Episode 88: Get Your Priorities Straight, With Tommy Breedlove


What You Will Learn:

  • Tommy shares his background, and he shares how at age 36 he experienced a career crisis that taught him how important it is to get your priorities straight
  • How Tommy got started resetting his mindset and making big changes and improvements in his life and attitude as a business owner
  • Why Tommy believes that too many business owners focus on the business and don’t spend enough time focusing on and improving themselves and their relationships
  • How to cultivate your confidence, self-esteem, and mental and emotional strength, and what benefits you can see in your business by doing the work
  • What Tommy’s daily routine looks like, and how he has cultivated daily habits that help him achieve his goals for personal development
  • Why it is crucial to minimize the constant stream of negativity from social media and the 24-hour news cycle and instead find activities that can help center and balance you
  • How working with a key mentor helped Tommy break free of “the story that was told to him” and begin truly living his life
  • What impact Tommy’s efforts to improve himself has had on the important people around him, and what doors it has opened for him in his career and personal life
  • Why living to the right Culture, Purpose and Values can make a tremendous difference in your success and how you interact with others
  • Why Tommy titled his book “Legendary”, and what valuable information the book highlights about growing your confidence, courage, and capacity for love

About Tommy Breedlove

Tommy Breedlove is a Wall Street Journal & USA Today bestselling author of the book, Legendary, and business, relationship, and mindset coach who is a regular featured keynote speaker at global events.

Tommy started his 20-year corporate career at one of the largest financial consulting firms in the world, and eventually became a shareholder, the International Practice Leader, and a member of the board of directors for one of the largest public accounting and financial firms in the southeast U.S.

At the top of his career, Tommy experienced a transformational moment inspiring him to walk away from the corporate world to change his life and follow his true calling.
Tommy now serves clients and audiences everywhere by empowering them to build and live Legendary Lives. He guides people to discover a life of significance while building a lasting legacy. The simple tools he shares shows them how to work in their zone of brilliance, obtain financial confidence, and live with meaning and balance. The goal is to help everybody to become the person they’ve always wanted to be.

When Tommy isn’t speaking or serving his clients, he enjoys traveling the world, hiking, and spending quality time with his wife and two dogs.


Additional Resources:

Listen to the podcast here


I have a special guest with us, as is often the case, but my guest is one that I think we will not forget anytime soon. His name is Tommy Breedlove. He is the author of a New York Times bestselling book called Legendary. He is also a speaker and a coach. He’s got a wonderful background that we’ll get into here momentarily. I wanted to welcome you to the show, Tommy. Thank you for being here.

Brett, what an honor, from Georgia to Arizona. I’m looking forward to this conversation and, hopefully, you and I will inspire and lead and also get real. I look forward to this, Brett.

That’s right. This is one of those shows where we can be real. Our audience benefits from people like you who’ve been there, done that, and done some amazing things that they’re trying to do. As you know, they are seven-figure business owners trying to figure out how to do that company-building work. Why don’t we dig into your own experience in helping to build a company that was tremendously successful? They’ll be interested in both the lessons you learned in that growth and what you’ve done since. Let’s get into that. Tell us about your experience in growing a company to be one of the largest financial services firms. Talk about that.

Thank you for that, Brett. When I graduated college, I wished I would’ve had the guts to be an entrepreneur. Entrepreneur and ownership fell into me in a strange way. I’ll give you my professional journey real quickly. I’m the first person to graduate college in my family. I ended up at the University of Georgia and was recruited out there to a company called Deloitte, which now is the largest financial consulting and public accounting firm.

I was recruited out of there into some middle market firms and then, at 36 years old, I found myself a junior partner. Not yet an owner, not yet responsible for the payroll and profit burdens and the systems and processes, but a junior partner. Unfortunately, my journey was I thought that money, power, fame, and status were going to give me happiness and fulfillment in life. By the way, I believe in all those things. Entrepreneurs, why would we do this if we didn’t want to be persuasive, make an impact, and make money? Why would we take all the risk? Unfortunately, because of certain anchors that I let hold me down when the money, power, status, corner office, shiny suit and all the shiny things that we surround ourselves didn’t light me up, I turned to all the darkness.

At 36 years old, I almost lost my firm. I almost lost my marriage and, ultimately, my life. I decided, “I’m going to be a better human and be more confident, courageous, and strong internally and externally, work on my inner game and not worry about my outer game so much,” because on the outside, I look like a true success, but on the inside, I was a raging mess. When I decided to turn my life around, this is where my foreway into entrepreneurship began. By me working on my inner game, that’s when I started building a true, powerful network of the right people. That’s when I doubled my income within three years. That’s when I went from junior partner to senior partner, to international practice leader, to owner, to elected to the board of directors at 39 years old by being a good person and a good leader.

By the way, I worked going from 80 hours a week down to about 35. I’m not even remotely kidding about that. My network 10X-ed and my money doubled, but my peace of mind, confidence, lack of stress, relationships with my network, my friends, my family, and ultimately my wife, they 10X-ed. All of a sudden, I was the owner of a large organization, on the board of directors, carrying a lot of lives, a lot of profit burdens, and also financed to the hilt with all the responsibilities and debts that come with that ownership. I had to buy into the practice.

Luckily, what was cool about this is all these entrepreneurs, corporate executives, bankers, lawyers, all those types started reaching out to me asking for help and guidance because they were overstressed, didn’t have time, were overwhelmed, and letting certain parts of their lives slip on this endless pursuit of more and win. As an entrepreneur, I own a real estate company and a lodge in bed and breakfast in Georgia. I have my own practice that I run, own, and manage that’s growing exponentially.

I understand all the burdens and stress that come with managing one business, if not multiple businesses, especially as you start seeing success. You said $1 million in revenue. My question to the million dollars in revenue, guys, is what are you taking home? That one number is one thing. What you bring home is another thing. You said it best, Brett. When you get to $1 million, it starts getting difficult. Now you’re dealing with leverage, scalability, a lot more employees, a lot more burdens, bigger competition, and all the things that come with growing a successful business.

Getting back to the point is literally when I decided to work on my inner game and I think that’s what all entrepreneurs, executives, corporate people got to do, is they’ve got to work on their inner game first. They got to be more courageous and confident. They got to head up, shoulders back. Even if they absolutely don’t know what they’re doing and they’re figuring it out, they’ve got to show up every day for themselves so they can show up every day for their businesses, their families, and others.

EEP 88 | Priorities

Priorities: Entrepreneurs need to show up every day for themselves so they can show up every day for their businesses, their families, and others.


When I totally transformed my life, that’s when my true entrepreneurship journey started. I didn’t earn my way into equity with a firm. I decided to walk away at the top of my game, sell all the equity back in the firm, and start this coaching business to help people be better leaders, better humans, more confident, more courageous, but also make a lot of money and do it the right way with my business background. I’m thankful that we’ve written the Wall Street Journal and USA bestselling book. I’m thankful to be an entrepreneur. I’m thankful to represent entrepreneurs. I understand the burdens, responsibilities, insecurities, and fears that we all have. I took a major risk in my life. It came at a later date. It came when I was 36. I’m super thankful to be here and thank you for letting me share my story.

I love the story from being the first one in your family to go to college, to the rise in a big company, to then being one of the owners and walking away from all that to know what it’s like to start something from scratch, like the rest of us. That’s awesome.

I was thinking I was going to live under a bridge.

Sometimes it feels that way. Let’s pick some of those lessons apart. One of them I’m super interested in was this journey to fix what was on the inside. On the outside, it looked like you were doing everything great. You felt like you were about to implode. Things weren’t so good inside. We don’t have to speculate how much longer you would’ve lasted on the outside if you didn’t fix the inside, but it’s fascinating that, eventually, what’s reflected externally is an image of what’s going on inside. You and I are just getting to know each other, but based on your own words, if you hadn’t fixed yourself internally, no way were you going to last much longer doing the thing that you were doing.

What was that journey like? There are a lot of business owners who are reading this that feel like they’re doing the 80-hour work week. They’re trying to hold it all together. Maybe some of their relationships are on the brink. Maybe their health is a disaster. Maybe their finances are a mess. There’s a lot of toll that is taken by business ownership. It’s a heavy burden and it can wreak a bunch of havoc in our personal lives. It sounds like you were in a similar place, potentially. What was it like to clean the house that way? Where did you start? What’s some of the work that you did that might be helpful to some of our readers?

Brett, I appreciate you made an unbelievably great point. We’re one big stew. If the inside is insecure, scared, angry, worried, or fearful, it’s going to come out in our leadership, family life, clients, and businesses. My armor was cracking. I had the fancy suits and the cuff links, all that stuff that I thought would make me happy. It made me appear successful. It made me appear like on the outside, this guy’s got it all going on, but on the inside, I was a crumbling mess. How it started manifesting to me on the outside is the arrogant guy, that guy who couldn’t ask for help, the guy who would buy all the dinners, and the guy who was going to be the life of the party.

We're one big stew. If the inside is insecure, scared, angry, worried, or fearful, it's going to come out in our leadership, our family life, our clients, and our businesses. Share on X

All those were masks of insecurity because inside I was alone. I was scared and worried. I’m not here. Ultimately it was on me. As business owners, ambitious, driven people, all of us, I think we’ve got it backward. I do believe that because we put our businesses first, always. I don’t understand that because business, profitability, impact, and building value in a marketplace are the results of doing great things.

I was as guilty. To me, it was business first, money first, success first, and more and when. It doesn’t matter if you’re a million-dollar company. My average was $50 million to $500 million in revenues. Same problem, same issues. The stresses don’t go away. In fact, the great Biggie Smalls says, “More money, more problems.” That is very true. More money, more burdens, but it’s worth it. Here’s the thing. We’ve got it reversed. We’ll invest in our businesses, networks, and stock markets, but for some reason, we invest in ourselves last. As business leaders and human beings, we all want to be less stressed, if you truly want to master your time and busy as code for something or if someone else is in charge of your time, not you.

If you truly want less stress, more financial and personal success, and a little more peace of mind and fulfillment in life, because more and win will never get there. I promise you, you can’t get there. You make $1 million, guess what you want? $5 million. Make $5 million, you want $10 million. $10 million, $20 million. $20 million, $50 million. $50 million, $100 million. $100 million to $1 billion. I’ve seen it time and time again. I lived it. I owned it. What I decided to do through great coaching, great mentorship, and personal accountability, I looked in the mirror. I knew that that was both my problem and my solution. I took it upon myself to start building. Most of us work out every day on our physical muscles so that we stay physically fit and protect this fortress. We’re no good if the physical side is not working.

The same thing goes for the emotional and mental side. We all have fears, we all have insecurities. We all lack confidence in certain things. We’re all pretending in certain things. We’ve got these worries. At the end of the day, we want to be happy and think building these businesses is a part of our happiness, but all our happiness. To me, it starts first with working on your inner game. Physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. I’m not talking about religion. I’m talking about spiritual. Spending 30 minutes to an hour a day working on you. You can’t serve others in leadership, business, life, family, and love unless you truly love, lead, respect, and are confident in yourself. It is cultivated.

You can't serve others in leadership, business, life, family, and love unless you truly love, lead, respect, and are confident in yourself. Share on X

Confidence is earned through doing the reps. If you do something over and over again, you’re going to be confident. Self-esteem, courage, and standing tall, that’s cultivated. It’s cultivated through inner work. That’s where I think we got to begin. The second thing we’ve got to cultivate is our network, our relationships with our friends, and our relationships with our family. It starts with us first. That’s second.

When you do the work on yourself and you become mentally and emotionally strong, confident, and courageous, when you become truly persuasive in the right way, your network will 10X, your friendships will change, and you’ll attract the right people in your life.

Your relationship with your family and your significant other will be better. When you have those two parts locked and loaded, especially if you’re an entrepreneur, your profitability, leadership, and business will explode, but you must be patient. All of this stuff is cultivated. What I see so many other people, whether I’m working with them one-on-one, in a mastermind, a group setting, or at a conference, is we always put our businesses first. They need to be third.

Not many people reading this will do that. They’re going to read this and go do the same thing they’ve always done. Why am I stressed? Why am I overwhelmed? Why do I feel unconfident? Why am I worried? Why do I lack fulfillment? Why am I stressed out? Why do I think I have no time? It’s because you’re not doing the work. I’ll get off my soapbox and stop there.

Our readers aren’t going to get any reprieve from me. I’m going to say amen to that. What Tommy said is exactly right. I don’t know how business owners do it. You talked about a mask or a facade. Back in your younger self when you were trying to keep up all these images, it’s just one big show or persona we’re trying to keep up.

It’s exhausting.

The speed increases. It’s like now there are more people that I got to convince that I’m doing the dance right. You talked about confidence or security. I’ll use the term authenticity. Who are you? How are you cultivating that? Once you powerfully lead from that place, it’s a game changer. Absolutely. Love everything that you’re sharing, Tommy. Help people understand a little bit, maybe through sharing your own personal one, if you don’t mind. What does the daily work look like for them? You talk about 30 minutes to an hour and you list physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. What does that look like to work on yourself?

I’ll start with the easy things. I’ll talk about my particular routine that I am dogmatic about. I mix it up now. I’ve been doing it now for many years, from peace of mind to happiness, to love to network to money. I can’t believe where I was and where I’ve been. There’s also patience. Doing this work helps with patience too. The easiest thing to do in your life is to eliminate the negative. The muscles come from the cultivation. That comes from the daily work and the daily grind. The negative could look like this. Friends who are anchoring you down, negative people, people who are all about money and status as opposed to truly making an impact through their businesses.

People who are promoting envy, jealousy, division, and anger, get those people out of your life. That’s the quickest fix in the whole world. I think the great Jim Rohn said that or somebody. A hundred people said it. Show me the five people you spend the most time with and I will show you your future. That’s an ancient wisdom that I’m sure has been passed down since we are a lot different than we are now.

The easiest thing to do daily routine-wise is to eliminate the negative. I’m going to ask a question that was asked to me in a book called The ONE Thing. I would also say what’s the one thing in your life that if you eliminate that one thing, your success and happiness will exponentially increase? The first thing I would do from a daily routine and self-confidence and courage in an impact thing is to reduce the negatives. Negative humans, negative influences, and the things that we do that hold or anchor us down.

EEP 88 | Priorities

The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth About Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan

We’ve got to cultivate the positive. Reading this great show, that’s nutrition into your eyes, ears, and heart. It’s all about what you are putting in your eyes, ears, and heart. Most of us are putting social media, 24-hour news, Netflix, and Amazon. It’s all poison. What are you putting into your body as a daily routine? Are you reading a great show with Brett? Are you reading a great business book or a book of someone you look up to?

Are you meditating? Are you praying? Are you journaling? Is prayer important to you? Are you journaling, gratitude journaling, intention journaling, goal setting journaling? I have these daily reads. Here’s my daily routine. I get up every day and I get quiet. To me, quiet time is thinking time. I want to think about my day. I want to put three intentions out for the day of what I want to accomplish. I journal things that I’m grateful for. I journal my intentions.

Let me tell you one of my intentions. I’m not talking about affirmations. I’m talking about intention setting. I’ll tell you what I’m working on right now. “Thank you, Tommy.” There’s a little bit of self-love there. By the way, when we start loving ourselves, we start thinking about ourselves, and we start believing in ourselves. “Thank you, Tommy, for being an optimistic, confident patient leader.”

What am I working on? Optimism, patience, confidence. Every day I write that down. First of all, I say thank you, Tommy, as if it’s already happened. A little self-love. You want to start believing, respecting, and loving yourself. Start giving yourself a little self-love. Stop beating yourself up so much. “Thank you, Tommy, for being an optimistic, confident, and patient leader.” Things I’m working on.

Start believing, respecting, and loving yourself. Stop beating yourself up so much. Share on X

What happens is I write those things over and over again. That’s my intention. That’s what I want to become. All of a sudden, I start becoming them because I’m thanking myself for it. I put the intention out there because intention without action and action without intention is useless. My intention is to be more confident, more optimistic, and more patient. Every day I write my intentions. Every day, I write my affirmations. Every day, I write my goals. Not all my goals, but the goals for the day. I meditate and I pray. I have my daily readings. I read my daily stoic. I read some other things that I read every single day. I also exercise.

For me, that’s building the mental, emotional, and spiritual house. For me, it’s important as someone who runs masterminds, runs retreats, and does coaching, I learned this when I was a partner in a firm. When I started hiring coaches, marketing coaches, business coaches, and leadership coaches, what I thought I saw in the mirror what I was became apparent that that wasn’t it. They helped me with my blind spots. They helped me be better. For me, I also have coaches.

I also am in a mastermind. I want to surround myself with people who make me better. There’s all these morning routines that you can have and I threw a whole bunch of stuff down for you. The final thing I would say is it’s super important. I know we got to keep beating this drum with every human being in your life, even the people you employ, if this is mostly entrepreneurs. Right now, I think we’ve got 9, maybe 10 on our payroll. Do they make you happy and do they make you better In business, it’s do they make you better? For me, in my life, do they make me happy or do they make me better? It’s got to be one or the other or, God willing, both.

That’s a bunch of daily routines. Remove the negative and put in the positive. By the way, if you’re on Twitter at all, did you know three minutes or more a day on Twitter, you’re 65% more likely to say you had a bad day? That’s insane. It’s ridiculous. Reading great business books, inspirational books, books of leaders that you love or listening to them, listening to great podcasts, constant learning, meditation, prayer, journaling, and gratitude. Not turning on Netflix for five hours and binging on Tiger King or Queen. Utilizing your time a little bit better.

Be a little bit better. You don’t have to do all those things, start with one because it does pay compounding interest. At the end of the day, you got to lead people. In order to lead people, you got to lead yourself. In order to love people, you got to love yourself. In order to provide impact in the marketplace, you’ve got to be of impact. Otherwise, there’s no soul or blood in your business, what you do, or who you are. People, at the end of the day, are buying who you are, what you stand for, and where you’re going. Thank you for, again, Brett. I’m on my soapbox today. You’re amazing. Thank you for letting me talk. I feel like I need to hug you, Brent, and say, “Thank you.”

EEP 88 | Priorities

Priorities: In order to love people, you have to love yourself. In order to provide impact in the marketplace, you have to be of impact; otherwise, there’s no soul or blood in your business.


Our readers are getting exactly what I want them to get. Thank you for sharing up on your soapbox or not. Not enough of us here have a direct and powerful version of that message. I love that you’re sharing it. I don’t know what it is about human nature that we tend to migrate to some of these negative influences. The social media use is rampant.

Also, addictive.

You mentioned Netflix and Amazon. There’s so much stuff being put out there and we’re filling our lives with it and it is having an impact on us. It is affecting us. People don’t realize how much it’s affecting them because we think, “We need a little bit of a break.” This is why it’s addicting. We need a little bit of a break from the chaos and the mess.

We turn to one of these sources to unplug or disconnect or be entertained or whatever to try to get some of the weight off our shoulders. It’s hurting us more than it is helping. Everything you talked about is a little bit old school. I would picture my grandfather and my great-grandfather starting out with some of those things you talked about with taking care of their mind and their spirit. Somehow the fast-paced world we live in is squeezing out those basic human needs of self-care. We’re moving so fast, it’s hurting us. It’s my turn to pile in pile into what you’re saying. I love what you’re saying. It’s great.

Watching a good movie every now and then, who doesn’t want to do that, or your sport or whatever it might be. Whatever you do, do you. We got to lighten up and have some joy in our life. If you want to feel better, get outside nature. Go look at a mountain, a desert, a lake, a tree, a human. Go look at a fire. That is nature’s TV. Sit there and watch a fire. You’ll feel better. Call a friend. If you feel safe enough, go see a friend. Grab a cup of coffee, make a call. Read a great novel. There are so many positive things that you can do that are fun. Go to a park, whatever your thing is, but just do something to nurture.

It’s about balance. We need to have fun. We need to lighten up. At the same time, if 75% of your day is work, social media, TV, 24 hours of news, the stuff meant to divide us, scare us, and put us in envy, we’re being sold. No matter what network you watch, these are great actors selling you a product so that they can sell advertising. They don’t care about you. There’s an agenda there. It doesn’t matter if you’re left, right or center.

You can’t help but be scared, divided, angry and worried. Us business owners, we don’t have time for that nonsense. We got to lead. We got to lead with confidence, authenticity, and optimism. We got to lead ourselves because it’s hard enough. I’m not going to lie to you, there were times in COVID when I went to the closet and screamed, maybe shed a tear or two, breathed in, breathed out, and walked back out one foot in front of the other because I was scared. We’ve got a job to do. We’ve got an impact to make. We’ve got businesses to run. We’ve got people’s lives that we hold in our hands. All that other poison. If we allow that in, we’re going to start believing what they say. I’m with you Brett.

At what point, Tommy, did you realize that you were a programmer? What you’re describing is perfect. I can let other people program it or I can do that myself intentionally. You’re very specific and intentional about the programming going on upstairs. When did you realize that and what kinds of changes has that made for you? How do we invite people to do this? It’s important.

I had a mentor that appeared about 35, 36. It was no accident this man appeared in my life. Truthfully I grew up in a pretty rough beginning. A lot of violence and a lot came out of that violence. I suffered a lot of abuse as a kid. I’m no victim or martyr. I’m telling you I didn’t deal with it and it anchored me down. I had this mentor look me dead in the eye. He goes, “Tommy, when are you going to stop living that story that was told to you and when are you going to start living your life?”

I’m going to get a little woo-woo on you. I was programmed through violence and other things as a young boy that I wasn’t worthy valuable enough or lovable. I thought by being the most powerful and successful guy in the room, wearing the nicest suit and the shiny watches was going to make me happy. I’m a big fan that money’s a magnifying glass. If you’re a great human, it’s going to magnify that goodness. If you’re an ass, it’s going to magnify your assness. I don’t even know if that’s a word.

Money is a magnifying glass. If you're a really great human, it's going to magnify that goodness. If you're an ass, it's going to magnify. Share on X

We come out of the womb pretty loving and confident. We come out pretty decent. Society, culture, shame, that all kicks in. The rest is history on that. We all struggle because of it. Anything that’s programmed into us, insecurity, the not good enough, what if they figured out I don’t know what I’m doing, the fear, worry, judgment, the cynicism can be unprogrammed.

It takes patience and work, just like being an entrepreneur takes patience that all of us lack. By the way, we all lack that. Patience and doing the work. They say Rome wasn’t built in a day, the old cliché, but it was built brick by brick. All of a sudden, a building did appear. For me, I know that anything that’s programmed into us can be reprogrammed. It takes eliminating the bad and programming in the good.

There’s so much good, confident, abundant, and learning, by the way, continuous learning. I’m going to get in my soapbox and I’m going to say what before and after look like because I’m going to finish your question off. I’m getting my soapbox since we’re talking about entrepreneurs. If you’re an entrepreneur without a basic understanding of finance and accounting, stop being an entrepreneur and go get a job.

You’ve got to learn the language of business and guess what that is. Accounting and finance. You’ve got to know the rules of the game, how to get profitable, how to manage cashflow, and how to get efficient. It’s basic arithmetic. Ins and outs. I can’t tell you how many entrepreneurs are good at one specific thing and/or surround yourself with other people.

Get ahold of your administration, your marketing, your advertising, your operations, your people, and especially your accounting and finance. You’ve got to have basic knowledge. If you don’t have it, go start learning it. Continuous learning, that’s programming. Continuous learning and betterment. You’ve got to start getting these tools so that you can scale and impact your business. You can’t do that just guessing because it is a hard game to guess. The failures can come at significant costs. We all learn by failing.

Now I’m going to go back to answer your question. I’m off my soapbox on basic levels of financial knowledge. Before and after. Before, it didn’t matter what they would’ve paid me, a distribution I’d got, or a deal I would’ve closed, I would’ve still felt not good enough. I would’ve still been that unconfident, arrogant guy. By the way, arrogant people are insecure people on steroids. That’s all it is. It’s insecurity. It didn’t matter. I wasn’t able to celebrate the baby wins. I wasn’t able to be present in all the good things that I was doing because I was always focusing on the bad. I always thought that the next bonus check or that next big conquest or that next and all those things were important, but I was never able to enjoy them.

Arrogant people are just insecure people on steroids. Share on X

I was too eaten up by stress. I was working 70, 80, 90 hours a week. I wasn’t resting. That is unsustainable. As entrepreneurs, I don’t know where this work until you drop came from. You’ve got to nurture the body and soul. You got to rest. You’ve got to feed it with nutrition. You’ve got to do you or that’s unsustainable. Being busy is not a badge of honor. It is a badge that you’re going to burn out. That was me.

I didn’t lose my ambition. I didn’t lose my drive. I didn’t lose wanting to make an impact. I didn’t lose the wanting to get a little bit more because I think that’s where great things happen in entrepreneurship. I think business is literally going to save this world. Now I don’t let my 3 stressors become 10 on a scale of one to 10. I don’t let 9 negative people bring me to a 9. I work every day on my confidence. I still don’t have it figured out. I work every day on my courage. I still don’t have it figured out.

I’m open-minded now. I ask for help now. I’m authentic now. There’s a difference between being authentic and emotionally vomiting. I’m authentic in being my vulnerabilities, asking for help, saying, “I don’t have it figured out,” but also leading with confidence. I’m a lot more optimistic and less stressed. I’ve got a whole lot more control of my time than it used to be just by cultivating this work and surrounding myself with positive people. For me, I have to work with a coach. I have to have mentors in my life. I have to be around people going in the same direction that I’m going with the same values that I’m going in. That’s the before and after and what I do.

Can we go in a slightly related direction here? Once you started to do that work on you, how did that affect some of the people that you were leading? Some of them you were leading under the old way and maybe some of them continued in the new way. Maybe you said goodbye to the past altogether and you built a team around the new way. I don’t know but talk about the difference in your impact on people around you that you were leading as a result of your work on yourself.

I’ll answer it this way. No one’s ever asked me that and I’ve done a billion of these. That’s a great question. Well done. I think this will be impactful because I’m reflecting on it as we speak. Let me be clear. Pain likes pain, insecurity likes insecurity and arrogance likes arrogance, i.e., insecurity. What I noticed, I went from being one of the most despised people at my firm to one of the most beloved by the right people. All of these people who wouldn’t have anything to do with me would run from me, scared of me, or didn’t want to work for me, any clients, I started attracting them into my life by being quiet, from listening to being energetic, and being what I would call a net giver in my practice.

They saw this and it took a while. Trust is earned. They watched me for a long time to see that I was walking the walk and not taking some magic pill because there wasn’t one. I took a lot of ridicule, what I would call from the negative forces. There’s this alpha world that I lived in, especially in big finance, mergers and acquisitions, and public accounting, where they avoid me for doing all of these negative dark Wolf of Wall Street-type things. Those people started disappearing from my life and they would publicly ridicule me. I became a senior partner of the firm. I didn’t care because all the people who wanted to make an impact, who wanted to do a good job, who wanted to lead with net giving and servitude and my clients changed.

It was weird. I started firing clients that I couldn’t stand. The firm would get insanely mad, but I would replace them with people going in the same direction that we’re going. Profitability resulted in better relationships and less stress on our people. It’s interesting that net effectiveness is when you do the work and you start believing in loving yourself. It’s going to sound weird. We’re all energy. We start thinking differently, talking differently, and weirdly vibrating differently. We start attracting the right people in our lives and repelling the wrong people. That literally happened within about fifteen months at the firm.

EEP 88 | Priorities

Priorities: We’re all energy. We start thinking differently, talking differently, and vibrating differently, we start attracting the right people into our lives and repelling the wrong ones.


That makes perfect sense to me. Our readers won’t be surprised to hear me say this. This is something I’ll share with you. I’m an organizational behavior geek. Effective organizations, that’s what I do. Along the way, I realized I’m a personal effectiveness guy too because they’re the same thing. There is personal effectiveness, organizational effectiveness, same principles, and different levels of complexity.

Everything you described about the change in you, how it attracts the right people, repels the wrong people. When you do this company-building work, when you have an amazing and healthy culture, you’re going to attract the right people and you’re going to repel the wrong ones. We used to call it the talent tractor beam. What you did was you fired up your own personal version of the talent tractor beam and it sucked all the right people in and it’s magnetic. It repels the wrong ones.

I hear that story and I think that’s what a good business owner does. When they build a great business, they build a business that attracts the right people for the purpose, the values, and where we’re going. All of those intentional statements for the business, the same thing happened for you personally. I loved hearing your reflection on that. That’s a similar thing that I try to share with folks, so that’s awesome.

It’s so true. We’re attracted to like-minded, like-valued. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what product we’re selling, whether it’s dishwashers, financial services, or high-end technology. We’re still buying safety, trust, loyalty, the humans involved behind those products, and how they make us feel. You said it best, it’s a laser tractor beam. If you’ve got the right culture, purpose, and values and you walk the walk, not talk the talk. You can’t throw a mission statement out there and it doesn’t mean anything. If you’re doing it, the people will stand next to you. They’ll fight for you and they’ll help you build it too. Well said.

We’re having a love fest here, Tommy. Let’s wrap this up with a conversation about Legendary. You attempted to put some of this into a book. You called it Legendary. Give us a quick synopsis of what Legendary is, how they might learn about you if they want to connect with you, and maybe they want to work with you. Let’s round this up with a good little discussion about Legendary and how to connect with Tommy Breedlove.

EEP 88 | Priorities

Legendary: A simple playbook for building and living a legendary life, and being remembered as a legend by Tommy Breedlove

The reason we picked the word legendary is in a world of constant self-promotion if I, Tommy Breedlove, said I was legendary, Brett and the rest of this audience, rightfully so, would laugh me out of the room. What I like about that title is that your peers, society, family, friends, and culture either deem you a legend or not. I’m not talking about rich in fame. I’m talking about leaving the lives you touched and the businesses you touched in this world a little bit better than we found it. That’s legendary.

All of this formula, this reprogramming, these tools we were talking about that I’ve been working on with my coaches, my mentors, my masterminds, and the guys and gals I’ve worked with over the years, came into play. The book is a simple, fun, quick read and or listen. I’m thankful it’s a Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller. I’ll tell you what I think is the reason this book’s a necessity these days and not a luxury. It starts with what people want. People want more purpose and significance in their lives. They want a bigger network. They want more money. They certainly want to be the master in conquering their time, be happy, and want status, power, respect, and love. That’s where the book starts.

It takes this turn about midway through and gives people what they need. We start talking about taking away those negative noise and influences out of our lives and adding positive in. We start talking about mindset mastery. How do we get that noise outside of our head that tells us we’re not good enough and it’s mean to us? If we talk to anyone like we talk to ourselves, no one would be around us. How do we start mastering that mindset? Getting that noise, I call it the Tommy Go-Round. Get that noise out of your head. It takes a turn into what people need after we gain their trust. It starts talking about what people need. They need more intimate relationships with their family, friends, significant others, and networks. They need to cultivate and master the best they can.

Mastering will never happen. Their mindsets, their minds. It’s getting control of that noise and turning it into a positive force, not a negative one in our heads. Ultimately, we need to cultivate and have more unconditional courage, love, confidence, and respect in ourselves so that we can ultimately be more confident, and courageous and love others more effectively.

Ultimately, we need to cultivate and have more unconditional courage, love, confidence, and respect in ourselves so that we can ultimately be more confident, courageous, and love others more effectively. Share on X

How do we have a good life? How do we utilize the power of choices in our lives to make all these things? It’s this playbook of how to live and build a legendary life and regain our time, purpose, and significance, leave a legacy, have a little fun, lighten up, and do well money-wise while doing it. That’s why I think it’s done so well. Thank you for letting me share that. If you want to find it, whatever your bookstore is, it is there. If you like electronic, paperbacks, hardbacks, or if you want this guy with a Southern accent to read it to you, I’m the one reading it to you on Audible. If my accent doesn’t drive you crazy, I’ll be reading it to you. You should check it out.

Get that Southern accent. I was born in Atlanta, I can’t help it. It’s who I am. The book is everywhere. We’re super proud. I’m a recovering perfectionist, by the way, Brett. For me to say I’m super proud of it, I’m super proud of it. That’s saying something. It’s a fun, short, easy read. What I like about it the most is you can pick one thing and do that and your life will change and be better. It’s compounding interest. I’m super excited. Where can they reach me? I’m all over social media. If Instagram’s your thing, @TommyBreedlove. If Facebook’s your thing, Tommy Breedlove. If LinkedIn’s your thing, it is Tommy Breedlove.

We’re always putting out business hacks, money hacks, life hacks. How do we be stronger? How do we do better? We don’t put any darkness, no politics, and no negativity. We just put goodness out there in the business mindset and relationship world. I’m super excited. We’ve got six retreats coming up. We’re running Legendary Life Foundation Retreats. I’m super excited about that.

We’ve got two conferences coming up and we’re always building masterminds for people who want to lean in, be better humans, be better leaders, be better in finance, be better in money, be better in relationships, be better in their family. We take a holistic approach. We don’t want to network. We want to network with the right people. We’re building masterminds. Check us out at TommyBreedlove.com. I’d love to hear from you. Check out the book and reach out to us. If you want to be better, we’re here.

The book is Legendary. Is that the name of your podcast as well?

I don’t have a podcast. I say we’re starting one. I’ve been on hundreds. I want to bring all of you guys onto mine so I can learn from you. I want to interview great people like yourself and get fed. We’ll either start one in 2021. If we don’t in 2021, you hold me accountable. This I’m a big personal accountability guy.

This is where I got confused and I want everybody to know this. TommyBreedlove.com/gifts and it says, “Welcome, podcast listeners.” Now I understand this is from people who’ve heard you speak on other people’s podcasts. This is the place where they can go and get gifts from you, but they can sign up for your newsletter, which unlocks some other gifts that you have available. I misunderstood. Thank you for being on our show since you don’t have one of your own. It’s been an absolute blast and I appreciate you being who you are and your programming of yourself. You’re working on a piece of art and we can all see it and we learned a lot of great lessons. Thank you very much. Tommy.

Brett, thank you for everything and I’ll leave with this. We want more in our lives, happiness, success, confidence, better relationships, more money, more wealth, whatever it might be that we want. Go find the nearest mirror. Look at it. It’s the problem and the solution. You have to participate in your own rescue by taking action. I’ll leave it with that.

Thank you. All right, this has been another great episode. Everyone, please share, review, rate, and like. Do all that stuff so other business owners like you can learn from Tommy and others. We’re all here to help you in your seven-figure growth journey. Thanks again and we’ll see you next time.


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