The entrepreneurial journey is not an easy one. But easy doesn't help us become who we want to become. Your mindset and outlook on challenges can help build the resilience required to thrive in any business for a lifetime. Check out this episode with Phil Shannon and journey of triumph and tribulation in over 36 years in business.
Some of this weeks episode highlights are:
4:06 Lifestyle is so important. People need to be shooting towards a lifestyle that they can produce, that they manufacture, instead of letting lifestyle just happen to them.
22:31 If there's less skin in the game, it's easy to run away once you get that one rejection. And that's where you've got to realize your mission in life, what you're trying to accomplish. So it doesn't matter if people say no, it doesn't matter if people say yes, because as we both know, you can't control results. You can only control activity.
53:59 My Mantra: What the mind can conceive, and believe, it can achieve. You have to talk nicely to yourself. You've got to believe it. You can conceive it, and you can achieve it!
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Phil Shannon (00:00):
You can't change what you can't control. And maybe I could have been, I could have been better. I could have been different. I don't ever want things to be easier. I just want to get better. So if I can try and get better, I don't need things to be easier. So hard is okay. Just let me learn to be better.
Welcome to the SideHustle Lounge. If you're looking for flexible ways to earn income, grow your mindset, and live the lifestyle you've always dreamed of, you are in the right place. So lower the lights. Grab your favorite beverage and join your host. Founder of NotaryCoach.com and Amazon bestselling author of Sign and Thrive: How To Make Six Figures As A Mobile Notary And Loan Signing Agent, Bill Soroka.
Bill Soroka (00:56):
Cheers and welcome to my guest this week, Phil Shannon. Phil's an entrepreneur extraordinaire and a business builder and friend and associate in so many different ways. Phil, thank you so much for being here today.
Phil Shannon (01:11):
My pleasure. Thanks so much. It's been an interesting journey to get to this point, but I'm happy work here.
Bill Soroka (01:18):
It has. And we've had to reschedule several times, but that's just a Testament to our schedules. And I think more importantly, our attitude about this and that we don't make it mean stuff. We don't turn it into a dramatic affair. We just roll with it and get together whenever we can. I love that about you, Phil. Also the reason, one of the cool things I'm looking forward to in this conversation, Phil is you're like the trifecta guest for the Side Hustle Lounge, because you know, one of our three main tenants of this show is talking about legitimate business opportunities, which you as an independent representative for LegalShield, you have that - I'm a independent representative as well.
Bill Soroka (02:05):
I love the product. You've been doing this for 36 years now?
Phil Shannon (02:09):
Little over 36 years. I started when I was 14 in case anyone started calculating the math there.
Bill Soroka (02:17):
I love that. And then the second tenant is we thought with, I love talking about mindset and the mindset for success, because whether it is a side hustle or your main business or your main job or whatever passion project you have, you have, you have to get your head right. To make it work right. And your your fellow personal development. I use the word junkie. I don't think everybody appreciates that, but I love reading and growing myself. And I get that vibe from you. We've had so many great conversations on clubhouse about that.
Phil Shannon (02:54):
Your attitude, your attitude decides your altitude. I think something that I've always thought it's just so important that you have a good attitude because with a good attitude, you can do anything.
Bill Soroka (03:05):
Yeah. And it's kind of underrated. And I think a lot of people roll their eyes at it and they just want to get to the nuts and bolts. But without this mindset behind you, it's hard to go anywhere. And finally, the, the third tenant that we talk about here is adventure in lifestyle design. One of the things I love about you, Phil is any time I'm about to call you. I never know what I'm going to get. It's either going to be on the road to an appointment. Of course you do that. But it's usually in one of three places, the golf course, the beach, or just about the sit down to dinner with your wife, which I absolutely love.
Phil Shannon (03:41):
Yeah. That's the funnest part of what I do is I can, I don't have a home-based business. I have a phone-based business. So wherever I am, I can work. We weren't, we won't, I won't tell you the why story, but we were going to be in Hawaiian. I had a few things scheduled because again, if my phone is near me, I can do what I need to do. And I, I love that aspect. And I'm looking forward to that part of the conversation because that's, I think lifestyle is so important. And I think people need to be shooting towards a lifestyle that they, that they produce, that they manufacture instead of letting lifestyle just happened to them.
Bill Soroka (04:20):
Yeah, it is important. And we might as well start right there because a lot of this, part of it, the adventure, the lifestyle is about prioritizing, which to me is about my why?
Bill Soroka (04:32):
Like, why do I work so hard? Yeah. Okay. I can recognize an opportunity when I see, when I see them everywhere, I can make stuff happen, but then why am I working so hard? Without having that compelling "Why", I think we can fall into the trap, you know, where we're working 14, 15, 16 hours a day. We're skipping those dinners with our wives or our spouses or friends and family. So we're sacrifice everything to get to success. And then when we get there, we have nothing else left, no one to share it with, to enjoy it with. So I think it's really important that we build this into our plan.
Phil Shannon (05:08):
I think a lot of people, you got to understand when you get started in any entrepreneurial venture, you're gonna have to give up some of that initially. No doubt about that. And you've got to have a partner who is okay with that.
Phil Shannon (05:22):
Or you've got to have friends who are okay with that because, you know, when I was getting started, my friends knew there were certain days of the week or certain times of day that I was not available. I was doing things that I needed to do to be the success I wanted it to be. But once you get to that point where you are at that level of success, whatever level it is, it doesn't really matter. It's, what's important to you. Because again, your success is completely different than someone else's success. So once you get to that point, then you've got to say, okay, this is the reason I did those things. Now, what do I want from the things that I get? And I love the aspect that I can work from the golf course. I can work from the beach. I can work from Hawaii. I can work from Mexico.
Phil Shannon (06:05):
I can work from wherever I'm at. And I tailored my life to be able to do that. And I think it's so important that … so many people just want to work, work, work, and never look at the, and what, what are you trying to get to? And I think it's really important that you kind of work backwards. And if you work backwards and you know exactly what you're trying to accomplish, and once you get there, you know, when you've got that, the problem is sometimes people don't even know when they got there, I'm making 200,000 a year. I'm making whatever the number is, is not important, but they're making whatever they thought theirs was making. They're still doing the same things they did. Well, there has to be a goal to be able to do what you want to do. And if you love what you do, you know, we, we both heard this so many times, you love what you do you never work a day in your life. And I firmly believe that I can see myself at 95 years old in the jacuzzi with people going, yeah, you really need to get that LegalShield thing it will really help you and your business and you know, I can get you to one of my associates. I can see myself doing that.
Bill Soroka (07:09):
I can see you doing that too!
Phil Shannon (07:09):
Exactly! Because I'll never stop believing in what I do, because what I do I think is so important. So lifestyle…
Bill Soroka (07:15):
I think you touched on a couple of really critical things there. Number one is having a business that you can believe in. So it's bigger than just a moneymaker for you. There's something else to this passion that you bring to the table, but also when it comes to having, having your friends and your family and balancing that with starting a new business or trying to achieve a next level in a particular business, what have you, what's your been your experience in either enrolling them in the process? Like getting them excited for your success as well, or maybe even having to let them go or leave them behind if they don't get excited or don't allow you that space guilt free space, let's say.
Phil Shannon (08:03):
Yeah, that, that sets you… You know, we talk about the, you know, the power of being around like-minded people. And it's so difficult sometimes because oftentimes your family's - family and friends - are your biggest dream stealers - and they don't mean to be, they don't, that's what you have to understand. They don't mean to be there just trying to protect you. They just think they know better because they don't know. And people have opinions about everything. And when you, when you buy their opinions, you buy their lifestyle. So be careful whose opinions you buy. I think it's really important to understand that you take care of yourself. So what I initially did is I made my family, I made the people closest to me aware of what I was trying to accomplish. I tried to get them to buy into my 'why'. And if they bought into my 'why', then obviously they were a very important part of what I did and what I became.
Phil Shannon (08:57):
And they helped me. They celebrated my successes instead of look in and celebrated my tough times, because we've all gone driven two hours for a no-show or had appointments that were frustrating or whatever the situation is. So I think you got to get to, and then you have to just associate yourself with the people who really bring nothing but negative. And I didn't have a whole lot of negative friends. I had a pretty upbeat circle of influence when I started. So I didn't have that issue too, but I, there were three or four people that I just had to say, you know, I have to drift away from, I didn't tell them that you're a negative jerk and I don't want to hang around you anymore. I remember - you'll love this Bill - when I was a young kid, I remember my best friend said the word 'hell'. And I said, you said, H E double toothpicks. I can't be a friend with you anymore. I literally said that it's like an eight year old kid.
Bill Soroka (09:52):
Wow … little goody two shoes!
Phil Shannon (09:59):
I don't know… But the point is you do have disassociate yourself from the people who drag you down. Because as much as you want to pull them up, they're going to drag you down. There's almost no two ways about that. So sometimes you have to walk away and it's tough because some of these people are your closest friends, people you really care about. And once you get to the point you achieve, what you're, I'll give you an example. My best friend, it literally took me 28 years to recruit him into LegalShield. And he knew about it all the time. He saw all the places that I went, all the things that I was able to do, and he still, and then eventually sat down and he said, Phil, tell me about this thing. I mean, that's the 28 years later, Phil, tell me about this thing.
Bill Soroka (10:42):
So some people are a little, a little tougher nut to crack I think sometimes.
Phil Shannon (10:48):
Absolutely nothing wrong with that. The people have to make choice or decision at their own pace. Everyone has their own pace.
Bill Soroka (10:54):
Well, yeah. And they're on their own journeys too. And they've got their own goals and dreams and maybe something fits at a certain time and maybe not in others, but I think I love what you said. It doesn't have to be this dramatic conversation about things. Sometimes it's just about distancing. And sometimes it happens unconsciously too. I've found that just certain people just don't pop into my head as much as they used to, because I know it's going to be an energetic drain. I think there's some part of me that knows that it's an energetic drain. So they just kind of, they go off and they do their thing. And we, I do my thing. And there's no hard feelings.
Bill Soroka (11:32):
It doesn't have to be like a hard conversation sometimes. And then sometimes it does, right? Sometimes you just have to have conversations that set to help you out.
Phil Shannon (11:40):
And I think sometimes Bill because I think they'll cause we programmers, you know, we're big into the PMA stuff or personal development, whatever you want to call it, we program ourselves with the good stuff. And we realize when we're not getting the good stuff back from people. And I think that's why we naturally kind of drift away from those people. And again, it's not a big thing. It's just, you naturally drift away from those folks because you're not hearing the things you need to hear. They're not saying the things you need to say. And when you say something that you think would resonate with them, it doesn't. So absolutely I was gonna say one other thing, a saying - I just get such a kick out and we're talking about timing and all that stuff.
Phil Shannon (12:19):
And I say to people all the time that the "T" in Timing is much more important than the "T" in Talent, because it's,…
Bill Soroka (12:27):
I love that!
Phil Shannon (12:27):
That just resonates with me so much because I am, I have talked to so many people who down the road, they had an interest in getting involved for getting to work, or it just made sense for them, whether they work. Because when I got started way back when I was, I was honestly, Bill what I was looking for is a way to save some money in taxes. My wife and I were making pretty good money. We were getting killed in taxes. We both worked for somebody else. I looked at being a realtor, I looked at a bunch of different things. And then I looked at home-based businesses. It wasn't, you know, I felt like everybody else, I was a little concerned about a home-based business then ran into LegalShield strictly because I bought the membership. And six weeks after I bought the membership, I got a traffic ticket in Reno Nevada, the attorney went to court for me and got the ticket dismissed. I was really impressed. I went back to work and I literally told my friends about it. They all wanted the service. So I, I said, well, let me call the guy who sold it to me. So I called the guy who sold it to me - this is true.
Phil Shannon (13:32):
I call him and I say, Hey, I've got three people want to get this illegal thing. And he goes, great. I go, he goes, why don't you sell it? And you know what I said, bill, I said, is that one of those is this one of those pyramids? That's exactly what I said. And he's, you know what he answered? He said, yes. And when he said, yes, I didn't know what to say. Cause I knew they were bad, but I didn't know why they were bad. So he obviously clued me in on what that was all about. As I say, the rest is history, so to speak. But yeah, I had a completely closed mindset for that whole auction. Not really realizing that it does make a lot of sense, especially with the great service. And that's why I'm proud of what I've been doing for 36 plus years.
Bill Soroka (14:21):
Yeah. And I think I think, well, and I'm I'm a passionate LegalShield user as well. In fact, just yesterday, I met with my attorney at their office here in Tempe to set up a trust. And I was just so impressed with how much education they gave me. I spent an hour and a half with me giving me education about trust and getting the in-depth. So I'm a huge fan of the service in the first place. But so I think having something that you can truly stand behind and believe in is probably step number one, right? There's a lot of services and businesses out there where maybe like for me, I've had 26 business failures. I've tried them all, all the MLM's. Right. So, and not everything I was proud of to sell. Some of it was kind of weird and out there and nobody needed it.
Bill Soroka (15:08):
So it didn't fill a need and I couldn't get behind it. And I, that was part of the reason I failed at those businesses. But with LegalShield, I've been able to able to overcome that. And clearly you have to, you have been doing, are working with LegalShield and like every position imaginable for the 36 years. So what's the secret. How do you, how do you in a industry where there's so much, how much turnover and it's usually just kind of hit it and quit it,…
Phil Shannon (15:36):
Bill Soroka (15:36):
How do you stay in this business and succeed to the level you have for 36 years?
Phil Shannon (15:45):
That's a great question. I guess it comes down to one, you know, I met the founder of the company. You may know. I actually worked at the home office for almost a year out of Ada, Oklahoma. Here's a Northern Californian born and raised living in Ada, Oklahoma. Let me tell you, it's not destination travel. Nobody lives there on purpose.
Bill Soroka (16:09):
Where's the beach.
Phil Shannon (16:10):
I think they had a puddle of water when it rained one time that was the beach. So I obviously knew the strength of the guy who started it and a whole, all of that. In fact, I was there when the company was basically going broke, you know, going way back in history in 1989 and 1990 LegalShield was almost to the point of going out of business. I mean, the founder of the company, Harland Stonecipher couldn't get money from anybody. No one would lend him money. So he was having some real issues and we had to almost stop business for like four or five years as memberships kept in place. Now they built up enough money to be able to start working the business again. So I guess that's a big part of this. I've always believed so strongly in what our service provides.
Phil Shannon (16:59):
I've also believed in the mission of our founder. I mean the Supreme court building says equal justice under law, but we all know as equal justice, not under law, anyone who could afford it. In fact, I love this quote, if you don't, if you'll bear with me, I just love this quote from Dr. Derek Bok. He's the former president of Harvard bit was the president of Harvard business school. He says "There is far too much law for those who can afford it and far too little for those who cannot." Nobody can be happy with that state of affairs. There's the sad truth - The color justice is not black or white - It's green - always has been and always will be in America. (Bryan Stevenson said) “We have a system of justice in this country that treats you much better if you're rich and guilty than if you're poor and innocent.”.
Bill Soroka (17:37):
Phil Shannon (17:39):
And I get, I get goosebumps every time I say that. And I've been saying that for years, but I get goosebumps.
Phil Shannon (17:46):
So that's why I'm so passionate about I do. And I think that's what held me in good stead - also think about, I sold thousands of memberships. So I get calls from people once a week, every other week saying thank you. How many times do you get people thanking you for selling them something? I mean, it just doesn't happen very often. And I get, I go to my group accounts, my police departments, fire departments, school districts, whoever, and I get people all the time coming up going, Hey, I use that thing. It was great. I use that thing it was great. You can't put a dollar value on that. You can't put a dollar.
Bill Soroka (18:25):
Yeah. I think what you just described too, is I, a lot of people see LegalShield. If they work for major companies, they see it as a payroll benefit or an HR benefit at their companies and that's that's you. Right? Yeah.
Phil Shannon (18:41):
In fact, it's interesting, as you may know, that the pandemic kind of changed my whole business in a lot of ways. I I've always recruited and built a team, but that's never been my focus. My focus has always been on a group business, something I can control as, as we talked about earlier, before we talked about managing people and how it's herding cats would be a nice way of putting it. So it's a little difficult to manage people because people are people. And so I could control my group enrollments, seeing people and all that kind of stuff, but that pandemic changed all that.
Phil Shannon (19:16):
I mean, I literally put 40 to 50,000 miles on my car a year and last year I just did my well, I finished my tax a while ago, but I had 3000 miles in driving. So my tax deductions were way down because the car is a big part of my tax. But I, I literally put putting one tank of gas a month in my car, so completely changed my dynamic. And then I get something that you love. I think you can really relate. I got really involved in LinkedIn. Yeah. Oh absolutely. I had always been involved in LinkedIn. I always had access to my clients and people I knew that was really important because all the people you want to meet are on LinkedIn. I think it's important that you understand that all the important people are on LinkedIn.
Phil Shannon (20:00):
So I got very involved in LinkedIn and it turned into this mass recruiting stuff because one, the pandemic yielded people who were looking for a side business, but it also increased my motivation so much. And I think I've always enjoyed what I do. And I think that's, I think that's really important. I mean, it's nice that you're passionate about what you do, but I think loving what you do or enjoying what you do or feeling like you're accomplishing something. I think a lot of people retire and then they go, what am I going to do now? I mean, they, they've lost their sense of, I think, especially with men and maybe that's a woman's that maybe I'm being completely sexist. If I am, you can edit that part out.
Bill Soroka (20:45):
But I think you're right. I you're right. Well, because I think men associate their purpose and their worth to their profession a lot. So then when they retire, they're like, what, what do I bring to the table now? What am I going to do? And I think that's why you see depression spike in retirees. You see a death, you know, you see these guys I've worked, they're super healthy. They work for 40 years or 30 years or longer. And they retire. And within six months they pass away. Cause they're like die of boredom or lack of purpose or just struggling to find their place again.
Phil Shannon (21:24):
Yeah. I agree completely. The one thing I want to mention, cause you hit on it earlier is, and I, I love this. I love little sayings because they resonate with me in regards to what it means. And I talk about - I'm no longer commission driven I'm mission driven - and that, I just think if you can find a mission that drives you, I mean, you've got everything you need.
Phil Shannon (21:49):
I mean, and then the 'why' you know, we talk a little bit about the why, and probably needs to talk more about that because I think the 'why' is so important. You've got it. You know, we would literally take a, take a bullet for our children when we, I mean, if my child was in a situation, I would run in front of the bullet and take that bullet, but we let somebody telling us no, or someone saying, you're stupid for doing this or saying that doesn't make sense. You're letting that person determine your success. You know, there's with LegalShield is not a lot of skin in the game with a notary business. There's a little more, I mean, I don't know what it costs. I know approximately about a thousand bucks or so to get everything put together, maybe a little more than that with LegalShield, there's a lot less skin in the game.
Phil Shannon (22:34):
So it's easy to run away once you get that one rejection. And that's where you've got to realize your, your mission in life, what you're trying to accomplish. I mean, I have so many people who go, you know, I know why I'm doing this. That's why I'm successful. I, I thought, I hang out with all the leaders with LegalShield and they all talk about knowing why they're doing it. So it doesn't matter if people say, no, it doesn't matter if people say yes, because as we both know, you can't control results. You can only control activity.
Bill Soroka (23:05):
That's deep, powerful.
Phil Shannon (23:07):
You can't control results. All you control is what you do.
Bill Soroka (23:10):
And I, I love that you're talking about this. So to me, the mission ties right into the compelling 'why'. And when we do, when we're super clear on why this has to work and why we want this to work on why we want to bring this to the market or to the world or whatever it is then those little no's and diversions and distractions mean less.
Bill Soroka (23:36):
And when it comes to figuring out the why, I don't know about your experience, but I've found that it usually it's kind of put into a 'woowoo' category. So it doesn't get the attention that it wants, that it deserves. And I think have you ever tried the seven levels deep exercises? When you're just trying, what do I want? It's usually associated with what you really want out of life. And I used to find those so frustrating, cause I think I know what I want. So I'm like right off the top of my head, I say something. And then you ask yourself that again and again and again, and the idea is to do that seven times. And when we do that, working on your 'why' or what your mission is or what your vision or your purpose is, it is profoundly deep and moving experience if you do it on a regular basis.
Bill Soroka (24:30):
And that's when you know, well, that's when you're, you're going to fly out of bed every morning, 4 35, I'm an early riser. Phil, what about you?
Bill Soroka (24:38):
Yeah, I think, you know how crazy I am in regard to early rising. I have a lot of, I live as you do. Well, sometimes you're different times on than I am, but I live on the west coast. You know, obviously we have Pacific standard time and I have a lot of business on the east coast and I shocked my east coast folks when I answered the phone at four thirty five o'clock in the morning because I'm an early riser. I, my, my dog is an early riser as well so that does help if I sleep till 5 or 5:30. So he will make sure I do not sleep till five or five thirty, but the point is yet because I, you know, I think it's Benjamin Frankin, early bed, early rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.
Phil Shannon (25:20):
Yeah. Yeah. So I, and I wake up enthusiastic excited about my day. I mean, I usually write down the goals the night before, because I want them to be resonating in my mind during my sleeping time. And then I wake up trying to accomplish those goals, you know, doing what you need to do in your business, in your life and all my goals, aren't business. I mean, I have a lot of goals that have nothing to do with business because you have to have that foundation of stuff that's not, you become a one trick pony. You become a very boring pony. You'd probably end up with a couple of broken legs.
Bill Soroka (25:59):
Yeah, exactly. Well, and we're whole beings, you know, we have to take care of everything. It's not just the business for me. The business comes easier than dealing with the emotional stuff.
Bill Soroka (26:09):
I've had to work really hard to, to balance that out and to schedule relationships, schedule them so much that they become part of my habit because I tend to go with what I know. But okay. So what I would like to do is just recap, cause you throw in some amazing info out here. Cause, my original question was how do you…
Phil Shannon (26:36):
What was the original question Bill …
Bill Soroka (26:36):
In an MLM business, in any business, really, but we're talking about what you're in and it's already an industry that can be tough on, on people, but it's relationship based and you've made it for 36 years. And here's what I took from what you talked about first, have that product that you believe in - product or service that you believe in. Enjoy what you do and tie it into your purpose in life. But in here's where I think was super important. Cause you said that just in the last year, your business has changed because of the pandemic. So even though I hate using this word pivot, you did pivot and I prefer the word adaptability. So you, you were adaptable. You could have. And I think you even talked about this for the first half of the year. You just kind of said, oh, there's nothing I can do. This is just the way things are. And then of course like an entrepreneur's mind often does, you find different solutions? You start seeing opportunities everywhere.
Phil Shannon (27:38):
I tell people I was a professional Netflix watcher and I really was, I'm not a TV person. In fact, I am not, well, we never had my wife and I are in business together. So we have business discussions. They're never arguments, but I've had business discussions with my wife about getting rid of the TV. So I'm not a TV person, well pandemic hit. And I became a professional Netflix watcher and I, I I'm a journalism minor in college. So I was, I wrote to Netflix and I said, will you pay me to get my opinions on your stuff? And they didn't pay me, but the point is, you're absolutely right. I had that. I had to completely revisited how I did my business and flexible adaptability, pivoting, whatever you want to call it. I think we have to do that all the time. I've been through some incredible struggles with my business over the years and those struggles just make us stronger.
Bill Soroka (28:31):
Okay. So I think we got to talk about that a little bit too, because and you use this quote before we started recording, but you became an overnight success. It just took you 20 years to get there. And a lot of times we think it's just rosy. You know, we see you, we see you smiling all the time. You have a wonderful disposition, always cracking jokes and having fun and have a great positive attitude. So people might think that you have never had to struggle in your business. Is that true?
Phil Shannon (29:04):
Nothing could be further from the truth. And I think we all can resonate with that situation. I, I built a pretty successful business up until 2005. And if you understand the MLM, you can, you recruit people and obviously generate more revenue. If they're doing this as well. I was a really smart guy in 1985 before I got married. I recruited my my wife because we were not married. We had not gotten married yet. So I could legally do that. Cause you can't do it when, once you're married, you can't work LegalShield. So I recruited her so I could double dip so I could generate income, extra income for selling everything in her name or her associate number. And I get the little bit of overrides, which adds totally more money. Well, that's really good until the marriage stops. And in 2005 the marriage stopped unbeknownst to me, she met somebody online.
Phil Shannon (30:07):
I'm not going to get into that story. That's no fun at all. But it was obviously a very difficult time for me. We finalized the divorce and found out that all the business was in her name. And she basically got the business from my 20 years of work.
Bill Soroka (30:25):
New Speaker (30:26):
Yeah. So I had to reevaluate my reevaluation. Was I going to get a job? This LegalShield thing really ticked me off because there was a lot of things that happened that I didn't think should happen that did. So I went to work worked for you, probably seen the little gold truck - Schwans's Food company. And have you ever seen a Schwan's truck that they're famous?
Bill Soroka (30:50):
Oh a Schwans Truck!
Phil Shannon (30:53):
I worked for them. I became the number two producer in the Western… number one throughout the Western United States and number two overall in the company, I won all these trips. It was great. I was making six figures and I loved it. I was a single father with a daughter. Who's wait, call it. So it was perfect. I could work all the hours that I wanted. A lot of people think that's a bad thing. I thought it was a wonderful thing that I could work as much as I want to work, as I can make whatever, whatever I want to make. And then like a lot of companies, and I don't know if anyone's ever been through this, but if you've ever been in a position where you're making good money, they usually sometimes in the sale where they change your territory or change the way they compensate you. Cause I was down working four days a week and still making great money. Well, they made that impossible. And I actually called the president of LegalShield, who was a good friend. I said, okay, I'm ready to get started again, send me all… I said, I'm ready to get started again, send me all the crap. I'm over my anger. He laughed. He goes, okay, I'll send you all the crap. So he sent me all this stuff and I got started again and within a year or so, I was able to leave that job. And that's what I have done.
Phil Shannon (32:01):
So I almost had to start all over again back in 2005. And and there've been other things, I mean, in 1990, like I mentioned, we almost went out of business. You know, we had short sellers, we were a publicly traded company. We deal dealt with short sellers that really devastated the company. So we've been through some interesting things, but again, it always kind of came down to, I believe so strongly in what we do. I believe so strongly in the service we provide. I love being, keep being able to give people equal access to a system that most people are financial are lockouted out of. Think about it. Nobody calls an attorney at $300 to $500 bucks an hour. We don't even think about calling an attorney about 99% of the stuff we deal with because it doesn't make financial sense.
Bill Soroka (32:49):
We just put it on Facebook and asked for those professional opinions!
Phil Shannon (32:55):
Laura, I got - the reason I got involved with notaries 16 years ago or so it was Laura. We both members of the chamber of commerce. I believe I did some little presentation. She came up to me after the presentation and said, you know, could your company help you? And I go help me and I go help you do what? And she told me about if I remember correctly, real estate company that hadn't paid her for almost a year, she had sent letters and all that stuff. And she said, well, let me try your company. And she tried the company and I believe about a week later, I saw her at a function and she had a copy of the letter and a copy of the check for $480. So that's how I got started with that whole situation. So, so it's, you know, just being in the right place at the right time, branding yourself.
Phil Shannon (33:43):
I just think it's so important that people know what you do. It's amazing how many people like you guys need referrals. I need referrals. I need, I need tentacles out there telling people about me. I get probably a call a week from somebody. I have no idea who they are, who want our membership because somebody told them about it. That I hopefully was good too.
New Speaker (34:06):
Phil Shannon (34:06):
And I think that's so important that you, that people know that you're there, that people want to work with.
New Speaker (34:12):
You talk about your business. And I think that's why it's so important to have something that you believe in because you want, it can be uncomfortable when you're first starting out in the business, especially if you're an introvert, you know, I'm an, there's no way you're an introvert, right?
Phil Shannon (34:31):
No, I can't say that. Although, you know, I think a lot of, a lot of people would go, oh yeah, I'm an introvert too. I've never been an introvert. Heck I was eight years old. I was playing golf with Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. And I grew up, I was born and raised in Monterey. My father ran the Crosby for years and years and years. I was a really good golfer as a kid. So they stuck me with all these, I played golf with Willie Mays and Barry, Bobby bonds. And I didn't even know… I knew who Willie Mays was - because I was half an athlete - I thought it was a much better athlete, in college - thought i was a better athlete, but the point is, you know, I, I got to hang out with those people. So I had to be able to speak and converse. I believe golf is a big reason that I'm the type of person I am.
Bill Soroka (35:18):
Is that because of the conversations that you're kind of have to force yourself to have in that it's a pretty intimate network, I guess right there.
Phil Shannon (35:29):
I mean, you're, you're basically hanging out with them the whole time for four, four and a half hours. And the conversation can yes. I'll call or it could be fun. I always sounded lots and lots of fun. Obviously like talking, doing eight or nine year old kid who could actually carry on a conversation and sound halfway intelligent. So that was always a blast. And again, half these people, I didn't know. I have some great stories that I really enjoyed in my way where the authors, I played a lot of golf with some great authors. I don't remember any of their names. They all sent me their books and said, how nice it was to play golf with you and stuff like that. But so many authors came to Monterrey back in the sixties. So all these authors came to moderate, kind of, I don't know, that's where people came.
Bill Soroka (36:21):
I gotta try it out.
Phil Shannon (36:24):
Hilarious. The funniest thing about playing golf, which I did pretty much, my father would drop me off at seven o'clock. I remember 1968 or nine. I'm not sure the year I got to look it up. I should always look it up because I tell this story all the time. I remember going by the golf course, I went by, he, it goes by the Monterey county fairgrounds. And if you remember, 1968 or 69, that was the huge jazz Fest that introduced Jimi Hendrix, Janice Joplin. The Momma's and the Poppas … and I, all I remember is all these hippies were taking up the road and it took me 10 more minutes to get to the golf course. And all I was was upset about them messing up the road. And I should've been going, man. I could have been part of history and I was yelling at these guys so funny.
Phil Shannon (37:15):
Yeah. That'll be a different podcast. You don't mind. I'd like to go back a little bit to the story that you shared about your divorce. Because I think one of the one of the things that we don't talk about enough is the heartbreak and the grief, you know, sometimes it's because people die or pets die or things like that, but it's also a divorce or breakups that when you're a solopreneur it can really jack your world up. And in your particular case, not only are you dealing with the personal heartbreak of that and the shock and the surprise of what you've shared with what happened, you're also lost your entire business. So I know you buried yourself in another job, which I think you were absolutely right. It'd be right there, just a way to focus and create something else. But what other advice would you have for somebody who might be going through that?
Phil Shannon (38:28):
Its tough. I think you need to recognize that it's going to be very difficult and you need the support of people you and care about. I didn't do that in a lot of ways. Not only did I lose her, but I lost her parents as well. Her parents were, I was real, real close to her parents. I wrote a letter after the divorce. They never responded to that letter and that was devastating. And that really hurt a bunch because I still wanted to have that relationship, but I think you need to recognize there's going to be issues and problems. There's going to be things you have to deal with. And again, you got to get back to your 'why', whatever that 'why' is I think that 'why' that, 'why' has to make you cry? We've all heard that until we're blue in the face sometimes, but I think it's really important.
Phil Shannon (39:16):
And that's why that seven levels you talked about. I mean, I didn't comment on that one, but I try and do that with my new associates because everybody says, well, I want to make a few extra hundred dollars. They just throw something out there because they want, they don't want to think about it. So I think your, why has to drive you, I think - give yourself time, understand it's going to take time again. It's going to be tough. It's going to take time. And then when you're ready, go out and do something great. And what is it? The best revenge is a life well lived? Yeah. I love that. I hate to say it. That's kind of vindictive in some ways, but I think that's so real. I mean, let's be real. Let's be real. We'll live a good life, have a great life and be able to accomplish the things you want to accomplish. I've accomplished so much more in the last 15 or so years. And I'm so fortunate that I had that experience to understand what I wanted, because I think that helps you really focus on what's important to you.
Bill Soroka (40:24):
I love that perspective, Phil. So let me ask you this. If you could go back and change anything, would you about that situation?
Phil Shannon (40:32):
Bill Soroka (40:38):
Like all the way back to whether or not to get married in the first place or whatever it was?
Phil Shannon (40:45):
You know, I, I say this in my life, I've been married for nine years. She's in the other room, so I better be on my best behavior. I tell her that I was married for 20 years and 19 of them were really good and I need that 19 of them were really good. So I do try and look at the 19 good years and just realize that one year really sucked a lot and the year after that sucked as well. But the point is I, I learned so much, you know, I think you learn something from everything you do. And we talked about, I know if we talked about it while we were having the conversation being taped - we talked about how you learn so much more from your failures than you do from your successes.
Phil Shannon (41:27):
Yeah. So I think I learned a lot from that in so many ways about personal and about business as well, because I think everything can be related to business and everything can be related to personal they kind of go hand in hand. So I think I learned about, so I don't think I changed anything and all reality, you can't change what you can't control. And maybe I could have been, I could have been better. I could have been different. I, I don't ever want things to be easier. I just want to get better so I can try and get better. I don't need things to be easier, so hard is okay. Just let me learn to be better.
Bill Soroka (42:06):
That's excellent. And it's, to me is it's a becoming process. I think everything that we're going through is helping us become who we need to be. The resilience that happens when we're going through these challenges.
Bill Soroka (42:18):
I had a similar breakup too, like was right in a pivotal moment where all my businesses were failing, they were crumbling. And then the relationship fell apart too which totally makes total logical sense in when you're thinking back. And I remember being devastated at the time and depressed, but who I came out as I really enjoy. And I, there's not a single thing that I would change about that experience because then I wouldn't be who I am if I didn't have that moment just hard to realize it when you're down in it, especially…
Phil Shannon (42:53):
When you're dealing with it, it's brutal, but it does. It does, you know what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I mean,
Bill Soroka (43:01):
These cliches work because they did. I love it. Well, I don't I, I want to explore also if it's okay with you, you mentioned your former in-laws and the impact that they had on you, but in some of the information that you sent over to me, you also talk about your current, your parents and them as role models. What impact did they have on your success?
Phil Shannon (43:30):
My mom was one of the sweetest people on then of course I think she's the sweetest person on the planet. So I learned my compassion or my passion from her. I learned my work ethic from my father and my father as a seventh grade education. He got a license when he was like 14 years old because his father died. So he was the head of the household, I guess, I guess back then you get a license and really young, if you were head of the household, he didn't get to seventh grade.
Phil Shannon (44:01):
And he was, was a workaholic to some extent, but also was a great family man. He did, you know, for a guy who worked hundreds and hundreds of days in row and row. I don't remember him ever missing a little league baseball game. I don't remember him ever missing anything that I was involved with. He even came to golf tournaments and watch me play golf, boring, watching someone else play golf. But my point is, he taught me a work ethic, taught me if it's worth doing worth doing right. And I've always tried to live by that. If you looked at my office, you saw what a mess it was, right. You see the pretty parts of my office. The other parts that are in the way, the point is he taught me if it's worth doing it's worth doing right. If you're going to do something, give it your best.
Phil Shannon (44:50):
So I always did that doesn't mean you succeed every time. In fact, oftentimes you do fail, but he taught me that he was the best man in my wedding. I mean, he's still alive and checking they're in their eighties. He had unfortunately stopped playing golf four to five times a week until just a few years ago. His back finally gave out on him. So can't play, he just taught me that it's you gotta, you gotta believe in what you do and do what you believe in. He believed in his family, he was always, he was doing things for his family and he not only did things for his family financially, but he did things for his family emotionally as well. And that's hard because a lot of, a lot of parents do things for their family financially, and then they're just not there. And just, I think we both realized that whole being the whole person, you're not the whole person, if you're just doing a financial yeah.
Bill Soroka (45:49):
The financial things, an important piece. And there's still, there's so much more to who we are as human beings. That's so important. And then do you see them as role models for how you then participate in your own life, in your own family, your own business, and you're balancing all that as well?
Phil Shannon (46:12):
Well, my dad's always loved his life and I, and I think that's so important that people love living love, doing stuff, you know, be participate, you know, before the pandemic I would, I would go to a high school soccer game or I go to a rodeo… I want it to be where people were. I wanted to see things. I wanted to be part of what was going on. I didn't want to hide in my house so to speak or, and don't get me wrong. Sometimes it's really nice to just chill at your house.
Phil Shannon (46:43):
And I love that. I love my backyard. You've seen me do zooms from the backyard. I love being back there, but I really love being part of life and love seeing people accomplish and do things. I've gone to an academic decathlon with, with no kid involved in the game. But I just want to be at the academic decathlon, wrestling, matches championships here. I'll go to those. I, I just want to be part of the world that I'm, that I'm part of. And that all comes down to living life. And that's how I saw my father. I don't care how many hours a day he worked. He always found time to do things with friends, to be with people. And that obviously helped me do that as well. And I learned from, he was not very eloquent. He actually was a stutter. But it didn't stop him.
Phil Shannon (47:35):
So many things that he did are things I look at and go, man. I was so lucky to have such a great dad.
Bill Soroka (47:42):
I love that. I love that you had powerful role models there and that it has transferred into your life. So maybe you're a role model to others as well. And if it's okay with you, I'd like to read a quote from one of my role models, which is Brendan Burchard. I'm big into the personal development stuff, but this is from his book, the motivation manifesto. And it's talking about, well here, I'll just read. "Our striving for a better life and a better world can leave others inspired if it comes from a genuine place of service, or it can be diminished if it comes from a place of greed. We must have the courage to ask in this confused era, am I seeking to be a role model on a daily basis? For all those I love and serve. Am I lifting up those around me? Am I in some way, elevating humanity by leading others to see and activate their potential. Am I living a truly great life? Let us take our position as generals of generosity, as leaders of the highest caliber who give a damn about others and the world."
Phil Shannon (48:54):
That's great stuff. That's that purpose? I mean, that's the, you know, we, I always say that I can't, I'm not the president of the United States. I'm not some huge person who sees and talks a lot to thousands, if not millions of people, but I can affect that my spirit, but my small sphere of influence that ripple effect can affect some other people and that, that some other people, and eventually you'll have a large ripple that's affecting lots of people. And I think all of us do everything we can to make the world a little bit of a better place. I know this probably isn't drill corny, but make the world a little bit of a better place. Then the world will continue to become a much, much better place instead of the other way. And I firmly believe that if you can control your little rebel and let that ripple expand, you can affect lots and lots of people.
Bill Soroka (49:48):
I think so.
Phil Shannon (49:49):
I think it's whether it's financially, emotionally, any of that stuff.
Bill Soroka (49:52):
Yeah. You know I think it's so important to step into that role as a role model, because there - to use the analogy you referenced a little earlier in participating in life, there's no sidelines to life, right? You might think there are, you might think you're not participating, but there are no sidelines. You're, you're making a ripple no matter what. So you see, you get to decide, is that going to be a positive, inspirational ripple, or is that going to diminish someone else's light in some way? So stepping into this consciously, in fact, I'm reading a book now called seven and a half lessons about the brain. If you can tell, I love to read but it's talking about the neuroscience now behind the, the words and the body language that we use with people has a literal effect, chemical effect, biological effect on people.
Bill Soroka (50:49):
The words we choose to use causes the other person to release things in their body. And you can either uplift them or you can, it can be detrimental to them. So this is so important. What we're talking about.
Phil Shannon (51:05):
You know, bill, I just love that we're finally out of the masks because one of the toughest thing from me is I'm a, I'm a high person. I say hi to everybody. I try and greet people with a smile and people behind the mask. You couldn't tell.
Bill Soroka (51:20):
Yeah, that was tough.
New Speaker (51:21):
Whether they were smiling or not. I mean, it was really hard to tell anything. And sometimes it's the littlest things that you do that make all the difference in the world just saying hello to somebody, just giving them a smile, having conversation, how are, you know, whatever it happens to be. I mean, I don't think we understand how, how little we can do to make such a big effect.
Bill Soroka (51:44):
Phil Shannon (51:46):
And I think we have, we have an obligation to do that. We're so lucky we live, in my opinion, the greatest country in the world, a lot of people don't necessarily agree with right now. But the point is, I think we have a wonderful situation, a wonderful ability to perform, to be successful, to get the things we want to get. And we have to be appreciative of that. And we can be appreciative that just by sharing our kindness with other people and it doesn't take much to be kind, it doesn't take much to be a good person. In fact, it takes very little - it's they say it's easier to smile than to frown. So there's more muscles - I heard that somewhere. I don't know if it's true. It doesn't, it sounds counterintuitive because I feel like I'm using a lot of muscles when I smile.
Phil Shannon (52:34):
But the situation is you can earn, you can earn so much from people. And then what happens is since we're in the relationship business, those people tend to remember that you are the one who said hi, you were the one who was nice to them. And you never know where that goes from a business perspective. Well, I got a very large account. About three weeks ago, a guy I had met in the jacuzzi, we had a conversation and all of a sudden he came back and he goes, no, I, he heard overheard me talking about someone else about LegalShield specifically. So he asked about it and now (inaudible) he's got 397 employees. So you never know where that kindness leads because you know, if you throw it out there and don't expect something back, which is a hard thing to do, but if you throw it out there, be good, don't expect something bad. It's amazing.
Bill Soroka (53:28):
It really is. Like if we boil it down, that's what we mean when we're talking about relationships because that's authenticity, authenticity be kind, be generous, be show some gratitude. And that really does. I, I believe that, is it like a magnet? It comes back to you. Thank you so much for sharing so many of the gems on how you were able to be successful in your business for over 36 years and maintain a mindset that cultivates joy and passion in what you do. If you had one habit or one mantra or quote that you would suggest or solopreneurs that are on this journey, what would it be?
Phil Shannon (54:13):
What the mind can conceive and believe it can achieve. I live by that one. I think you have to talk nicely to yourself. You've got to believe it. You can conceive it and you can achieve it.
Phil Shannon (54:27):
And, and you don't fail until you quit. So if you never quit, you never fail. So just don't quit.
Bill Soroka (54:33):
That's great advice. Phil, thanks. Thank you so much. And in for, for you that are listening if you'd like to connect with Phil, Phil is real easy to get a hold of. I've got his cell phone number. I've got his, a little link to LinkedIn where he loves to hang out and chat, in the VIP room at www.SideHustleLounge.com/VIP. That's completely free to join. And if you're interested in learning more about LegalShield, of course, we've got that information in there for you as well with some links. And again, like I said, Phil's contact information.
Bill Soroka (55:11):
Phil. Thank you so much. I'm so glad we got a chance to do this.
Phil Shannon (55:14):
Me too - I've been looking forward to it. It was just everything I expected and more. Thank you so much, Bill!
Bill Soroka (55:21):
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