Amy Morin: On Mental Toughness

For the Curious,

I’ve lived most of my life without a strategy.

I’ve been a traveler, and as John Steinbeck once wrote: “We don’t take a trip. Trips take us.”

It’s a wonderful way to live if you’re highly curious because you’re always wondering what’s going to happen next.

But last week’s conversation on Big Questions really got me to thinking.

It was with Dr. Steven Gundry, who followed his heart and left a secure job as chairman of cardiothoracic surgery at Loma Linda University in order to counsel patients for much lower fees on improving their health through diet and supplements.

Dr. Gundry and his wife endured major financial stress for more than a decade because of this decision. Their home was foreclosed upon and at one point they couldn’t lease a car without his parents’ signature. Dr. Gundry’s journey ultimately took him to an amazing place. Now, he’s had four best-selling books – including The Plant Paradox -- and he’s developed a supplement-selling empire that employs 600 people.

I’m starting a business that will help companies tell their stories.

But I don’t want to go through what Dr. Gundry did before getting to where I want to go.

If I’m going to employ people, they’re going to be depending on me. This is a huge responsibility. I can’t treat this like a traveler who only has to be concerned about himself. I need a strategy. I need a CEO mentality. That is going to mean recreating myself because the words CEO and CAL FUSSMAN have never before appeared in the same sentence.

So it was fortuitous to have Amy Morin as my guest on this week’s podcast. Amy is the best-selling author of 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do. As a psychotherapist, she had just the right balance to analyze my idea of bringing in a financial buffer to get the business off to a solid start.

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When I put it that way, it sounds very reasonable. But when you hear the story behind Million-Dollar May, you may laugh like Amy.



P.S. And if you know anybody whose company needs assistance with its storytelling, please let me know!

Kevin Hekmat