“Kintsugi” means “golden repair.” It’s a Japanese art of repairing broken pottery by using golden lacquer to mend the broken pieces together. Chris Webb’s guest is Terrance McMahon, the inspirational author of SuperHero Self: How to Recover From Anything and Recreate Yourself. In this episode, Terrance shares his journey from being a CEO with a seven-figure income to being labeled an alcoholic and put on a liver transplant waiting list at the very bottom where the alcoholics go. Terrance eventually became the recipient of a life-saving liver transplant, and his experiences catapulted him to recreating himself into who he is today. Tune in as Chris and Terrance discuss why you should celebrate your scars like the gold lining of Kintsugi, why you should be transparent, and how the R-factor-4 can help you recreate yourself.
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The Gold Lining Of Kintsugi: Recreate Yourself With Terrance McMahon
I’ve done a lot of research on you. I ran across your name on LinkedIn. I saw one of the TED presentations. There was a clip like classroom setting. I don’t remember where exactly it was, but it was good information. You’ve been through a lot. In this day and age, in life, and in business, we usually have some transitional stepping. With the one odd shot, you went from the top to the bottom just like that. What was that like? Explain your background a little bit and then we can talk more about the detail.
SuperHero Self: How to Recover From Anything and Recreate Yourself: A 12 Week Plan for Personal Transformation
I didn’t have that crazy interesting background. I was raised in a big family of six. I played baseball in college on a scholarship. I started partying a little too hard. I kept partying after college came and went. I went knocking on doors selling life insurance door-to-door. I figured out a few things and had a bunch of stress with that job. I survived long enough and figured out enough. I called them algorithms. I learned algorithms to getting clients, making cold calls, doing direct mail, radio shows, and seminars. What started out as the interim job is to have benefits they had to my son. I never finished college. I had a baby coming, so I left college. I started knocking on doors. I ended up being a wonderful eight-figure business.
If I roll the clocks up to several years, I learned a lot about algorithms through the good to help me make money and then a lot of algorithms for the bad that took a toll on my health. One of them was daily drinking to medicate stress, anxiety, panic attacks, and then pills. In 2015, I started taking prescription medication for panic attacks and any ridiculous pill they’d give me. For some reason, they gave me bunches of them. When I had a perfectly good business, in Memorial Day weekend 2016, I woke up like any other day. I wasn’t feeling well. I had a full-time driver at that time. He dropped me off at an emergency room to get things checked out. I walked in with no clue about what was going to happen to me. They started taking blood, some vital signs, and then they started coming in pretty regularly 5 or 6 at a time.
As soon as that happened, I knew I was in trouble. A couple of hours later, the doctor came back and he says, “It’s not your heart. It’s your liver. You’re in massive liver failure. We have to go to some extreme measures to keep you alive.” That was it. My whole world changed in a matter of few seconds from a CEO with a seven-figure income to being labeled alcoholic and put on a liver transplant waiting list at the very bottom where the alcoholics go. Those are a big eye-opener. My journey of trying to make money and chase the buck turned into a journey of trying to get a transplant and survive.
That was a whole another part of the story. Figuring out how to survive and learning about my body in different ways that I could stay alive longer, long enough to get on the list to get a transplant. One of the things with the transplant situation is there’s only one available for every three people that need one. Some wait too long or can’t get one and die. If you’re an alcoholic, you got additional requirements. They don’t like giving alcoholics precious organs because about 40% of the time, they go back and drink and they destroy the second organ. If someone died, they give them that organ and then if someone else died, they didn’t get it. It’s hard to get one if you’ve been in alcoholic liver failure.
I did a lot of things. The one thing that was most notable in my journey that’s a big part of my life is I had to go to rehab right at the very end. They told me I had six months left to live. The average waiting time for a liver transplant was 323 days. I didn’t have enough time. At the very end, I ended up at Mayo in Jacksonville. They were saying, “You need to get relapse prevention training at a rehab center before we can list you.” I was sick. I had to spend most of the rest of my life in alcohol and drug rehab centers sitting around in circles where I had to eat a little crow for my behavior.
They told me something that bothered me. It’d be the sickest I would. They said, “You’re an addict. Your brain is broken. You have a disease. There’s no known cure for this disease. For the rest of your life, the one and only way to get sober is to go to meetings, call yourself an addict, and be in what they call recovery for the rest of their life.” I’ve been around it a little bit. It was never big for me. I was like, “That’s not an acceptable answer. If I do survive, I’m not going to do that. If I do survive, I’m going to recreate and reinvent myself.” Rehabilitation is a word that means restore back to the original condition. I was pretty busted up. I don’t think I want to go back there. I want to reinvent myself.
Recreate means to bring something new into existence. That was the big idea in my first book. That’s what I talk about. Reinventing yourself, brain, body, business, making something new because I was busted up. I was 350 pounds, morbidly obese. I had lots of money, but I had lots of bad things going on in my life. That’s what happened. To finished out the loop on this story, the very last moments after my kids had gone home, it was my mother and me, I’m starting to smell like death, which is ammonia.
Recreate and reinvent yourself.
We got a call one late night while the time was passing. It was Mayo Clinic. They miraculously informed me that a prisoner died. Prisoners are called high risk. A lot of people don’t take the organ because of the obvious issues with the prisoner might have something wrong with their blood or the organ itself could be damaged too. The prisoner was also an IV drug user. They weren’t sure the organ was safe for me. We took it. They put it on a helicopter or a jet. They dropped it down to the landing pad at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville. It ended up in a cooler to the emergency room then popped it in my body. It saved my life. That was it. I wake up the next day.
You’ve got to apply yourself to the direction that you intended, which is to recreate.
I had to get out of bed first. They cut you open like that.
You fell into that breakdown.
The Japanese Art of Kintsugi. The thing with that was when you did what I did as long as I did, which I had a good time, that wasn’t a drag at all. I was big guy, fun guy like Tommy Boy. I lived the life of Jordan Belfort. It was a mix of Tommy Boy of Wolf of Wall Street. I used to go around and have a good time. I’m sure everyone said to me that someday that guy’s not going to wake up. That was a good time. What are you going to do? I’m not at all making fun of it. It was embarrassing. It’s particularly embarrassing to die like that when your skin is turning yellow and green and you’re starting to smell.
You’re dying right in front of everyone’s eyes. You see the look of pity every time they come to visit you by your lifelong friends, your family members. I was like, “If I get a chance, I’ll honor the donor and I’ll honor the other person that will die waiting. I’ll do something with it.” That’s what I did. I got work. I cut off all the shit I was doing. I sold my business. I moved. I made some pretty hard decisions, people, places, personas. My identity changed. I installed algorithms for the good in my life after I cut away from all the bad.
Decisions mean that word. A lot of people think it means adding to your life. I have a decision to make. It means I got to do something it doesn’t. It means to cut away from. “De” means away from like a detour and “cision” means to cut. It means to cut things away from possibility. When you make these decisions, you’re cutting the shit out of your life. You’re relentlessly pursuing fewer things that are more meaningful which was to me getting my health back so I can live as long as possible. Repairing some relationships that were worth repairing to severing relationships that were gone and inventing a new person, a new narrative to talk to people about. I’m not Tommy Boy anymore. I’m not that guy. That guy was dead. That guy was TMac and TMac is some freaking shit show.
I’m Terrance McMahon. That’s my name. I only took that name because it was available. Terry McMahon was taken by some chiropractor in Indiana. I started calling myself Terrance. Everybody started saying, “It’s Terrance.” I said, “That’s my new name. That’s my website. I’m going to tell my story about how you don’t have to accept the bullshit narrative that the world gives you. You can put your own suit on and you can be wherever you want.” One of the few things we have control over is what we assign our own identity to be and what meaning we assigned to our suffering.
For me, my suffering was going to be about, “You can reinvent yourself as something else on the spot.” You bought a building and you want to rip it down, put up a new one or you want to build it back together. Your call. I’ll build a new one. That’s what I’m doing. That’s what I did. I retired and sold my business. I’m telling people stories like this with you. I’m trying to help people see a new slant on transformation. There’s more than one way to get a result clearly.
It’s interesting how you talk about not necessarily reconstructing what you’re already in existence. You’re rebuilding everything. You’re taking the crumbles, the ashes, and you’re putting something together. I went through a transitionary period in my life when I had a lot of things going on. I had lost my job. My dad got diagnosed with cancer. We had a bunch of financial pressure. I had been in a situation where we had no financial positivity coming in at that point in time. There was a point in time in my life where I had another man that had invested some knowledge in me and saying, “These are things you want to focus on.”
It’s one of the big things that always stick with me. I mentioned Louis Vignola up here. He has the same philosophy. It is the word problems. It’s like what you’re saying where you’re dissecting these words. The word problem is often looked at, in this day and age, where it’s a negative impact. It’s an automatic negative subconscious direction. With an understanding of the world’s view of that, in my vocabulary, I change it to challenges, situations, and opportunities. That focus has created motivation in any challenge that I come across. It’s no more of a, “I got to go through this. I got to figure this out. I got to figure that out.” It’s, “I get to go through this. See how I come across. See how I can prevail.” In your situation, that train of thought has got to be so crucial, especially in the situations that you were at your lowest.
Gold Lining Of Kintsugi: You don’t have to accept the bullshit narrative that the world gives you.
The problem is the bad algorithm. It runs repeatedly. That’s all usually they are unless it’s something that came on to you but most of them don’t. Most of them show up as the result of your actions. Your bad shit doesn’t just come out of the sky very much. It doesn’t happen. That’s a great way to look at it. When you’re broken, you’re on the floor. You’re in pieces. You’ve got to put yourself back together. Back together to what? It should be well thought out. When you’re at the bottom as your bottom gets, you’re in the brink of the unthinkable, whatever that looks like for you. Everyone has their own form of suffering that’s the worst. It could be a relationship, financial, identity, or a whole combination of stuff that happened to you.
You can make new art out of the broken pieces. The Japanese had that mending process that I’m so fond of called Kintsugi where they take the golden lacquer. They create glue with this golden lacquer and they repair pottery with it. The golden lacquer is the symbol of the scars that should be celebrated and not hidden. There’s a piece of Kintsugi here. This is a piece of broken pottery repaired. The Japanese take a lot of pride in how they put this back together. The word means golden rejoining to join together with gold. The gold is the star. The gold is the metal. It’s like the golden metal Paulo Coelho said that, “The scars are like metals branded on the flesh.”
I have this giant scar. Your enemies will see them and fear for you because you experienced battle. That’s a big deal. If you can operate under that thing, I’m not going to hide them. I’m going to paint over my fractures. I’m not going to hide from what happened to me. That happened to me. I owned it and then I moved on. It’s funny. Once you do that, it’s over. You don’t ever talk about it again. I didn’t blame it on my parents. I did it. I ran a bad algorithm. In spite of many signs, I didn’t take any action to reverse course in here. It happened that I got very lucky. In Kintsugi, the repair pottery, the metaphor is it is more valuable than the unbroken original art. That’s pretty fantastic.
I liked the way that looks rather than being that normal bowl. You look at that. You take that gold line out of it and it’s a bowl.
I found somebody that did art like this in America. I told her about it. She’s on my Instagram account. I said, “Watch my TED Talks.” She sent me the before too. She said, “I’ll send you the before pieces too.” This is garbage in most people’s lives and now this is a symbol of hope, a symbol of transformation. It’s a story. It’s a narrative of the comeback. That would be a great thing for people to connect with that idea instead of, “I’m going to paint over this. I’m going to put lipstick on a pig and walk around like nothing happened to me.” That’s not how life works.
A lot of people have this section in their life. It’s that pivotal moment. It’s what they decide to do at that moment in time on where they end up going. You can either pick yourself up and figure your way through it or stay in the dumps and make it worse.
Repair relationships that are worth repairing and sever relationships that are gone.
I’m so impressed with TikTok. I follow a lot of people. I’m seeing more and more people with massive deformities and disabilities. I’m mentoring a guy who’s 600 pounds. He’s already lost 200. He’s down to 400 pounds. He couldn’t even walk. His name is Tons of Fun. He’s got 100,000 of people all supporting him to come back. Everybody wants to see him get up. I want to see him run a marathon. This guy is ridiculous. At a Christmas party, he’s like a celebrity. He called himself Tons of Fun.
There’s a community of people out there that are rooting for you. We’re in a lonely time. Loneliness is a debilitation. I’m seeing people with massive impediments and disabilities that people are like, “You have love in you. We’re behind you. We’re alone too. We want to support someone and see some good news.” The good news is when you’re a shit show and you fall like that, if you get up, a lot of people will be rooting for you to give you feedback and support.
As long as you’re transparent about it, too, that’s a key point. In all of our faults, we’re all human. At the end of the day, if we’re not willing to own it, then nobody can support it. All you’re doing is trying to lead this fictitious life or situation and people see right through it.
I hate that shit. If you own it right away, people got nowhere to go but real conversations. I used to date on the internet. You go to an internet dates and say, “What have you been done for the last few years?” I was a CEO of a big company. I had flown on private jets. I was looking at jet before I got sick. I’m not looking at jets anymore. I brag about this stupid shit I’ve done and now I just say, “I had a liver transplant. I’m a daily drinker for many years. I finally hit a wall. What did you do last week?” You’ll be surprise, 75% of the people don’t care. “That’s okay. Thanks for telling me.” It’s not like they’re, “You played a card. I got to play a better card or a different card.” It’s a different conversation when you’re for real.
That’s been hard for me because we always hide behind this persona. There’s a narrative we’ve attached to our personality. Persona is a mask. That’s a Greek word for a mask of a character in a theater. What’s your persona is who your character is. Most people aren’t ever truly transparent. I don’t think anybody ever is. Sometimes that stuff is painful. If you can get close to real as you can get, you get a lot more results out of life.
My wife constantly drills that into my head, “Stopped trying to be so nice. Be blunt and be caring. Care about it but also be blunt and transparent about it. In that way, people can understand what you’re truly thinking or what you’re feeling. Do it with merit and understanding.” That’s where we founded our company off of. It’s cutting through that bureaucracy in business and in growth. Not just essentially from a personal aspect, but we find in some of these evaluations that it comes down to that personal transition, rebuilding, understanding each employee, and understanding the direction of each person. Sometimes, you find yourself focusing more on that person rather than the actual process within the company.
I had a conversation with the CEO. He said, “Why do you want to do all these investigations in each person?” It wasn’t a private investigation. It was more like an evaluation of their personality in a sense. It came down to because they’re the key part of your business. You can’t invest into this end-use product. You can’t invest in this process. You’ve got to understand who you’re dealing with. If you don’t want to have a high turnover rate, which you’ve proven that you have, we need to invest into these people. They may be a dime a dozen because you can go out and get another person because COVID is going on.
At the end of the day, you want longevity. You got to be concerned about your people. Show them that you care and invest into them. You’ve had sent a lot of people to rehab in your place of business. If that’s the case, we’re going to find rehab for whatever this person needs, whether it is alcohol, a mental challenge that we need to work on, gambling addiction, or whatever it is. Even if it’s not an addiction, somebody needs help, or somebody to talk to. We got to invest into that because every person counts in. I feel that if you invest into that, you’ve got a lifelong partner in your business or in life.
There’s no such thing as anybody. It’s not a mess. If someone’s got something cooking at all times, don’t even tell me. You’re either coming in or out of something at all times. I’m reading Johann Hari’s book, Lost Connections. He and I are connected on Instagram. He wrote Chasing the Scream and another book. He and I share our philosophies on addiction. I didn’t have a disease. I had a loss of connection with meaningful work, relationships. I got hung up on the block and status instead of real people having real goals and things to fall in love with, develop and nurture.
Sometimes it’s a little switch, meaningful work, the right people around you, and change of environment. Sometimes it takes a change of environment. You need a little switch sometimes. I’m writing a book called The Stadium Swap. Sometimes it’s not the player, it’s the stadium. You’ve seen it in sports. People changed jerseys. They show up in their different player. Sometimes it’s that. It’s the easiest way to change. It’s to change your physical environment. We are humans. That’s a pro-survival action. That’s something we’ve known as humans for a million years. We’re part of the group. We have to evolve and adapt to the group to stay part of the group to live.
You’ll start doing it subconsciously, no matter what environment you’re in. You can direct your writer into a better environment. For me, it was anything away from that old brand and adult story into a new story. I was going to go underground for a little while. Come back up later like the bamboo tree. I heard the bamboo tree grows underground for five years. It shoots up 80 feet in two weeks. That’s what I wanted to do. I didn’t have to do it alone. Plenty of people are there to support you, but I was still embarrassed.
It’s got to be hard coming out of that situation that you were in and then being open with people, even though you’d already been through the worst of the worst.
The worst was coming back to talk to everybody. They weren’t mean it. They were curious. A lot of people are like, “What happened?” They stopped drinking right on the spot. A year later, people’s wives started calling me, “Could you talk to my husband?” I kept getting those calls. I’m like, “That’s not what I do. It’s not like that.” “Tell them about alcohol programs.” I’d say, “Unhealthy it is or they’re obviously greedy.” “You have any idea how much money drinking costs.” I’d smelled anybody in the business. I’ll research and learn. I’m clear as a bell. I get 95% sleep scores on my aura ring. I read three books a week. I’m in a social circle with the smartest people on earth.
It’s not that I’m any better. It’s like I’m fully armed with business weapon as opposed to someone who’s as talented or more of a drinking. I’ll smoke them. “You can’t perform with alcohol.” I don’t know how the hell I did it so long. I must have been an exception. Alcohol kills your sleep. It loads down the calories. It makes bad decisions. It’s damn expensive. It takes a shit load of time. You’re with the wrong people. You’re with people that are into drinking instead of people that are into books. Make that switch.
That’s an environmental change. When they called me, I was like, “Come on. I don’t do that. What’s going on? What do you do? Drive through the garage door or something?” It wasn’t people I don’t know. These are people I’ve known for years. I’ve never talked to this lady but all of a sudden, I’m getting a Facebook message from so-and-so the same last name of my buddy I used to binge with. I was like, “I know what this is,” before you even open it. “I thought you confidentially.” I think I’m an interventionist. It’s not what I do.
Maybe it’s another ring to your circle here.
Gold Lining Of Kintsugi: The golden lacquer is the symbol of the scars that should be celebrated and not hidden.
I have a friend who does that. I had been on interventions before. They are readable. Intervention is selling. When I went into the rehab business for a little while, which I don’t want to talk about that, it was driving a brand new truck off a cliff, a quick million down the pipe. Interventions are fascinating. You show up. You got your equipment. You got your envelope. The one’s going to call the police to do what’s called The Baker Act. You’re going to a state hospital or you’re going to rehab. Which one do you want? You see these high-end people, guys like us. They roll in and all of a sudden, you’re like, “Am I going to stay in hospital? I’ll be out three days but that’s going to be embarrassing. I will go to rehab quietly under the radar on a private jet to some island.” It’s so fascinating. I got so much shit to say. I just don’t know where I should be saying it.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot. Before the incident with the hospital, you’re going to the ER, back when you had the 7, 8 figures or even before that. When you were climbing that ladder, that thrill, that feeling, even the hardships where you felt was your sustainable peak, you’re still growing but that average sustainable peak, what were your feelings? What was going through your head before you hit the wall?
I had a conversation with a guy once. He’s a billionaire. It was in Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting. He’s got something else cooking. I want to protect his name. We’re in a cab because we both booked late. I’m out in an hour out of Omaha. It takes 45 minutes for Uber to get there. My Uber is five minutes away. I’ve been waiting for 40 minutes to go to the shareholders meeting. There’s some guy in a nice, looking suit. He was an Indian. He’s got Uber open. I go, “I bet you book late. I bet you’re going to Berkshire Hathaway. I bet you need to do Uber. Jump in with me.”
I have an hour in a car with a guy who tells me that he’s worth several billion dollars on paper. He’s single. It was a wonderful ride. I knew it already, but he said, “After $50,000 a month, you can’t spend any more than that. If you do, you’re being an idiot. What can you do on over $50,000?” That’s $600,000. I’m trying to back into when it was. That was exactly the number. Anything over that was bullshit. A few days ago, a guy got something out of me on a show interview. I didn’t even realize until he said it. “What was the turning point?” I went off the rails. It was late. It was 2014. My income went up by $1 million from a number that was super sustainable.
All of a sudden, you got extra money out of nowhere. I’m like, “Maybe I’ll buy a plane.” My first instinct was to buy something with it. It wasn’t to help people or hire more. It was like, “I’m going to take this money off the table. I want to buy.” Do you know what I bought? I bought a bar. Talk about a narcissistic asshole self-centered. I bought a stupid restaurant bar so I’d have a playground, my little empire, or my life. It was stupid. There’s a happy story to all of this obsessiveness. I lost almost everything. When you go down, you go down hard. It was a financial disaster. I’ve been financially destroyed by this then. I’m building it back up, which is a lot of fun. I’m experienced in what you’re talking about again. My compass is on lifestyle-friendly business. I’m in my sweet spot. I’m teaching and making enough living. I’m trading valuably with the world in there. I’m getting paid back a fair amount of money that I can easily sustain my life on. I’m happy and I’m healthy. That’s it. That’s a good life.
The transition from one perspective to another, especially during your reconstruction. There’s a lot to be said within that. I’m sure you and I could go on for hours and hours. There are a lot of pieces to your story that I’d like to hear. I did get a brief on this R Factor 4.
It’s in my book. It’s interesting in this book here. In fact, I have it right here. The R Factor 4 was a program that I had when I bought my rehab center. One of the things I didn’t like about rehab. First of all, it was $40,000 a month or $500 a day. It was a bag of chips in a circle. Where is the $400 a day? What do they post? They’re always constantly giving you a cup of the pen. They want to put a tap on your penis to get the urine out so they can send it to the lab and make $1,500.
I didn’t know that until I was an owner. I’m like, “You send three of those out a week.” The test kits were $5 and they got $1,200 per test so $ 3,600 a weekend in drug tests. That’s all rehab centers do. Many of them are horrible. They’re taking advantage of a situation. Some are good I’m sure, but that’s what was happening. I was like, “I’m not cool with that. I’m not cool with someone sitting there for 30 days of their life and doing nothing but waiting to get access to their phone at 4:00. They didn’t do anything.” When you stop doing something and you have time to rest, you have time to insert something else.
One of the few things we have control over is what we assign our own identity to be and what meaning we assign to our suffering.
My R Factor 4 was about deciding cutting away from disconnecting from an old life and installing a new narrative. Instead of doing heroin, you read books. Instead of drinking every day, you can start a YouTube Channel and talk about motorcycles. It was teaching these human-potential things. The R Factor 4 was about recovering. Our program started at recovering, which is healing and then it was reconnecting, which is love to something. Having them fall in love with something other than what they were doing. Recreating, making a new person, building up those actions into doing that, and installing curriculum where you’re learning new abilities and new identities. You’re installing a new story then reentry. You come back with a plan.
This is a 90-day plan for reentry. I was submitting it to get approved, but the insurance companies wouldn’t approve it. That’s why my business failed. I came up with a good idea. Medical America and big pharma didn’t want an online course that someone could take for $69 to get them sober, healthy, and on track to reenter the world like I had. They didn’t want to do it. They wanted to sell them expensive pills, expensive therapies and tap their urine for gold. They call it liquid gold in the rehab business. It’s pretty bad. I like to blow that industry up one day. I’m trying to get stable with my new business.
I have an app coming out called Recreate. It’s a place that’s mine and only mine. All my relationships are on other platforms like YouTube. I’m not very big on YouTube, but I’m pretty good size on TikTok. I got almost 250,000 followers, 200,000 on Instagram, 250,000 on Facebook so 700,000 or so. I’m going to start mentoring them. It’s a mentoring app with daily mentoring ideas that come in the form of what I call a daily domino. One thing you can do every single all day. A 4 or 5-minute idea of something I’ve read, curated, or an idea I’m repurposing so you can apply in your own life and transform. I have some other content and packs.
A lot of it is from some of the stuff I learned here. It’s about a three-year project. It’s coming out. The website isn’t up yet, but it’s Re-Create.app. If you find it there, it might not be quite ready. It’s an open app when I look at it but it’s not done. The app is very cool. I developed it overseas. I found a great developer. We’re going to give it away to the world for what an hour of minimum wage costs per month in that nation. Here in the state, it’ll be about $9 a month. In India, it might be $0.50. Whatever an hour is what your time is. I want people to pay so they can pay attention but they’re going to have massive data available to them. Everything to boost your brain, ideas to build your business, and start one from scratch even.
Is this daily content or is this something you work for the developer you worked with?
I do new every day. The developer built the app. I record the content. I get people like you to give me ideas and expert interviews. I make a library of those. I have about 50 packs I’ve done for books. I have three of my own books in the app with the courses that go with it that I sell for a hell of a lot more than that. I still sell the book but if you buy the app, you can have the whole book and an Anywhere Advisor book, Superhero Self. I have another book called Write Your Way To Recreation In Just 7 Days,How To Write Your First Book… With No Experience.
It sounds like something Grant Cardone did. He went downstairs. When he left, he said, “I said goodnight to my wife. I went downstairs and I wrote a quick book. Nobody’s edited or ghost write it. I’m in.”
He lives right there. His old 10X companies are there, but I could dictate a book. If I had some talking points, I can talk for three hours with an on point structure is a book. You can take that, video tape it, record it, transcribe it on one of the services, and send it to a book editor. They can start making it into a book. You’re going to have some raw transcript. You bring it to an editor and they start playing with it. The editor will tighten it up and buy a cover. Get a designer to layout the books, get an illustrator, slap it together, put it out there, and help people. You’re an author. If you have written a book, it’s a thrill. This book was one of my favorite things to do. It’s not even that great. It’s just great for me. I didn’t know I could do it. I can barely read, but I wrote a book. It did pretty well. It’s doing pretty good.
My business partner and I will be over in Miami meeting with Grant in April of 2022. Maybe I’ll give you a shout-out when we connect.
We have The Diplomat Hotel here in Hollywood Beach. Stay up here for a night. I got an old suite if you’re interested. We’ll brainstorm. He’s a beast, that guy.
He’s a constant on the go, super energetic, driven. That guy is an interesting dude.
I want to meet him. Our paths have crossed a couple of times. I’ve seen him there. He’s down the street. I wouldn’t want to be a dork and bug him while he’s in Whole Foods buying his spinach. “I’m your neighbor.”
You’re probably be all over it too. You know he would. He’s all about that spontaneity. He’s definitely in it.
I’ll catch that one right down the street for me. You know where his office is. That’s right to the Aventura Mall. I’m four minutes to the mall. I’m right there.
I have to look it up. I’ll let you know and run away. Maybe we can meet up for lunch or something like that.
Gold Lining Of Kintsugi: The R-factor-4 is about deciding to cut away and disconnect from an old life and installing a new narrative.
I met so many great people. I love it. Keep expanding. I missed our call. I don’t know what the hell happened. It happens but not a lot. I don’t have a secretary anymore.
It’s all good. It’s all part of the recreation process.
I can’t believe how much money you can save. I used to hire people to do brochures for me. I can do that for $80 a year. I used to pay $80,000. It took me three weeks to get a logo. I put these dollars into $5 and I got 900 of them in two minutes.
When we used to help the insurance companies I used to work for, we used to resource a lot of the stuff. I’d look at the owners at the time and I’d say, “I can do this stuff. Let me do it.” Sometimes they’d let you do it but then they want to resource. “We need the professional.” The professional spits out something that’s less quality. You’re paying them that $80,000.
It takes them two weeks to change it. I learned that the hard way. I hired an LA photographer to come out and shoot early video footage of me. I didn’t know a lot. I’ve learned a lot on how to talk on camera and all that. That’s got a long way to go, but I’m a hell of a lot better than I was. That was expensive for me at the time. At the very beginning, I paid big money. He flew out and he showed up. His microphone had crackling all the video. Three days of shooting, all had crackling and he couldn’t remove it. All the content was ruined.
There was 1 or 2 that were decent. It would take me weeks to get something back. I said, “Can I have the video?” He said, “The video is my property. You have to go through me to get the originals.” That’s okay. That’s been an expensive lesson like the rehab center. I’ve got my own equipment. All my equipment are sitting right there. I have a whole studio set up here. It costs me about $20,000. It’s perfect. It’s tight as a drum. It’s news quality. Goodbye. I’ll never hire another person again. I better do it myself.
You go through yourself to get your stuff. That’s the way to be.
I still hire people to do it but I know how to do it. I can’t be a big deal. They can’t say, “It takes six weeks to do this work.” I said, “No, it’s three minutes and you’re overcharging me. I’ll pay you this and it’s going to take you this much time.” It’s empowering going down and nothing. Building back up was so fun. In so many ways, that are hard to talk about. This is a good, fun thing to do. It’s almost like Tom Brady was down in that Super Bowl game. He’s down all these points. He’s got a score every time into two point conversions. It’s nearly impossible. They can’t score. You barely put straight scores until it won’t be in a two point with eleven minutes left. That doesn’t happen in the world. That’s how I felt. “How did he come back from this? That’s a beauty.” Everyone loves a comeback even if you don’t like Tom Brady. Where do you live?
I live over in Washington. I’m up in Canada, one of my house is up here.
In Vancouver up that way?
Up in Maple Ridge.
You can make new art out of the broken pieces.
I love to see you. We can do another show. It’ll be awhile but I hope that was helpful for you. It’s freewheeling as I’ve done yet.
That’s what it’s all about. I like to try to keep it as raw as possible. In that way, people understand that there’s authenticity in everything that’s discussed. It’s important. It goes back to the raw file.
It’s a big deal. Everyone’s normal. I’m very sure if I went up to talk to Grant and say, “I’m a big fan. I see all your stuff,” you would have been cool about it. It’s not bad. I respect people’s private time.
That’s a good thing to do. At the same time, people like that passion. It’s like when I reached out to you, I didn’t know what your goals were or what you were going to do. You responded, which is fantastic. We’ve all got our vision and focus. Sometimes that offshoot of individual that’s looking at us and saying, “You got time for this.” Sometimes it’s worth our time. It’s like when I reached out to another guy. He’s worth a couple billion. I had no thought in any way, shape, or form of this guy was even going to give me the time of day. Sure enough, within not even three days, he was all over it. It’s for this show. He asked me specifically. He said, “You want me to advertise for you? Get me over a blip and we’ll start making this thing up.”
I did the same thing. There are people that listen to things and there are a few types. If someone is in trouble and they’ll get a little hope out of it, there’s someone who’s on the way down, and maybe they get away to get up. There’s somebody that’s fine and maybe they’ll laugh their asses off at this thing they saw, this perfectly good airplane crash in this side of a mountain. It’s almost always an idea or two. I can talk for hours like this. I can’t even begin to tell you. I got so many different stories. Right when I got sick, I was sponsoring a light heavyweight boxing match. After I bought the bar, I bought a fighter. I bought the WBC belt. I was putting out giant sporting events in Lowell, Massachusetts. I knew nothing about anything.
I finally met with the Dropkick Murphys. It was right before I got it because they do boxing. I don’t know that they’re boxing men. They’re into boxing. The guy goes, “You’re not going to make any money with this. This is for you. You get to hold the belt.” “Whatever, do this.” He goes, “People that have a lot of money that don’t give a shit about money.” I was like, “I’m trying to give a shit about money.” I was still on the map like a financial advisor. I said, “13,000 seats at $90 a seat.” He goes, “They’re going to pay $9 a seat.” That was $20,000.
At the end, you’re losing money. You’re writing the checks with a smile.
Everybody’s lining up to sell me airtime and MCs. It’s all ragged. That was so funny.
That’s a good ad to get a good line to that story.
I bought the belt. I did everything except give it to the boxer because he had the worst opponent. They always say, “I don’t have to fight that guy.” He’s licking his ass. “This guy’s got a broken shoulder. Fight him.” I forgot all about that.
What happened to the bar? Did you let it grow for a while?
I let it go. I got sick. Everything went to shit. I didn’t even care anymore. I wanted to live. I let everything go. What’s funny about your business is you think you’re so important and I thought it was. I did this big announcement. “I’m sick. Hopefully, I’ll survive.” I sent it. I got a bunch of calls and emails. “Are you okay?” and text messages. There was a meeting up in the White Mountains in New Hampshire with 100 of my advisors. My son was there because my son worked for the company. I was very curious on what were they saying. I made an announcement in the morning and that’s it. My whole entire life is gone. They didn’t have a parade, a big giant ritual, or something.
It goes exactly with what you’re talking about, your design of recreating, not just who you are as a person but who you surround yourself with. They’re either going to be a value in your life or they’re not. At the end of the day, they’re going to care enough to gain what they want to gain. There was a philosophy one of those gentlemen told me. His name was John Diamond. He told me all the time. He says, “Care but not that much. They want to see you successful but not that successful. Rarely you’ll find people that want to do everything they can to help you get to the next step, even if they’re in the shadows. Make sure you create a good environment around you. Focus on the right people.”
It’s so true. It’s creating that value. It’s people like yourself. This interaction, this conversation that we’ve had, there’s a lot of value that can be said from your story. By no means, I’m not going to not gain from it. There’s a lot to be said. It’s inspirational. I quite frankly appreciate it. I appreciate you being open about it and you being transparent and vulnerable. Realistically it was when it comes down to being vulnerable.
It’s hard to do sometimes, but it’s easier now. In closing, if you want to close the loop on your life and the story where it’s very close to the end, you got to start dealing with your affairs when it’s likely that you’re going to die. I was graced with the blessing of a runway. I knew it wasn’t going to be instant. It would be something that happened. You get to think about what you’re leaving behind. I was a financial planner, so I had all the documents and binders. I had trusts set up very sophisticated, very well done plan. I missed some things, even though I was a planner. Some things I would have done differently. I teach and talk about that with other people.
You push your money across the table in a family meeting. What a family meeting is usually when someone’s dead, the family gets together. I was alive. I was there. This trust is going to the boy’s club. This trust is going to the college. This trust is going to the church. This policy is going to my kids. My parents were still alive. It was all this stuff going on. It’s over. It’s me and my brother there at the end. I’m looking at him. His name’s Tim. I said, “Tim, my whole entire life is push across the table. I made a huge mistake, priorities, and what I wanted to do.” No one ever guided me. The reality is I didn’t have a mentor in my life. That’s why mentorship is important to me.
I didn’t have a mentor for my life. I had great business mentors, but I never let them into my life. In their defense, they would have come in. It was at that mentor to tell me about how to be a good husband, how to be a better father, how to balance your life and your work, how not to sell your life away doing something you don’t like. That’s the end of it when you’re writing an obituary essentially in your brain. Other than money, the thing I left behind was a memory of somebody that drank every day and died from it.
I had to not necessarily compare because I don’t have anything to compare to that. I had a business meeting once with an owner of a company. He said, “Chris, I like you. I like what you have to say. For my company’s sake, it’d be beneficial to move with you. I have one question. I want your immediate response. I don’t want you to think about it. I’m not going to tell you it’s detrimental to our decision but I want to know.” I said, “Shoot.” I’m thinking to myself, “Is it going to be Math because I’m not good at it?” He looks at me and he says, “What do you want people to say at your funeral?”
Immediately right off my tongue, I’m very thankful that this was on my thought process. This is what I’ve always had in the back of my mind of something I want people to say. I said to him, “I want them to look at me and say, ‘that guy helped me.’ That’s it. I don’t need them to say that guy had money. I don’t need them to say that guy drove a nice car. I don’t need them to say that guy had a good family, they had a nice house, or he worked his ass off. When it came down to applying himself, he did this and this. I just want them to say that he helped.”
That’s a hell of a thing to aspire to. You do help. You’re drawing people in. You’d be like the baseball or football coach from the high school that dies. There are 900,000 people there. The guy that owned the mill, they never helped anybody but had all the cars he shows up and you can blow a cannon through there. You want to hit anybody. The coach has helped. I want to be more like that guy when I die. I may die earlier than a lot of people because I have a foreign object in my body. I’m trying to stay alive as long as possible. That’s a wonderful way to go.
You’re a hero. It may be to yourself, but you keep telling your story. It’s going to impact people that couldn’t be reached in a neural platform. They’re going to run across your story and listen to it. They felt like listening to something that day. They’re not going to know what it’s all about. They’re just going to hear it. Within the first part of a lot of your stories, you go right in. There isn’t an introduction.
The shit show is what it is. I know how to tell stories where people are almost crying what it’s like to tell your kids. They’re looking in your mother’s eyes when you’ve been lying to her for six months. She knows you’re sick. You didn’t tell her and then you finally tell her. I can talk about all that stuff, but it doesn’t help anybody at home. It’s a story. It’s like drama to sell tickets. The real message is when you fall, the world will break you. When you’re broken, you can become beautiful. You can put yourself back together. You can give yourself a narrative. You can become client zero, which is yourself. I never teach that I haven’t done myself. Bill off of that.
That’s a wonderful thing to do for somebody, dwelling on that bullshit. That was a repeated algorithm. That was a bad algorithm that you cumulated into incapacity. I got lucky. There’s no medical reason I’m alive other than logistical coincidence that I died 40 people from what I’ve been told passed on the organ that was in Birmingham, Alabama like a tornado going through the South. All the nos, I saw them when I went up to the speak for the organ donor procurement company. They showed me. I went through Atlanta. I came down through here through South Georgia into Jacksonville. All of them are nos because you get the closest one next. One person says, “Yes, I die.” That’s pure luck. It’s divine in luck. It’s a medical miracle. It’s a logistical miracle. It’s a scientific miracle, but it’s a spiritual miracle too.
That man John Diamond told me all the time. I refer to him a lot because he passed away. He always said that, “God’s laws are absolute. Whether you believe in the Bible or you don’t, they’re absolute. You get what you think about most of the time because you’re given the abilities, whether it’s energy-based, scientific, or faith-based. Faith is a substance thing for hope, Chris. The evidence of thing is not seen.” It’s so true. When I change that aspect of my life, I focused and reprogrammed my brain, reconstructed my brain.
I got to this point of, I don’t want to say bliss, but freedom to be able to do what I felt was right, to be able to focus on the path that I feel that is before me rather than worrying about everybody around me, rather than worrying about pleasing everybody. Getting convoluted and tied up in this world, we’re able to aspire to who I feel individuals need to be. That comes back to that God’s laws being absolute. We can prove we can portray or manifest the desires of our hearts as long as we focus on that direction.
In a sea of sameness, only faith stands alone. There’s no coincidence. It’s faith. It keeps you alive. It’s like the placebo effect in a good way. You believe something good is going to happen. There’s so much evidence to this. The brain will figure it out and it will. That’s a big deal. A lot of people don’t realize that you never quit. You always got to swing. Tom Brady had a couple of snaps left. They got down on the last one. They stopped that two-point conversion. The game’s over. They lose. Everything comes down to inches. If you stay in the game, you have air in your lungs, and swinging the bat, you can get home.
I appreciate it. Thank you for sharing beyond the run of the story and getting into the details. You’ve been through a lot. I look to you as somebody to learn from. Keep my number. Keep my email. Let’s stay in touch. I’ll reach out to you. We’ll hang out.
I owe you a dinner for bag in that meeting. I’m buying it. I know exactly where to go. There’s a steak house right in Aventura. That place is a great one. Take care.
Take care. I appreciate it. I’ll talk to you soon.
Best Selling Author, TedX Speaker, Coach, and expert in personal and brand storytelling, Terrance McMahon was one of six children, born in the Berkshire Mountains in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. He attended the University of Massachusetts-Lowell on a baseball scholarship. Following college, with a new wife and baby on the way, he worked as a door-to-door (life) insurance salesman, ultimately finding his niche as a managing Partner; he later worked for MassMutual and made CEO of MassMutual-Northern New England. Under Terrance’s leadership, they soon ranked among the top in the country, with his 100s of agents and brokers, managing over a billion dollars in assets.
In 2017, McMahon was the recipient of a life-saving liver transplant. He is the author of four books, an inspirational speaker, and a business strategist. He is an advocate for Organ Donor Awareness.