Tommy Breedlove is a Wall Street Journal & USA Today bestselling author of the book, Legendary, and Atlanta-based business, relationship, and mindset coach who is a regular featured keynote speaker at global events. He serves clients and audiences by empowering them to build and live Legendary Lives. He guides them to build a lasting legacy, work in their zone of brilliance, obtain financial confidence, and live with meaning and balance.
- CEO Hack: Strong gratitude practice
- CEO Nugget: (1) Participate in your own rescue – ask for help (2) Listen more
- CEO Defined: You are a leader, servant and you have a responsibility to provide value
Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/in/legendarybook
Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place, Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is the I am CEO podcast.
Gresham Harkless 0:29
Hello, hello. Hello, this is Gresh from the I am CEO podcast I have a very special guest on the show today at Tommy Bree love Tommy Bree loves calm Tommy saw some heavy on the show.
Tommy Breedlove 0:39
Gresh What an honor brother and I've already had some good laughs and almost a good cry talking about Atlanta Falcons. I'm here for you.
Gresham Harkless 0:46
Yes, absolutely. And I definitely promised I wouldn't say my favorites even so at the end of the show, because I don't I want to continue the good vibes and the good energy that we have going on. And before we jumped into the interview, I wanted to read a little bit more about Tommy so you hear about all these awesome things that he's doing. And Tommy is a wall street journal and USA Today bestselling author of the book legendary and Atlanta based business relationship and mindset coach who is a regular featured keynote speaker at global events. He serves clients and audiences by empowering them to build and live legendary lives. He lives he guides them to build a lasting legacy work in their zone of brilliance and obtain financial confidence and living with meaning and balance. Tommy, are you ready to speak to the imcl community?
Tommy Breedlove 1:30
I cannot wait to speak to the I am CEO community what an honor.
Gresham Harkless 1:34
Honor is all ours and we wanted to kind of kick everything off and rewind the clock a little bit here a little bit more how you got started? Could you take us through what I call your CEO story. When did you get started with some things you're you're working. So
Tommy Breedlove 1:45
I'm fortunate enough to be in my second career. I grew up in the financial industry was a senior partner, shareholder and board member at a large financial consulting firm based in the southeast. And even with all the money, title, prestige, it was not my calling. So I made a very difficult. And now I'll look back and give myself a little bit of love. I'm a recovering perfectionist. So given self love, sometimes a little hard. But I took a lot of courage for me to walk away from what was a significant amount of money to go chase this passion. And what led me to this is I'm very grateful that I'm also in a career that I didn't choose it chose me. And I went through a massive transformation in my life. And when I did that all these executives, entrepreneurs, managers, all these people in my network started reaching out to me and asked me for help in their relationships with their mindset with their money and with their lives because I went through a massive transformation. And so this, this chose me and that was my CEO moment. And I'm a slow learner, apparently because it was just countless people reaching out to me asking for help. And I was still in the financial industry. I never planned on leaving. And eventually it became so much of a calling. And it led to the book as well that I sold my equity resigned my board seat and walked away at 39 years old to chase this dream of helping people build and live legendary lofts. That was my CEO moment, my friend.
Gresham Harkless 3:05
Yeah, absolutely. I think I can speak to and probably a lot of people can listen can can be labeled slow learners, or sometimes they they couple that with being hard headed, and not wanting to listen to that calling that we sometimes hear so often. But I think it's so powerful that it we often are reminded that sometimes we get those signs and we hear those callings we just kind of tune them out. But a lot of times when you do kind of step into that things just kind of take off from there. It sounds like it has for you.
Tommy Breedlove 3:31
So true. And for me, I grew up in such humble beginnings, you know, no one in my family was college educated. We were good, solid blue collar part of South Atlanta. And walking away from money and success, to go follow a dream and follow your purpose. It's hard to do. I mean, it was not an easy process. It took a family decision. But one of my mantra is now is I don't want to live life with regrets. I don't want to regret my actions, my words. And certainly my where I spend most of my time, which is my career. So I would rather know that at least Zin, the arena, working toward my dream as opposed to working towards someone else's dream. And so given myself a little self love today, so thank you for allowing me to do that.
Gresham Harkless 4:15
Yeah, absolutely, definitely deserve it. And I think so many times, you know, a lot of times when you do for yourself so many times that helps out so many people because it gives people permission to be able to do the same and I think being able to kind of you know, go towards your colon and go towards the things that lights you up and things that are your zone of brilliance as you kind of spoke to, as well to really give you that opportunity to really excel in and be happy and live the dream you truly want. Thank you, man,
Tommy Breedlove 4:40
thank you. So true. And I think we guys like us, give people the permission of going second. Like if if he was vulnerable, honest, raw and took the courage to do that. And I'm saying this Gresh if I if I tell me breedlove can do this, anybody can do it because um, and so but to me again, it goes back to significance, purpose and Living life without regrets and so, yeah, Carpe Diem, right.
Gresham Harkless 5:04
I absolutely love that. It's so I wanted to ask you now for how exactly you started the cleanse? I know I spoke to it a little bit in the bio, can you take us through what exactly that process looks like and how you support those clients you work with?
Tommy Breedlove 5:16
Yeah, so people come to me, what helps I guess one of my differentiators that I did spend 20 something plus years in financial consulting, understand profitability, cash flow, governance, tough decisions with employees and everything in between. and people come to me, people come, there's a difference between giving people what they want, and what they need. And all people want what we truly want, my friend is to be seen, heard, loved, valued and safe. That's what we want. But what we think we need is money, power, significance, more time. And so people usually come to me with their they're at a crossroads in their life. And they have to make a difficult decision in business in life, they want more money, they want more confidence. They want more time. They're overwhelmed, they're stressed, they can't figure out why, you know, they look up in the sky and ask why they're here. And so that's where we start. But let me tell you what all of us need is we want more intimacy, in our friendships are with our significant others. We want to be the masters of our mindset, because there's that voice inside our head that says we're not good enough. And what if they figure out I really don't know what I'm doing. And I'm about to get a little woowoo. But it's not it's data. Now, this is not anecdotal, as people need more unconditional love, self respect, and self confidence, so that we can truly love and respect others. And you know, and so that's what we need. So I work with people, it always ends there, it doesn't matter if it's a seasoned executive, or someone just getting started out in their career. That's what I take them through. And the reason I put to legendary in a world of constant self promotion, if I said Tommy breed loves legendary people would laugh me out of the room. Legendary is given to us by societies, our communities are, think of the great, there's some bad legends in history when we can name them. And we can name some great people in history, Mo KS, and and Gandhi's and all those unbelievably good people, but you don't have to be rich and famous. You just got to live a life of significance and leave this world, our communities and people better than we found them. And that to me, is building legendary lives. And so that's literally what I and I do it in one on one settings, I do it retreats, I do it in group formats, I do it in public speaking, it's truly an honor. And I don't I'm not in the business of changing people, I'm just in the business of revealing the greatness of what's already in and it's just an honor to do it. Man,
Gresham Harkless 7:36
I wanted to switch gears a little bit. And I want to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be like an apple book or habit that you have. But what's something that makes you more effective and efficient,
Tommy Breedlove 7:46
for what makes me the most effective is a strong gratitude practice. It helps keep me in the present moment, it helps to keep me out of the fear. Because we all have fear and insecurities. And as a CEO, I mean, I've got quite an organization now. And for me, it keeps me humble keeps me in the present moment. And it helps me to celebrate the daily wins. My team is amazing at that. And so when we're sick, because we're always planning and the next thing and the next thing and we're wanting to build empires, and that, hey, I get it, let's do it. But if we're not enjoying the moments in the wins, and even the losses, and we're not grateful for every single breath of every single day, that's a hack for me, it keeps me happy, keeps me present keeps me peaceful. And honestly, it keeps me humble. And it's on the loving side of the spectrum, as opposed on the fear side. And we get so caught up and building the businesses and I love it. We need to be grateful for the journey. And I think that would be my biggest life hack.
Gresham Harkless 8:43
I absolutely love that. And I love you know, obviously we it's a little bit easier to be grateful for the things that we're able to succeed at. But I love that you said you know, being grateful even for the things that we failed at, because I think so many times we forget that getting the opportunity to even fail and to take that chance to take that challenge or go forward. It's something we should be grateful for as well. And not only does it provide that opportunity, but also provides a lot of seeds of ways that we can improve, to take that next level and actually succeed in the way that we hope to succeed in the beginning.
Tommy Breedlove 9:12
Absolutely. And if we really look for it, especially in our failings and our mistakes. There's so much love and learnings in those. And I know it's cliche, and if we don't talk about it, screwing up and failing sucks, it truly does in the moment. It's like a bad breakup, man. It's just hard to get over. But every breakup, every failing every mistake, you look back six months, and if you really look at it's probably the best thing that we did and happened to us if we learn from it, right. And so being grateful for that is where you stand on your mistakes as a strong foundation, as opposed to an anchor weighing you down. Like we're so filled with shame and like we talked about that voice inside our head. Nah, man, that was the best mistake you've ever made. Because now you You've learned from it now you stand on it with gratitude and you move forward better than we were yesterday. And I think it's a big powerful thing.
Gresham Harkless 10:05
Yeah, absolutely. And especially when you're able to, as you say, move forward. And then a lot of times, like you said, when you look back and say, okay, that's why that happened. This is how I improve myself from it. But you can only do that by moving forward, it becomes that anchor if you don't move forward. So absolutely. Out of that.
Tommy Breedlove 10:21
I was a Michelangelo at screwing up at one time in my life. So I can say with confidence, though, that, and I was talking about this last night with a dear friend that I haven't seen in a long, long time. And I'm proud of the man I am now. And I don't want to be remembered as that guy. I want to be remembered as this guy. And I couldn't have done that without all those mistakes. So I'm truly grateful for that.
Gresham Harkless 10:43
Yeah, absolutely. And I say very often, and I'm a big believer in kind of binary, so to speak, it's really hard to really experience good without experiencing bad, it's really hard to really enjoy the highs if you haven't experienced the lows. And I think that so many times, we just want to experience the high but we don't we forget that we have to go through a process to get there. So that sounds Amen.
Tommy Breedlove 11:03
My brother, man.
Gresham Harkless 11:06
Awesome. So now what it asked me for what I call a CEO nugget. So this could be a word of wisdom or a piece of advice, it might be something you would tell a client or if you have a time machine, you might tell your younger self,
Tommy Breedlove 11:18
I would say participate in your own rescue. And what I mean by that is ask for help. I think so many times we try to try to be that oak tree with the strong roots. And we don't have it all figured out. We don't have all the answers, we make mistakes. And I don't want us to die as CEOs on that that horse, you know, leading the charge. It takes a village in a community. And so I would say participate in your own rescue. Ask for help. And remember two ears and one mouth. And the reason I say that is Listen, listen, if that doesn't work, listen to more and speak when you need to speak. So ask for help participate in your own rescue. There's no magic pill to this thing called life and business takes a village to community surround yourself with people who want to make you better know you don't have all the answers. And then remember to listen more than you speak. And that's that's what I would say to all CEOs out there.
Gresham Harkless 12:08
Some I absolutely love that. And I think it ties into what you said about the ROC about that humility aspect. Because I think when you're a CEO and entrepreneur, you have to have a certain kind of revival, maybe your confidence that you can really create something, but at the same time, you have to balance that with that humility. And a lot of that manifests itself in asking for help and putting those people around you in order to see that success. And if you don't do that, that bravado, that arrogance, that confident or overconfident, maybe even can sometimes lead you to where you ultimately don't want to be.
Tommy Breedlove 12:39
Yeah, you don't want to become Steve Jobs, who gets fired from the company he created, you know, and that was throw, you know, that was for arrogance, lack of leadership, lack of it took that humility in that punch in the gut, for lack of a better word, to come back, stay in his own brilliance, innovator marketer, right? let other people's that are better than him at other jobs do their job. And look, it's probably one of the biggest brands on earth now from that mistake. And from that humility, and learning and asking for help. And so it was it's a big moment for all of us to
Gresham Harkless 13:10
take note of that. Yeah, absolutely. A little taste of Humble Pie never hurts, and then the day. So now I wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. And we're hoping that different, quote, unquote, CEOs on the show, so Tommy, what does being a CEO mean to you?
Tommy Breedlove 13:26
It means you're a leader, and you're a servant. And you have a responsibility for the lives of your people have your customer and it's a heavy, heavy responsibility. It's a responsibility to provide value in the world. It needs accountability, it needs humbleness, it needs all of the great things we talked about. So being a CDO is serving not and you can lead via servant, there's some of the greatest leaders in the world who are servers, probably the best leaders in the world, is take that responsibilities if you keep your people and your purpose First, the profit will come. It absolutely will. I've seen it time and time again. I've seen it countless times in my life and in my clients live, stay humble, serve, listen, lead, and put your people first and the profit will come.
Gresham Harkless 14:18
I love it people and purpose. I had a profit. And I think so many times we get that switched around as we kind of talked about, you know, before, but I think that as you said, you know, the Gandhi's of the world, those people that really have made a legendary impact and done phenomenal things are those people that understand that. And it might, in some ways manifest itself in money. And other times it may not, but impact is one of the biggest things that we see. So I absolutely love that Tommy.
Tommy Breedlove 14:41
Thank you, man. Thank you, brother. Awesome. Awesome.
Gresham Harkless 14:44
Awesome. I appreciate it. Yeah, absolutely. I appreciate your time even more. What I wanted to do is pass you the mic so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional that you can tell our readers and listeners and of course how best they can get overview, get a copy of the book and find out about all the awesome things you're working on.
Tommy Breedlove 14:58
Yeah, brother, if you want to, if you Have you liked what we've been throwing down here and you dig it. Because of the time that we're recording this it's a troublesome time with a lot of fear and anxiety and uncertainty in this world. And we've opened up chapters of the book to help with that for free. So if you go to Tommy breed, love calm and I'm a southern guy, so I'll spell this slash gifts, gi FTS. I hope that came through clear. We're giving away the financial confidence, the financial freedom and the financial mindset chapters because I think everybody needs a little that in these uncertain times. We're also giving away the mastering your mindset chapter. So check it out there. And hopefully you'll dig it. Hopefully you'll apply some of those lessons to your life. Reach out to me anytime we put love and light, inspiration, goodness, business hacks, tips all the time we were we're on the good side of social media, not the toxic side of social media. So check us out at Tommy breed love. And if you ever want to reach out to me, Tommy at Tommy breed love calm. I'd be happy and humbled to hear from you.
Gresham Harkless 15:54
Awesome, awesome, awesome. Well, Tommy, I'm happy and humbled that you were able to kind of join us on the show. We will have the links and information in the show notes and I definitely appreciate you for offering the chapters for writing the book reminding us of how we can be legendary in our lives and our businesses and relationships that we have. So I appreciate you so much again, my friend and I hope you have a phenomenal rest today.
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