making, the hours that you're putting in, the effort that you're putting in. When those two things start to splinter in different directions, that's when you're at risk of burnout. That's kind of on a macro level. On a micro level, yeah, if we don't take care of ourselves and we do try to burn the candle at both ends and we lack sleep and we stop working out and we don't eat healthy food and we don't nourish our minds as well, we can literally physiologically start to burnout and just not have the requisite energy or enthusiasm or optimism to do something that we once did at a very high level. We start to see that waning. So we have to constantly recalibrate. If we're finding ourselves feeling the initial onsets of burnout, we need to figure out what's the impetus to that. Is it no longer an alignment between what it is that we want to get out of this and the sacrifice that we're making? If you start to lose the love for Jiu Jitsu but you keep going every single night for a couple of hours, you will be at risk for burnout. To me, the reason you haven't experienced that yet is because you still have a tremendous amount of passion and purpose in what you're doing.

Speaker 1:

I think at the macro level for entrepreneurs, because they get so consumed and they get so into the grind that they don't know about it that they've hit burnout until the wife goes. We're getting divorced. I'm leaving, see you. Oh yeah, you need that external knock on the door saying, hey, it's time to refocus on what we're doing here.

Speaker 3:

Yes, absolutely. I mean that word grind is often used on the entrepreneurial journey. The only way that type of commitment and those type of hours and that type of energy is sustainable is if you absolutely love what you're doing and you believe in what you're doing and that why and that purpose continues to fuel you and drive you.

Speaker 2:

I love it. Well, I think also, just different people need to be motivated in different ways. You've got the folks that listen to this podcast. A lot of them got just regular old nine to five jobs. Maybe they like the job, maybe it's what they went to school for, maybe it's their second or third attempt at a career, but it just it runs the gamut. Right, there's no perfect. There's no perfect profile for who wants to do a side hustle and I would venture to guess a lot of the people you're talking to you go into these big organizations. I mean, for 15 years it looks like you were working with these NBA players Kevin Durampy, and one of them probably top 5% of all NBA players that have ever lived and just an absolute beast. But he was essentially built and made for playing in the NBA, but he wasn't necessarily made for the pressures that come along with that. Standing at the free throw line, game on the line and you could say that about almost any sport. Right, you're helping them physically get there, but I'm guessing there's a lot you've learned from these people that are playing at the highest level under some of the most intense pressure ever. How do you take some of that stuff. What are some of the main things you learn from these types of folks and how you apply that to your coaching?

Speaker 3:

Well, there's three. I mean there'd be a much longer list, but to be succinct and respectful of everyone's time, there's three that we can focus on. And these are traits of the highest performers that I've ever been around and observed in basketball or business or anything in between. And those that are willing to adopt these kind of frameworks and operating systems have the potential to perform at a high level. The first is the best never get bored with the basics. The best of the best in any craft have a respect and appreciation for the fundamentals. As Kyle was just mentioning, in Jiu-Jitsu he's currently a purple belt. Well, you start as a white belt and as you start to improve and work towards mastery of certain fundamentals in Jiu-Jitsu, then you're rewarded by moving up a level to the next belt. But it's sequential, it's progressive. That's why there is a difference between a white belt and a purple belt. Purple belt has a stronger grasp of the fundamentals than a white belt. So high performers really appreciate and respect those fundamentals. In the game of basketball, the fundamentals are shooting and passing and rebounding and defending and handling the ball. If you want to be an elite level basketball player, you have to do those things at a very high level. Well, it's the same thing as an entrepreneur. It's the same thing as a sales professional and executive. You've got to work towards mastery of the core fundamentals. The second thing that high performers do well is they blend confidence with humility. They've earned the right to be confident because they've put in the work during the unseen hours to get the repetitions to work on the fundamentals. So they've earned the right to be confident. But they stay humble. And staying humble is what keeps you open to feedback. It keeps you open to being coached by those that have more experience and expertise than you do. Being humble is what allows you to say that, no matter how good you get, you can still get better. It's not about playing a comparison game and being better than anyone else. Humility is what says no matter how good I get, I can continue to get better. And then the third area that high performers do really really well is they embrace the process. They have very distinct goals and North stars that they're trying to achieve, but they put their focus on the actual process, the day-to-day behaviors and habits and micro skills and decisions that will increase the chance that they'll actually reach that goal. And the best analogy I can think of is if you were ever tasked with building a brick wall. Well, the juice isn't in the wall, the juice is in each individual brick. See, if you can lay each individual brick with care and precision and put it exactly where it needs to go, the wall will just take care of itself, so you don't have to focus on the wall. You need to focus on the bricks, and that's what embracing the process is about. And, like I said, whether in basketball, business, entrepreneurship or jiu-jitsu, those that are willing to focus on the fundamentals, those that can blend confidence with humility and those that embrace the process, that do those three things, they give themselves the foundation to be really, really successful.

Speaker 1:

Yeah and jiu-jitsu. The greatest key competitor of all time is Hadra Gracie. And if you ever watch one of Hadra Gracie's matches, they're kind of like I don't know. It's kind of like listening to the Beatles sing and play music. You're like I can do that. They make it so effortless and make it seem so easy. And it's not. It doesn't seem like it's anything crazy. When you watch them do it. It's because the fundamentals are just so. I mean he taps the guys at the highest level with like the most basic choke you learn in the first three months of doing jiu-jitsu and it's just a basic gets the mountain cross collar Like that's his, that's his bread and butter and nobody can stop it.

Speaker 3:

You know it's kind of oh no, it reminds me of that and I'm probably going to butcher it a little bit. But that famous Bruce Lee quote about you know, I don't fear the man that can do 10,000 different kicks, I fear the man that's done one kick 10,000 times.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 3:

Because that person's going to have a level of mastery over that one specific move. And yeah, you're so right on that, and it's. Isn't it cool to see someone can ascend to the top of their craft by only doing that a handful of basic fundamentals, but they do them so well.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and what about you know, Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers, where he talks about 10,000 hours right, I believe that's an outliers, right. And he talks about the 10,000 hours. He talks about Michael Jordan, he talks about Wayne Gretzky, he talks about these guys. I mean, is that what you see in the NBA too? I mean, is that, is that pretty accurate? It is.

Speaker 3:

But one thing that's gotten twisted with that is that folks need to understand that it's 10,000 hours of deliberate, purposeful practice. Some of the components of deliberate, purposeful practice you have a set of objective in mind. You have real-time feedback to help you course correct. One of the reasons that that concept has gotten bastardized over time is people think it's literally just logging the hours. Experts of youth basketball players make the mistake of thinking well, if I can get my son to play basketball for 10,000 hours between the age of eight and 18, then he'll be an elite level player. That's literally just logging hours. That's not the same thing as working on very specific fundamentals under the tutelage of competent coaching to make sure that you're getting feedback after each and every repetition, that you've got an objective set for a very specific practice. There's a difference between a golfer going out and going to the putting green and trying to make a 20-foot putt a hundred times and us just going and playing putt-putt for a few hours. Those two things are not created equal. One is very deliberate and intentional and purposeful and one is you're just casually going through the motions. Both fall under the umbrella of playing golf, but one of them is adding to your 10,000 hours and the other not so much.

Speaker 1:

What is it Lombardi who said? It's not practice doesn't make perfect perfect, practice makes perfect, oh.

Speaker 2:

I think that's all right. Was that Lombardi? It might have been. I mean, that sounds like Lombardi. No, that makes sense.

Speaker 3:

And I've also heard that not even practice makes perfect, but practice makes permanent. So whatever it is that you do over and over is going to become permanent, which is why the deliberate practice is so important. As a basketball player, if you go out and shoot with really bad form over and over and over, you'll get good at bad shooting. Like you're getting in the repetitions, but you're actually reinforcing and repeating something incorrectly, so you're kind of working against yourself. So just going to the court and jacking up shots casually is not the same as making sure you're using perfect technique and form every single time that you shoot. So those are the big separators. But yeah, malcolm Gladwell's assertion that putting in 10,000 hours is the road to mastery is correct. I just think we've lost sight of what needs those 10,000 hours need to consist of.

Speaker 2:

That totally makes sense. I mean it was. It was wild. Yesterday we had Lionel Messi in town to play FC Cincinnati you know he's with Inter Miami now and all the athletes were down there. I mean the Reds weren't because the Reds were in a doubleheader in Los Angeles against the Angels. They broke Tony's arm. Oh yeah, no, tony's hurt and what's his name is going back on the on the DL too, there are the center fielder that you see.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, yeah, he's amazing.

Speaker 2:

But all the Bengals were down there, you know, and I don't think they were just down there because you know, fc Cincinnati said, hey, come and show up to the FC game. They wanted to see this guy as much as anybody else wanted to see this guy. I mean, they're their professional athletes, been to the Super Bowl, went to the FC Championship last year and they're probably still in all of something that this guy, who's the I mean Tom Brady of professional soccer.

Speaker 1:

He's great, and Tom Brady.

Speaker 2:

Oh, he's better. Yeah, exactly, I mean he's. He's unbelievable.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, Messi is a once in a generation athlete, and one of the things that I've always respected about any high performers that you just alluded to is they love being around, studying and learning from other high performers, even people that aren't in their direct vocation, you know. I mean musicians study athletes and athletes study actors and, like anyone that performs their craft at a high level, there's something for all of us to learn from. So even if you don't watch soccer, like soccer or know much about soccer, every person listening to this show right now can learn something and take something away from Lionel Messi. Just his approach. I mean he does the three things I just mentioned before to an, you know, an unparalleled level. I mean talk about someone that has mastered the fundamentals of the game of soccer. I mean it's really incredible and he's probably the most confident player on the field at any given moment because he knows he's earned the right to be that confident. But he still has coaches, he still has trainers, he still listens to competent feedback not not stuff that's thrown around on social media but if he has a coach that he trusts and believes in and says, hey, here's something that can make this part of your game a little bit better. He absolutely is open to that. So you know, I'm sure if you interviewed him on your show and I wouldn't doubt it if you'd prefer to have him over me. But if you interviewed him, there's no way that he would say I'm as good as I'm ever going to get, I'm tapped out, I reached the top, I'm done. He'd say oh yeah, I still have room to improve, I'm still going to get better, but the Lionel Messi next season is going to be even better than the Lionel Messi this season.

Speaker 2:

So he blends all of those things broodulate, which makes sense that you were, and what I commend you on is the fact that you were able to take something that you loved. You played the game. You played it at a high level. You were able to turn that into interactions with some of the top performers in the world at the sport. In the history of the world at the sport, I'd argue Steph Curry is probably the best three point shooter in the history of basketball. I mean, pete Marovitch, I probably have something to say about that too. But but, but there's, there's some really really good guys out there that you were able to interact with, just leveraging your love for the game and then taking that distilling down into a program, something that you could teach people and you just said it, these guys are going to idolize people in another thing. I mean, it carries over into other, into other ways that you may not directly see, but they do, as long as you have those principles, like you mentioned, those three principles that you can carry over into something like business and I know you've probably had this come up, but in any of these things, when you're talking about all, I met these guys I used to work with so, and so I used to work with so and so. Do you ever have guys like Kyle come up where he's like oh, I'm just a purple belt and I suck and I'll never be one of these guys? Do you get that attitude when? You get that attitude when, when you run into just regular folks that you go and speak to at these businesses?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, of course all the time, and I think that's what makes us human and that we're normal. And you know, one of the things to remember is you have to put a lot of these things into context. I appreciate Kyle's humility and saying hey, I'm just a purple belt and I'm one of the lower guys at my gym, but you have to keep that in perspective to everything else around you. I mean, first of all, what percentage of the human population even has the courage to try something like jujitsu or Miss Martial Arts? It's a small subset, you know. And then, of that, what percentage are willing to go to the gym every single day and grapple with guys that are more experienced and have more expertise? I mean, you know and I say this with all the respect in the world like, go to the gym every day to get a beatdown? There's not many people that would do that. So, while Kyle may feel like he's at the lower end of the spectrum, he's at the lower end of the spectrum of the upper 1% of the population. You know, I can speak firsthand. A couple of years ago I gave an attempt at my first ultramarathon and I finished in the lowest 10% of everyone running and I felt kind of dejected. I felt, you know, discouraged, until a friend of mine said the same thing to me. He said, of everyone in the world, how many people sign up for an ultramarathon? And of those that do you know? If you finish in that bottom percentile, you're in the bottom part of the upper 1%. If you take a step back, you're still doing okay and that's, I think, important from a perspective standpoint. I mean, you could pick the 15th man on the worst team in the NBA, whoever will finish with the worst record this year, and you could position that as something negative. Or you could say this person still has a job that only 450 people in the entire world has. If you are on an NBA roster, you are in the upper 0.01% of anyone that has ever dribbled a basketball. So while you're the 15th man, maybe the lowest paid, maybe don't play very much on a team that doesn't win very much, you are still in the upper 0.01% of people that have played the game. So it's all about how we choose to frame it and how we choose to look at it. But when you look at the Lionel Messi's, the Tom Brady's, you know, the Steph Curry's, gracie, who he mentioned earlier. I mean, these people are once in a generation icons and they should not be the reference point to which the rest of us play comparison.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, the last race that I ever did was at 10K in Charleston.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

And I woke up the next morning this was like 2012,. Because I think running stupid and I just joking, I need to do it. And I looked at the paper and I was looking at all the times. When I found my name I was like, oh okay, did it in 54 minutes or whatever it was. I felt pretty good about it. And I got beat by a 12 year old by 10 minutes. Oh no, I was like Holy shit. But then I remembered that I drank all night Friday night before the race. Maybe he did too.

Speaker 2:

It's Cincinnati. Oh no, that was.

Speaker 1:

My stomach was this bridge goes 1.2 miles straight up, so the ship can go underneath the. Cooper River.

Speaker 2:

Bridge in Charleston.

Speaker 1:

It's huge and I had to do that that stomach from the beer right about the middle of the bridge. So the last part of that race was just like me trying to run as fast as I could to find a port of lead. It was horrible. Sorry, I remember your podcast.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, no, that's funny. Well, you know what we had Harvey Lewis on. I don't know if you know Harvey Lewis, but he's an ultra marathoner. He won Badwater out in Death Valley. Yeah he's here in Cincinnati and he actually teaches history at my high school.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, the performing art school. It was hilarious. He was talking about David Goggins speaking another one. It's super focused and he references him just as David, like they're really good friends and Harvey's like the most soft-spoken person you've ever met in your life. But you can see in his eyes that he can go to dark places. Wayne needs to like he was got that. He's got that. A college wrestler look like I've seen some shit I can get. I can get dark if I need to get dark.

Speaker 3:

Well, yeah, the main thread that I pull from this is and I think we're all kind of alluding to it is we just have to be very careful of Playing the comparison game, because it's all about reference and any one of us, in any area of our life, can easily Find someone that's doing it much better than we are, and if we're constantly playing that comparison game, if we're not careful, it can leave us feeling you know less than feeling like we don't deserve To feel good about ourselves. So you know Someone that can you know, harvey, or whether it's David Goggins. I mean, these guys are unbelievable at what they do and we should Look to their teachings and their strategies and their approaches and their portions of those things we can emulate. But at the end of the day and I mean this pun very intentionally we're all running our own race and it very rarely serves us to play the comparison game in any area, because we're gonna feel less than, and that's to me, one of the things that I've really tried to shift in my life is I personally am not worried about being the best at anything. I'm worrying about being my best. That's all I have control over, and I want to be my best in every area of my life and I'll. I'll put my work ethic and my commitment up against anyone's. But it's not because I'm trying to outdo someone or outshine someone. I just want to be the best that I'm capable of, and, you know, other people feel motivated to be the best and there's nothing wrong with that. I just think what's most important is each of us finds the perspective in the operating system that works best for us, and that, that, I think, is, you know, for anyone listening, especially in the entrepreneur space, is really important.

Speaker 1:

That's the danger of social media.

Speaker 2:

Right I was just gonna bring up the social media stuff like this.

Speaker 1:

That's, that's the danger of, because, regardless of age, I know that teenagers get the the main brunt of the news coverage because of, you know, unfortunately, teen suicides and such. But there are a lot of people that Overstretch their lives and over leverage their lives for the sake of getting likes and looking like they're keeping up with all their competition, whether the competition is the guy with a better yard or whether it's business owners in the same industry. There's, I mean, people they just can't wait to put every win on there, or Some of those people put their other dirty laundry on there too.

Speaker 2:

No, those guys are just well what scares me the most is people having to feel like they have to keep up with everybody, and there's a lot of people out there that are just full of it, like they're not. I mean, look at all these social media influencers and stuff, all I mean. How many, how many multi millionaires are are there out there that are 22 years old, I mean, but they seem to be all over YouTube. They're all over Instagram. It's like oh, I became a millionaire at you know 17. Oh, did you? Because there's 800 other people on YouTube saying the same thing. And when you look at the stats, there's just not that many people out there that are actually hit that, you know, hit that goal in their life. That young and people, by watching these things and not seeing the losing stories, right, they only see the winning stories and they sometimes they see Hyperbolic, which I'd say most of them are stories. You know, they compare themselves to that, I mean, and that's that's exactly what you're talking about, alan.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, well, and sadly, that is one of the major downsides to social media is it's kind of designed To make us play the comparison game. That's why we have to be very guarded and very protective of that. And you know, as you just said, you know what if you did have a side hustle that was internet-based and you made a couple hundred thousand dollars a year, well, if you're comparing yourself to someone that's making a million dollars a year, that might make you feel a little discouraged and dismissed, but that's something to be incredibly proud of. And and I was just throwing that out there is a reference. In my opinion, if you have a side hustle that you enjoy, that you get passion from that, that you love whatever it is that you're doing, then don't worry so much about the outcome. If you love the process and you love the work and you love what you're doing, you've already won. Now, if that also turns into something that's profitable, something that opens up doors and opportunities, that's just an added bonus. But the real key is learning to love the work. See the folks that only love outcomes. Well, that's gonna be a lot of ebbing and flowing, you know, whereas you can be much more consistent if you learn to love the work. But that's why we just have to be careful about playing that comparison game, because no matter how good you get at something, someone out there is a little bit better, and that's okay. Just continue to run your race and focus on the things that you have control over.

Speaker 1:

So do? You had to have that conversation with chris paul when you're talking about kairi erving.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I mean you know all of these guys. I mean, think about it. Even, let's even use labran as an example. I mean you're talking about, once again, a generational type talent, you know, and people keep having that the goat debate. And here labran is one of the best players to ever play the game and he can't even escape. Well, you're not as good as michael jordan, you know. I mean it. Just the comparison game is just incredible and even with messy I mean messy is I mean we're seeing what he's doing in real time but there's still people that will say, you know, rinaldo's better, neymar's better, pele was better 30 years ago. You're never going to please everyone all of the time and there's no way you'll get a consensus on anyone being the goat in anything. I mean even even look at the world's richest man. It depends on the day it does. The slack market is doing, whether or not you know Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos or somebody else. It's just, it's pretty insane. So for me, I think we can and should use social media as a way to share, as a way to engage and meet people, as a way to learn. We just have to be very careful of the downside, of using it as a comparison tool.

Speaker 2:

Well, there's a couple of things that I think make your website elite. I think your logo is awesome. Whoever did that logo, you should, you should congratulate them. As somebody who does logos, that logo is freaking sweet, I love. I love the way it was put together and then also the way you set up your website. Under the speaking section, you have this raise your game, raise their game, raise our game, raise your sales, sustain your game. I love the way you kind of set that up. Instead of saying hey for you know, for business owners, for whatever you, you, you, you put it in context of what, what you're good at, which is you know, what you understand, which is basketball, and the way you're going to present things, and I really, really like that. Explain how that's broken out and and who you're targeting.

Speaker 3:

Sure. So you know, for my message it's pretty industry agnostic. I mean I can speak in almost any industry or any vertical, because I'm not talking about the specifics or the nuances of that industry. I'm talking about general principles, performance and leadership and communication and culture principles. So you know, raise, your game is designed for a group that wants me to focus on each individual team members, individual improvement. You know, raise their game is how do we improve as leaders? You know, how can I make someone more impactful and influential so that they can lead to a higher degree? Raise, our game is about teamwork and collaboration and how can we improve our culture as a group? Raise your sales is is fairly self-explanatory. That's for anyone that's selling any product or service and wants to get better at that. And then sustain your game is more about the stress and stagnation and burnout that we talked about before. So when a group is deciding to bring me in to speak, they need to decide who is the intended audience and what are they trying to get out of this, and then that helps determine which of those tracks makes most sense. And most groups that bring me in want somewhat of a collection or a curation of multiple. You know they want each member of the team to improve their individual performance, but then they also want everybody to be able to play together nicely in the sandbox so that they've got really good teamwork. So many times I'm customizing a program that blends many of those together.

Speaker 1:

Oh, yeah, how many speaking engagements you have a year.

Speaker 3:

So the goal for me is to do 60 a year you know if I can average just around one a week. That tends to work out really well for me. I'm a very amicably divorced father of three, so I've got 13-year-old twin sons and 11-year-old daughter that live with my ex-wife about 15 minutes away, so that 60 speaking engagements a year keeps me home enough to be a present father when I have my children, but then it allows me to kind of travel and do what it is that I love to do when I don't. And you know, plus or minus five on either end of that is probably somewhat doable. But I've got friends in the speaking industry that do 120 gigs a year, wow, and I just know that would be way too much for me to manage and balance the other areas of my life that are very important.

Speaker 2:

You see any potential in the court with those kids.

Speaker 3:

You know they're decent players. I mean it's all three of them play youth hoops and you know it's been really interesting from a parenting perspective. I would say that all three of my children really like basketball, but I wouldn't say that any of them absolutely love basketball. I wouldn't say that any of them are obsessed with basketball, and that's okay. You know, as a parent I just want them to do something that they enjoy. Now all three have expressed to me that they have the goal of playing college basketball and I told them that is a wonderful goal. But I've also let them know that if that is your goal, at some point you're going to need to turn that switch on so that you love basketball. You know, I mean I obsessed this kind of a dangerous word, but you know you don't want a day to go by that you don't do something to work on your game, because that's what's going to be required for you to earn an opportunity to play college basketball. You know I say very respectfully my kids will have very normal athleticism. They'll have normal size. I mean I'm six one, so they'll. They'll be fortunate if they're anywhere close to six feet. But it's not like I've got three children that are, all you know, six foot 11, 280 pounds, with no body fat, and can jump out of the gym Like. If they're going to play college basketball it's going to be because they're very skilled, they're in great condition, they're great leaders and great teammates. So they need to work on those things to earn that opportunity, and I remind them of that daily. But at the end of the day, I'm okay with them really liking basketball and that that's just one pillar of them having well rounded lives and and I have no problem with that whatsoever- God, I wish I would have been like that.

Speaker 1:

I'm telling you I would. I don't do anything like that with Charlotte, with the volleyball, and she absolutely loves it and wants to hit all the time. She's not listening to this. I can say this she doesn't quite have the athletic. She'll have the height to be a college setter, but she doesn't quite have the athleticism. I think that it's going to be required of her to play college like college ball ball at the level that she would like to play at.

Speaker 2:

But Cayman and Elijah, I have boys that are not mind genetically and this is why I can say this because Kyle's kind of built like a, like a Neanderthal, like you see, the like, the easy he's kind of got that build not, not, I wouldn't say the volleyball build.

Speaker 1:

No, but my, but one of my, my sons are. They were division one athletes. I mean, I grew up with division one, with division one athletes. I've played against division one athletes. I've watched these guys play soccer. They were late bloomers that killed their recruiting, but they were their division one, like one, six, five, I don't know when he was playing soccer is 195. He played wing, which is really weird for being that tall to be able to play out wing at like high national level. And the other one could play everywhere. They just didn't. They didn't love it, they liked it, that's what he's talking about. Exactly. But I wasn't okay with that because I grew up like as I was a grinder, like I had to work out. I had to, I was, I wasn't an athlete. I had to make myself faster, I had to make myself jump higher. I did. Pete Rose hustler.

Speaker 2:

I am not Pete Rose. Yeah, but it would be. Rose wasn't athletically gifted, but he hustled.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, charlie hustle, he was athletically gifted enough to play in a major league baseball for 23 years, so let's not pretend he was just a small. He did play football too. Yeah, yeah, western Hills. Yeah, but I, I took that mentality. I just couldn't wrap my brain around the fact that they weren't going up to the soccer field, which was like is a turf field that the high school played at. That's another thing I was asking him about three quarter mile walk from the house and they would only go up. Their friends were going up and I it. I wish I would have been like okay with just them enjoying what they were doing, but I so you?

Speaker 2:

you didn't have the talent, but wanted it. They had the talent. You couldn't understand why they didn't want it.

Speaker 1:

And this is the kids, that kids that they grew up with are all like you know, one kid played in two of the NCAA finals last two years with IU. Another one's just was the first kid to sign with FC Cincinnati on a homegrown contract. So they're playing with kids that were like legit. I was just like oh my now what? Elijah's? Just like stabbed me in the stomach the other day. He goes. Do you see? Kimi started for FC Cincinnati. I said yeah, he goes. I should have worked harder. I said you haven't think.

Speaker 2:

Alan talk about this situation that we're discussing right now. Do you know anybody that's in this?

Speaker 3:

Well, for me what's most important as a parent and is I want my kids to understand that this is their journey and I give them the autonomy to make their decisions, and I believe my role as a parent is to help guide them and encourage them and support them. So I make sure that my children know what it's going to take for them to play college basketball. But it's up to them whether or not they choose to do it. And I make sure my kids know look, I'm going to love you unconditionally, no matter what you choose, but you're the one that's going to have to live with your choices, like you're the one that's going to face the consequences. If you choose to only like basketball for the next several years and play when it's convenient and have fun with your friends, there is nothing wrong with that, but you most likely will not be good enough to play college basketball. If that's the route you take, and if you're OK with that consequence, if you're OK with your career ending when high school is over, then I'm totally OK with it. Well, I just don't want my kids to grow up and then start blaming, complaining or making excuses why they weren't able to achieve something. I want them to make sure that they know you get to make your own decisions, but you are not free from the consequences of those decisions, and really that's my chief role as their parent is to continually remind them of that. So I don't, this is just my approach. I'm certainly not saying this is the way everyone else should do it, but I don't. I don't force them to work out. I don't guilt and shame them if they don't work out. All I do is politely remind them that if you want to be a college player, this is what college level players do every single day, and it's up to you to want to do it. And sometimes they lean into that and look like they're getting ready to flip the switch, and then other times they they're fine with it. So I don't try to live vicariously through them. I want them to make those decisions, but I can certainly appreciate with what Kyle saying. It is hard for me sometimes to not want to step on the gas and not say, look, you have any idea how good you could be if you would do these things, but that's that. That's more of an issue. That's on my side of the fence than on theirs.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, like not only you better look in the mean and you speak better than me. You're a better father than me. I think I hate you.

Speaker 2:

Well, he does this professionally. Kyle, you do sales like this is like his thing. You know, and I know you always catch yourself like tying in some of the principles that you've learned and some of the stuff you wrote in your book, with your parenting too, and do you ever catch yourself like, oh, I shouldn't be, maybe I shouldn't tie the two together. Or you like blessed that you know this stuff and you've been around these, these high level athletes, and you could share this stuff with your kids.

Speaker 3:

Well, it's a little bit of both. I mean, my overall parenting philosophy is I'm very hands off, as I just described. I don't make or force my kids to do anything. I let them know what the consequences are of not doing it. I encourage them and I support them, but ultimately it's up to them. Like I don't make my kids do homework. If you don't want to do homework, don't do it. And if you fail out of school, see what kind of life you live in the future. Like it's, it's on you. So I don't make my kids eat breakfast. You don't want to eat breakfast, don't eat breakfast. But three hours later, when you're hungry and your energy is plummeting and you're in a bad mood and you can't focus, you'll remember why and that's because you chose not to eat breakfast. So I, that's just my overall parenting philosophy. But what's funny is my kids have come with me on some of my speaking engagements. They've heard my talk more times than they can count. So I do have the tendency as a dad to occasionally go into motivation or speak or speak or mode, and they'll hear me say something that verbatim comes out of one of my keynotes. And now they're at the age where I get kind of the friendly eye roll where it's like all right, dad, we get it. So yeah. But I am trying to balance the two because I do believe these things are all intertwined. I mean, I think the principles that make an elite level basketball player have the high utility of being the same principles that make someone an elite level entrepreneur or sales professional and they're the same principles that make someone a good parent. You know, all of these things, when we talk in the general principle sense, have high utility and are very versatile, I believe it, yeah, and I love that you can.

Speaker 2:

You can use those skills and I guess you know, if the kids ever get too bad, use a few neighborhoods in DC. You can drive them around to it right and show them like what their future could look like. I mean, I didn't grow up in the best If you have a bull proof car.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, you're doing a good G wagon. I didn't grow up in the best of neighborhoods.

Speaker 2:

It actually might be one of the well, I'd say it's top three worst in Cincinnati, probably, and Cincinnati's not got the lowest crime rate in the country. Let's put it that way.

Speaker 1:

That's the hilarious part about this whole river divide too is that you guys have shitty neighborhoods and everybody makes fun of Kentucky.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I don't know why Ours are the worst. But yeah, so my mom used to tell us she did. She had the same kind of strategy. She was just like don't get arrested because I can't afford to get you out. That was as I do it. Do what you want, you know, make your own decisions. It ended up working out for us. But you know, I mean, there's, there's people that are, you know, helicopter parents and they just, you know, they want to know every minute of the day where their kid is and know what they're doing, and sometimes that could just be a little overbearing and the kids end up rejecting you and doing exactly the opposite of what you tell them to do.

Speaker 1:

And on the yeah, on the Sorry, go ahead.

Speaker 3:

I'm sorry. What I was just going to say is the other part of that. Parenting philosophy for me is is I try and model the behavior that I would like to see my kids emulate, so combining the two. Like, I don't make my kids eat healthy food, but they see me order healthy food whenever we go out and over time they might want to start making that same decision, like if they choose to eat something that's rather unhealthy. I don't guilt them, I don't shame them, I don't criticize them. I just let them know, you know, if you put that type of fuel in your body consistently, here are the consequences of doing that, and just make sure they have all of the information. Now, with that being said, of me being hands off, it's still my job, because of their current ages, to put up some guardrails. you know, put up the bumpers when we're playing bowling. So you know, my sons will start eighth grade next week, my daughter will start sixth grade next week, so they'll all three be at middle, in middle school, and I need to have a talk with them about sex, about drugs, about bullying. You know about a lot of these different things because that's my job, as I see it as a parent. You know. So when I say that I'm hands off, this doesn't mean that my kids are out. You know smoking cigarettes and getting tattoos, like I want to make sure that I'm putting parameters up, but I try to get them to make as many decisions as possible and even with this pending conversation about, you know, sex and drugs and bullying, I'll address the elephant in the room and I'll say look, I want to chat with you guys about some things I already know. This is going to be awkward for you and it's going to be awkward for me. It's going to be uncomfortable for you and uncomfortable for me and we'll all probably squirm in our chair a little bit. But nevertheless, these are very important things that you need to know and that I want to share with you, and I will be as honest as I can in all of those domains. It's not going to be a scare tactic where I make it seem like these things are only awful and lead to catastrophic consequences and there's no upside Like. I want to provide my children with an honest approach to these different things, Model behavior that I hope they emulate and then encourage, support them and hold them accountable to those things as they move forward. But but I will say firsthand, and any parent listening knows this, Parenting is incredibly challenging. You know. It can be a job that gives you some of the best joy and fulfillment, but it can also be incredibly frustrating and exhausting at the same time. And I certainly do not have the parenting answers. I'm just doing the best I can.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's like this would transfer over. I think perfectly, though, this, this whole thought, the way you parent would be the way that you would communicate with business leaders, because there is a you know, there are two types of business leaders that I've come across so the hands off. And then there are the micromanagers, which you were talking about the helicopter parents, and it's the same exact concept is like you got to, let you get, or you can tell them what to do, or you can be over their shoulder making them do it, but what's the point of that? They're never going to learn what they need to learn so that they can actually fulfill their potential as your employee.

Speaker 3:

So well said. Thank you, I see sometimes.

Speaker 1:

Sometimes I didn't stutter through that one. I didn't say um.

Speaker 2:

He was cognizant of what was coming out of his mouth. Yeah, getting better getting better. Yeah, there you go. That's all you can do, that's right. Well, alamon, this has been great. Tell people and I'd encourage you know we got some you know business folks and everything to listen here and we got, you know, plenty of Fortune 500 companies and all that floating around Cincinnati here and it looks like you've got a couple of Ohio companies you spoke to, smuckers being one of them uh, on your list here and I mean when I go to your website, I'm looking at you know the previous clients list. I mean this is a who's who. This is great. I mean you've definitely got the chops for this. Tell people how, uh, how, they can reach out to you if they're interested in uh, in having you come talk to one of their organizations, or I don't know if you do any kind of like personal type of things or what you, what, what your whole uh system is, but it definitely looks like public speaking. So tell people how they can get a hold of you.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, the best thing to do is just go to alansteingearcom that's kind of the hub for everything and if you're interested in having me speak at an event or to your team or organization, there's a contact tab up in the upper right corner. Just click that out and my team and I will get back to you really, really quickly. I'm also very accessible and responsive on social media. I'm at alansteingear, on Instagram, twitter which I guess now we're calling X and LinkedIn. So if anyone has a question or wants to share something or any part of this awesome conversation resonated, just shoot me a DM on Instagram or LinkedIn. I'm great about getting back with folks and if you have an interest in either of my books raise your game or sustain your game you can buy those on Amazon or Audible or wherever you like to get your books and audio books.

Speaker 2:

But this was a lot of fun.

Speaker 3:

I enjoyed learning from you guys, and nothing would make me happier than coming out to either Kentucky or Cincinnati to do a speaking engagement.

Speaker 2:

I love it and it looks like you got some great content on your YouTube also. I just went to that and the sound came off for a second, but it sounds like, it looks like you got some really good content on your YouTube. People can check out.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, Well, over the last year we've really put a major focus on the YouTube channel and we try to populate that with a new video once a week. And yeah, just go to youtubecom backslash alansteingear and Peru. Some of those subscribe if you think it's worth your while and please share those as liberally as possible. That's how we get the good word out.

Speaker 1:

I have one more question before we get to this have you always been like this happy, like I mean, this is a good way, is this something that you had to work on? And you were like, okay, I got to focus in on this extraverted and well spoken yeah.

Speaker 3:

Well, a couple of things to say there. One I highly identify with being an introvert, meaning I love speaking, I love being with people, but it's also what drains me. Like no exaggeration, at the end of this conversation I'll feel like I just ran five miles and that's. That's a good thing. So for me, the way that I actually recoup my energy is in solitude. I need lots of alone time, especially after speaking engagements or interviews. As far as the happy part is concerned, no, I am definitely not always like this. I am just as moody as anybody else you've ever met. But as a professional who does a lot of forward facing stuff like podcast interviews and keynote talks, as a professional I know how to compartmentalize and show up as my best self consistently. So it's actually my goal. For someone on the other end, like you, two guys have no idea whether or not I've been having a good day or I've been having a bad day because I want to make sure that I show up to do my job to the best of my ability, and I take a lot of pride in doing that as a professional. But I've also learned to embrace that when I'm in a bad mood or I'm feeling discouraged or I'm, you know, whatever. I'm not my best self. I give myself some grace to do that. I don't beat myself up, I don't shame or guilt myself Like I give myself the space to be human. I mean I'm flawed and so forth, just like everybody else. But I will say and this might have been more of your question I've always been high energy, I've always been enthusiastic, I've always gotten jacked up to have an opportunity to meet two cool guys like you and have an awesome conversation for your audience. So, like this is all 100% authentic. This is how I'm feeling. But then as soon as we hit end in just a couple of moments, then you'll see me kind of trail off and I'll be back to recoup time.

Speaker 2:

Well, alan, you know, what that tells me is is the fact that you are introverted. It's generally tough for people like that to get up in front of a room and speak to people like that and answer questions afterwards when you're already drained from an engagement like that. The fact that you do that, despite you being an introvert, tells me that you love what you do and that you have something valuable to share with people, and you just have to do it Well, I appreciate that, man.

Speaker 3:

This was a lot of fun. Both of you guys do a great job.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, alan, we really appreciate you being on the show. It's a lot of good stuff. And guys go check out Alan Stein Jr. He's all over the place and if you got any needs, you want to. You want somebody doing. You want to improve your group, you want to improve your company, you want to improve yourself. Reach out. Thanks, alan, thank you guys. Thanks for joining us on this week's episode of Side Hustle City. Well, you've heard from our guests, now let's hear from you. Join our community on Facebook, side Hustle City. It's a group where people share ideas, share their inspirational stories and motivate each other to be successful and turn their side hustle into their main hustle. We'll see you there and we'll see you next week on the show. Thank you, bye.

(Cont.) Journey from the Basketball to Boardrooms: Gaining Mastery and Balance with Alan Stein Jr.
(Cont.) Journey from the Basketball to Boardrooms: Gaining Mastery and Balance with Alan Stein Jr.