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#029 Are you making your life more difficult by filling it with comparisons and expectations? 

Imagine being flown out to photograph Muhammed Ali’s 70th birthday party… as well as photographing US Presidents, Super Bowls, and World Series… and still feeling like you deserve the nickname ‘second fiddle.’


Author and Mastermind Coach Vincent Pugliese was in a flashy career rubbing elbows with top influencers and athletes, yet found himself running on empty.

Hear how remembering a lesson from his 20th birthday… and an obnoxious drunk… gave him the courage to walk away from his bread and butter to start a new career focused on impact.


Tune in to discover…

  • What discovery Vincent had the day he turned 20 and why it needs to be your new mantra
  • How a healthy entrepreneur includes these 3 phases to stay at the top of his/her game.
  • Why the last thing you need is another person saying you’re doing fine… and who you need instead


Thank you for listening and please share the link.


Always Forward,



Resources Mentioned:


Vincent Pugliese 0:05

It's like a magnet, you're going to attract the right people and you're going to repel them. And I don't want everybody to like what I do because it means that I'm not making an impact. I have no problem if somebody gets mad at me, as long as my heart is in the right place.

Joe Pomeroy 0:21

Hey, everybody, welcome to this week's episode of the Forward with Joe Pomeroy cast. I'm very excited to have guest Vincent puglisi, who is a husband, father, author, coach, photographer, mastermind facilitator, and public speaker. I've had the opportunity to know Vincent for a couple years now. We originally met, were in a mutual mastermind and we rekindled our friendship when I reached out to him after not speaking to him for a long time. And he called me out. And let's talk. I want to hear that story. From your perspective. Let's let's start there.

Vincent Pugliese 0:53

I forgot about that. I was let's start there. I love it.

Joe Pomeroy 0:58

Yeah, so so I reached out to Vincent I think it's been over a year since we'd message or been in contact and, and I reached out to Vincent and I was like, hey, Vincent, I've got this goal and dah, dah, dah, dah, dah. Will you help me with it? And then how did you respond? What did you do with that?

Vincent Pugliese 1:11

I will see if I can remember I, you probably remember more than I do. I was like, Hey, man, I love you, man, or whatever I was like, but this isn't the right way to go about it. Like don't don't do it this way. I can remember exactly what it was.

Joe Pomeroy 1:22

It was basically a WTF response. Like, come on, man, you can do better than this. And that was I realized I had two options at that point. I could either kind of blow you off. Or I could recognize, hey, here's somebody who cares enough to tell the truth. Yeah. Here's somebody who cares enough to help me be better and to embrace that feedback. And I did and you were very gracious in your response to it. And what I appreciate about how you responded to my response was, you clearly weren't just blowing me off. It really was a Come on, man. You can do better and show me how And then when I did try and do better that then we it really did reignite our friendship and our connection and be able to start doing stuff. So yeah. So I'm grateful for that. I'm also grateful that you know, yeah, for the follow up and response.

Vincent Pugliese 2:14

So, first of all, I love I love to this endears me, like the fact that you'd bring it up on your show and say that it's self appreciation, like my PI, do a daily podcast. And I really love to make fun of myself, right? Because way too many people in the space that I'm in take themselves so seriously. And they think there's so much better. And it's like, I'm an idiot, that's just trying to get out there and learn. And all the cool stuff happens from mistakes and you learn from it, you grow. And it would have been very easy for you to be like, first of all to blow me off, like, forget you, you know, and you didn't, and I was really like, impressed with that. And then to bring it up here. I'm like, that's cool. And I wish more people would do that and stop trying to pretend to be something that they're not and that doesn't you don't have we don't all have the answers. We keep learning. And that's really cool.

Joe Pomeroy 2:57

Yeah, absolutely. Well, thank you and you know, Because it was a positive turning point because it led to two things. And and I'm still not perfect about it. I mean, there's things like, you know, when I, when I launched my book, I kind of I reached out to some people and but even how I reached out initially, and you know how it began was different because of that experience that I have with you. And so yeah, it's been beneficial. It's been a turning point. And, and besides, I thought it was funny to bring up because I didn't give you any warning that I was gonna bring it up. So

Vincent Pugliese 3:31

it goes to so much like, authenticity. Authenticity is key to me, but I think there's also a lot of fake authenticity in this world right now. And I have a friend that runs a big conference that we've we've, we've probably both been to, and we were talking and he was like, everybody's real authentic and this and stories and, and he said, Vince, you'd be stunned. 85% of this is there's some phoniness in it, even within the authenticity and it's like none of it. Like, I can't sleep at night, knowing that I'm not being who I am. And even with you, it's kind of like, if I have somebody that I am friends with, and they're going to do something, and I know you're not, it's not going to be me. I know that message probably went out to somebody else that wasn't a one time message that's going to go to multiple people. And I'm, like, so many, so much trust and not saying specifically that so much trust is lost, and you don't even know that it's lost. And these are the people that are like, things just never seem to go well, I don't know why this didn't go well. But nobody has the courage to say, check this out. Not that I'm right. But you know, I this comes across as kind of spammy. And do you really want to do that to your friends? And if if your friends are gonna feel this way, what do you think the people that aren't your friends gonna think about it? You know, so sometimes my wife and I get I So tell me, I'll get myself in trouble because I'm too honest. And I'm like, I don't know another way of doing it.

Joe Pomeroy 4:52

Well, I think you just put yourself out there as you are, you know, you specifically and then the general you and it's really, I mean, as long as you're striving to be the best version of yourself if you were doing it because you were you were upset or you were in a bad place, and you're like, Oh, another spam Facebook thing, I'm going to let Joe have it like that I don't think would be in line with who you are at your core. And so that's a different issue. But if it's something that you're reaching out, and it's in alignment with who you are, and the values that you strive to live by, then whether or not people accept it positively or negatively. That's up to them. It is. I think that's a fine line, though, because I think sometimes I've acted in a way that appeared in line with my values, but the intent in which I offered the information, the heart behind it wasn't there, or the intent was off.

Vincent Pugliese 5:42

We all been there. We've all been there. And I think hopefully we learn from that. Hopefully we see us doing what's supposed to be good, and not maybe the best way and then realizing that's in my core. I know I'm not being who I want to be and not not everybody changes from that. But I think You know, in time, hopefully we get better with it. And we realize we're doing the point is for us to get better as people and to make the people around us better. And it's gonna, it's like a magnet, you're gonna attract the right people and you're going to repel the right people. And I don't want everybody to like what I do, because it means that I'm not making an impact. Some people just don't want to piss anybody off. And that's certainly not me. It's like, I have no problem if somebody gets mad at me, as long as my heart is in the right place. Yeah, and I can't, because people have come back to me after being mad for something like that. Right. and thanked me for it. So that's why I know but you have to have couth about it. Right? You have to you have to know what the right way of going about it is.

Joe Pomeroy 6:40

Yeah, for sure. You know, you bring up an interesting point as well. You mentioned use the word impact, and that's something that I think as entrepreneurs, we really strive for is is we're looking for that impact. You know, yes, we want the bells and the whistles and the things that go with it or you know, like the name of what you do with total life, freedom. You know, as part of that, we want that impact. And the way that you explain that and how you profit, how you processed it. It kind of spoke to me like, if I am being passive, or if I am trying to walk the middle of the road, then I will never be able to reach the people in a way that that gives them the push that they need, you know, and then there's somebody that they're waiting for somebody to come and jostle them, they're waiting for somebody to come and say, Hey, what are you doing? And they need that to wake them up from this sleep? Yep. And life gets hypnotic. And we get in these routines, and we get in these phases, and we're really not making advances. And if we don't have somebody that cares enough to shake us up, then then we miss out, miss out.

Vincent Pugliese 7:52

And it's a balance, right? We were talking about balance, but there's I've got enough people in my life that will tell me Oh, it's fine. It's fine. If you don't do that. Everything's good. Don't worry about it. I got enough people that I don't need that I need more people that would be like, you sure not that I'm doing it wrong or them imposing their will on me. But just to be able to question me, if my integrity is out of order, right? So, like the message to you, which is just a great grounding point where it's like, I always and everything that I build, I always think in terms of like high school, and me trying to be somebody that I'm not and my high school friends, like, Who are you trying to be? What do you really can see that like, you try to be something you're not. And that's why when people tell me like, why don't you do this? Why don't you do it this way? Like, that's not who I am. And I really think in terms of we'll talk about what you were building before we're starting, you know, your membership. And then I think there's a I truly believe there's a place for everybody to do what they want to do. And I don't need to be the biggest rock star in the world to live the life that I want. I don't need everybody to know who I am. I don't need to have the most podcast downloads or the most books. I don't need any of that. You know, if I go back to Kevin Kelly's 1000 true fans, if you've ever followed that, you know, if you have 1000 true fans, and just in general, they pay you $100 a year, that's 100 of us, right? hundred thousand dollars a year, right? It's just in terms of numbers money. Most people be fine with that, you know, some people want more, but you don't need to struggle. And that doesn't take that much to do, what do I need? The other stuff comes from comparison. It comes from, well, this other person's doing it this way. And I need to either beat them or I need my own self validation. Get there, when you can strip all that and do what you want to do and create that life around it. It's very freeing. So I just wish more people could see like you don't need what you might think you need to live the life that you want,

Joe Pomeroy 9:42

of the appreciate the art. So I read something in one of your emails recently, and you talked about you're talking about your boys, and one of them recently turned 15 and you talked about I can't remember I think you're recording maybe quoting somebody from a movie, but the basic idea was the life I had before. I was 24 is radically different from the life I had after 24

Vincent Pugliese 10:03

is Duff McKagan actually the bass player from Guns and Roses.

Joe Pomeroy 10:06

That's right. Okay. So now I want to rewind because the clarity with which you speak now on being content, but not complacent, the clarity in which you, you know, hey, to be myself and not trying to impress you, you compared it to life in high school. And so there's clearly there's this transformation that we go through that hopefully we're going through as adults, to be able to learn and get to where we are now. Now, where you are now is as a husband, a father, as with leading your masterminds and the things that you do, I want to rewind and get back to where you were as a freelance photographer, you know, and you did very high profile, photo gigs and sporting events and things like that. What was that transition? Like? Were you chasing things back then? Did you have the sense of peace and clarity and balance that you feel like you have achieved in your life now?

Vincent Pugliese 10:59

No. You know, a lot of times you don't know until you leave it, what you were doing with it? Because you're, you're just in it, right? You're in this world, whether it's what I was doing there or somebody in their job, right where it's like, no, it's fine. And I'm gonna get out of like, what did I spend seven years being an insurance? Why ain't insurance right? But when they're in it they don't know because it's paying the bills and they don't they haven't been able to see it. But I loved it like I love I mean, like you said high profile like Super Bowls World Series like we got to my wife and I got flown out to Scottsdale to photograph Muhammad Ali's 70th birthday party.

Joe Pomeroy 11:29


Vincent Pugliese 11:30

And you're hanging out there with you know, Andre Agassi and Lance Armstrong and all that, like, all just think you're in it in that world. So it's quite bizarre, you know, growing up, seeing all these people, and then even being on the sidelines of almost never, you know, I think for presidents, the United States, sometimes somewhat intimately hanging out, right, photographing them, all that type of stuff, but I loved it. And I still look back at those images. I could see him back here, you know, they're right behind me. But when I decided to start leaving that world There was a there was an A sense of I wasn't doing it for me. There was a sense of there was a, I don't know if it's an emptiness or trying to prove something to somebody because I didn't feel like I've measured up, right. I didn't do well in school. I was, you know, even even when growing up was me, my brother, my brother's a year and a half older, and my nickname I gave to myself was second fiddle.

Joe Pomeroy 12:22

You gave that to yourself,

Vincent Pugliese 12:24

myself. And his nickname was favorite son.

Vincent Pugliese 12:27

So to the point that when we played deck hockey together when I was 17, we signed up for a team and I went to sign up for both of us. He wasn't there. So like, okay, we everybody needs a nickname. We're not gonna use our real names. So he showed up to hockey, and his jerseys and favorite son and mindset second fiddles. I named it for him, right. So even that in school, never feeling measured up Never feeling I was good enough ever feeling like I was accepted. Once I started doing something that everybody thought was cool. I'm like, I ran with it and I'm gonna become really successful in this And then at the same time, my brother, you know, he's working on Broadway in New York, and he's doing the Broadway shows. And there was never a one on one comparison. But I'm thinking, I'm doing all this cool stuff. And then all of a sudden, it's like, Hey, Steve, can you get us tickets for Lion King? And I'm like, I'm still getting beat. This is how I felt internally, like, don't you photograph the world through, like, this competition type of thing. And then when I finally decided start walking away from it, I realized I wasn't doing it for me. I was doing it for the high of people asking me about it. What was it like to be there and wasn't. So when I walked away from it, and start something completely new, those people I don't have the same conversations with anymore. That's what they wanted to talk about. That's what they knew me for. And when I was no longer doing that, they would still ask me about it. And I can understand even like musicians that move on, like, oh, tell us about when you wrote hotel, California don't talk about that anymore. Oh, but that's all we want to know about. Like, no, I'm here now. And it was really an eye opening thing of like, not only the way that people reacted to me, but why I did it. It wasn't for photography. It wasn't for art, it was for validation. That's a hard thing except for yourself.

Joe Pomeroy 14:05

So the way that you're describing that sounds like your identity was wrapped up in the work. So how do you if that's your identity? How do you How did you walk away from that?

Vincent Pugliese 14:15

Understanding that I made that my identity and that's not what I wanted it to be, and having to be okay with the fact that you're gonna drop back down again. You know, and I'll be honest with you, we were in a mutual mastermind, and the leader of that mastermind said to me, like, you need to roll with this, like, that's because I was literally what I've built. Now, I was starting to build then. And he kept pointing to the fact like, you need to do the photography. And that's what everybody talks about. And I specifically remember saying, That's not what I want to do. That's not what I want to talk about, not what I want to teach about, and I don't want to do it. And I don't really care if that impressed with the people. This other stuff that I'm talking about freedom and family and lifestyle and living the life that you want, regardless of if people are impressed by it or not. That's where I want to go and it didn't resonate there. And I got a Straight because I'm like, I don't want to be pigeonholed as the monkey that does this for everybody and impresses people. So I had to have the internal strength to be like, no, um, it would have been easy to do that, because I could have sold that for years and years and got on stage is not what I wanted to do. So I had to basically say to myself, I got to be cool with where it's gonna go, and failures probably going to happen. And it's going to be a fun run.

Joe Pomeroy 15:23

So where was your wife during this process? Because I know you've got, you've got your three boys. And if one just recently turned 15. I mean, they were clearly around during this transition stage, because it was just a few years ago. Yeah. So where's your family in on this process?

Vincent Pugliese 15:38

Oh, I'm so fortunate. I'm so forth. I mean, it's hard to marry me and not know what the baggage that comes with it.

Joe Pomeroy 15:46

We all have baggage, it's okay.

Vincent Pugliese 15:49

You I am like, like, essentially, I'm gonna build something up and when I'm bored with it, I'm going to kill it sometimes and start all over and not be worried about it. And we did that with the photography business wasn't always this wasn't the smartest move, we could have made a better transition out of it. But she's on board like, literally, you know, so I was doing the sports that wasn't the biggest moneymaker, it was the biggest ego boost, but the money came from weddings and corporate work, right. And I'll never forget when it ended, we were making six figures, over a decade do not even working that much. So had a good gig. And I remember coming home and some drunk guy at a wedding was just giving me a hard time at like, 1030 at night, and take my picture type of stuff that you get as the wedding photographer, and I'm like, I'm not your circus monkey, but whatever. And I didn't do it. And I'm kind of like, I drove home. And I was in bed and I came I was like, I'm done. You know, imagine saying to your wife, I'm done. I'm done doing this career. Like, we're gonna transition now that makes good money. It's not tremendously stressful. And she said to me, she goes, and then what I said was, I'm tired of photographing drunk people at 1030 night dancing. That's what I said. And she looked at me and she got it because she have similar things and say, Okay, what are we going to do? I said, I have an idea. I'm not sure. I'm not going to kill everything right now. But I'm on my way out. And totally on board. She's, I mean, I'm so fortunate that she didn't say no idea, the security in this. We're very simple people. We don't need that much. So almost everything is bonus. That's one of my goals. I was 20 years old. I, I had such an awful, tough childhood in a way of like, in my own head, that I really thought by the time I was 20, I'd be dead. I really did. I ran with a rough crowd. Had a couple moments shouldn't be here, right. And on my 20th birthday, I remember driving home from an ex girlfriend's house. She was at the hospital. I remember thinking, oh my goodness, like, I'm 20 I made it. I never thought I'd make it to 20. So when I got there, I remember driving on the Meadowbrook expressway in Milan back home. And I said, Hmm, it's all bonus. And it was one of the best things I ever said to myself, because there were no more expectations. There were no extra I wasn't even supposed to be there anyway. So that's what led me like oh, Well start photography in 22 failed out of school five times been fired from multiple jobs, but I'm gonna go build a career as a sports photographer, I totally do nothing about photography, why not? It's all bonus anyway, as opposed to if I was really good in school. And, you know, you have like my brother had like, Harvard material, his third grade teacher told him, which I'm so glad they didn't say to me, they wouldn't have any way. But I would have this expectation. You need to go to a good college and to get there. There were no expectations for me from anybody in my life. So it was almost the best thing in the world that nobody like you should be here, I got a clean slate. So I try to always keep that in here. It's all bonus. So if I'm not going to enjoy the work that I'm doing, if I'm not going to love doing it, I'm not going to do it, regardless of money. And I think I wish more people could see that so they can actually I don't do work that I want to do. If it becomes bad, I either outsource it or quit. But a lot of people have to keep doing it. So I think that helps

Joe Pomeroy 18:57

me. That makes a lot of sense. And I love this idea. He had that it's all bonus anyway because you can look at whether you want to look at like, from a Christian perspective and look at the Bible or from a Buddhist or, or Islamic or whatever, Jewish, whatever kind of perspective, religious perspective you want to take, there's always this background of that life is a gift. And that it's something that we we have the opportunity to do something with, but that it could also be taken away or lost at really any given point. And so then it presents the opportunity to, to live in fear or to live average. And really, it's, I love this, I love that it's all bonus. It's all bonus. I mean, I could see that as being a mantra when stress hits when trying to to branch out into a new field or trying to connect with new people or anytime going into something new look, it's all bonus.

Vincent Pugliese 19:51

Thank you. And it helps even like people talk about money, right? And I think it's the expectations we put on ourselves or whatever it would be, but I lived in a studio apartment in college that I literally didn't even have a vacuum and I had to Elizabeth because I you know, you can marry somebody, she would come over my apartment and it was this nasty type of rug like really short, you can get up on it. And I'm literally that I'm vacuum, you're sweeping the rug with my hand, because room or vacuum. So you meet a girl that will still stay there the next day at that like and I in this cheap little studio place, and we're eating whatever, and I have no money and I was happy. And I always go back to like, if I could have been happy, then why do I need X amount of money to be happy now? And I think those anchors, you know, not that you don't want to make more money and we do well. But it's it's not going to cause stress if we don't have it, because we are happy without it. And I think I think that, you know, it's a very simple approach, but I wish we could see that more.

Joe Pomeroy 20:49

It is it is simple but simple doesn't always mean easy. And I think we make it difficult on ourselves. If you go back to the first part of our conversation you talked about You know, you gave yourself the nickname second fiddle and you were comparing yourself to your brother. And then you were always comparing yourself after that. And then as we got further along in your story, and you talked about this, it's all bonus anyway, and being able to let go of expectations. I mean, that's what takes it from, you know, how can we implement this simple process? Do we make it easy? Do we make it difficult? Well, am I filling my life with comparisons? am I creating unrealistic expectations? And if I'm doing those two things, if I'm comparing myself to the next mastermind facilitator or the next, you know, podcaster, or father, whatever it happens to be, I'm making it more difficult. I'm making it harder than what it needs to be if I'm setting up these expectations that man this when I talked to Vince and this is going to be the best podcast ever and I'm not going to stutter at all. There's not going to be any awkward gaps. And I'm going to remember to, you know, love like, now I'm creating these expectations that I have to be perfect and I'm making something that's Simple and could be easy. And I'm making it difficult because of what I'm doing to myself,

Vincent Pugliese 22:06

totally the most complex thing you can do is to be simple. I really believe that.

Joe Pomeroy 22:11

talk more about that, because that My mind went on when you did that. So tell me more about that it feels true, but I need to make sure I process it right.

Vincent Pugliese 22:18

If it was easy to be simple. We'd all be just, we wouldn't overthink everything. But it's it's hard to be simple. You literally have to take in everything, and then know that you have to eliminate 98% of it. But if you only had the 2% to do do to do to do I'll just do it right. But you literally get this you have to see on your Facebook, feed all these other podcasters coming in, and then talking about their successes and their perfect lives, their perfect families. And you know, it's all Bs, like, you know, and I have a friend You know, I see it every day and I and I keep monitor just for laughs like, everything's always perfect. I know it's not and nobody relates to perfect. Have you ever went to a movie where it's like, yeah, I graduated from college got a 4.0 got a great job. Have a beautiful spouse, great kids watch my movie. What a boring movie. It's all great. Now I want to hear the struggle. I want to hear what you went through. I want to hear the vulnerability of real life. And even though it looks good, you're struggling with the fact that you're comparing yourself to your brother, even though like then that's what happened to me. And I mean, literally until maybe it was five years ago. And my dad was over. And it was always this feeling like not good enough. And I kind of made fun of myself about like, I don't know what I'm doing. And my dad, who didn't, you know, he threw around compliments, like he threw around manhole covers. It didn't happen a lot. Right? And he was like, he was like, Well, what are you worried about? What do you you got it all figured out? What are you worried about? And he wasn't looking at me when he said that he was walking out of our basement to our garage or going outside to play with the kids. And I didn't know if he was joking. And he turned around he was like, look at what you've done. Like what do you do with your career like Look, when you turn around, it makes me emotional. Think about because he saw how bad I had done. And then what had happened after that, and then You know, my wife and my kids is like, What are you trying to figure out? What are you? And it was literally that moment, almost having my father's approval, which I never really felt like I had. I haven't compared myself to my brother at all. And it's been a change of, you know, it really does coincide with the shift thing from photography to this. I think I've always had that. And I think and as talking about the importance of fatherhood or Parenthood, right, yeah, how much that affected me. And if he would have never said that I'd still probably compare myself and he doesn't even know that he, I should probably call him and tell him he doesn't even know he had that impact with that one thing that he said.

Joe Pomeroy 24:35

So I two things there first, yes, you should call him and tell him I would strongly encourage you to do that. And I hope you will. And we'll we can update it. When I launch the launch this episode, you can give me an update, and we'll that way the audience can hear it. They can listen to the end and hear what happened when you called your dad and talk to him.

Vincent Pugliese 24:53

And are you guys

Joe Pomeroy 24:56

dad just so you know, this call may be recorded or monitored for quality assurance. And then the second thing is, how old were you? When you got that from your dad? When you had that conversation with your dad?

Vincent Pugliese 25:08

I'm 48 now 4342 43

Joe Pomeroy 25:12

All right, so 43 years old. And how old were you when you first gave yourself the nickname second fiddle?

Vincent Pugliese 25:19

Oh. 15 maybe.

Joe Pomeroy 25:22

Okay, so think about all that time in between. So there's this psychology that when something breaks mentally, emotionally, psychologically, psychologically, we stay at that age at which it was broken, or we stay at that age in which we wrote that story. In that thing, we might mature and develop in other areas, but in that thing, we stay at that age. And so here you had for you were operating as a 15 year old, comparing yourself playing a second fiddle which goes, which makes sense because you talked about before when you see yourself going into that, that you go back to your high school days. You think all right, who you're trying to kill, so that totally makes sense. Yeah. What I love this At the age of 4340 to 43, it is never too late to rewrite those stories to rewrite those messages to be able to say, Oh, I do have some things figured out and to let that 15 year old grow up. And it it can happen in an instant. It can happen over time. But if we're doing those things and putting ourselves in situations, and we're accepting those messages, because you could have blown it off like your dad was just kidding. Oh, you know, you didn't see his face. He could, you could have totally blown it off.

Vincent Pugliese 26:30

I could have got mad thinking I was just another. No.

Joe Pomeroy 26:34

Yeah, like he's taking a jab or something or he's making funny or something. Oh, absolutely. So, man, I hope that's, that's encouraging to me too, as a reminder that it doesn't matter how far along I am that there's there's always going to be messages that come up that if I recognize that, hey, if I don't like how that sounds. If I don't like how that makes me feel or if it's overcomplicated. We're talking about being simple. If it's Over complicating things for me, I'm gonna have to rewrite it. Yeah. Yeah. So you talked to, uh, you also talked about struggle. You know, people don't want to watch something where everything's perfect. And we've got this struggle. So you I mean, everything right now sounds pretty great World Series, Super Bowls, presidents, you know, all kinds of things. You come home to your wife and you say, Hey, I'm going to quit on this. And she says, Sure, honey, go for it. Like, everything sounds like it's all going well. But there's always struggling there. Oh, so what was some struggle that you face as you were making this transition? and fairly recently, it's been five years and yet, things are going quite well. You've got a book, podcast mastermind highly successful in a lot of these areas. Tell us about some of that struggle, and what you did to get through that.

Vincent Pugliese 27:44

It's always it. It I don't think it ever ends. And I think that's perfectly fine. Because if you would have told me 10 years ago, this would be your life right now. I'd say Sign me up. rainbows and unicorns. Awesome, right? But when you get there, it never feels like it, you thought it would feel 10 years earlier. Right? Because you're still dealing with a kid that's not listening to you today, right? Or they're arguing with each other or you didn't sleep well last night or yet things are going well, but what if we lost we lost this client Do we need to get there's always something so we can put a big bow on if everything's Yeah, on the surface, those things you're saying are all true. But every one of them has a struggle to either grow with maintain, do you want to get rid of it? It's never you know, I never understand it like everything's just fine. I don't maybe it's just because I'm just, you know, ADHD or whatever I'm, I understand that just kind of like flatline like I almost just need drama. Like it can't ever just get too easy. And if it does, I will I quite literally will sabotage myself to kill it, so that I can build something else and I truly think as as terrible That sounds I really think that's one of my superpowers. Because when people go How did you do this, this, this, this this, because every one of them I did to my best ability. And then when I got there I was okay, I'm done. Let's do the next thing. And it's going to be something completely different than before. That's why it's like I can go from doing the sports, even within photography to weddings to corporate to then doing a course we call shots. We did a very successful sports course teaching parents how they never did a course before, right? And then to writing a book never wrote a book before like, if my English teacher found out that I wrote a book she she quit school and wrote a book, right but then that to running a mastermind I'm teaching other people about entrepreneurship and about freedom and like it ever get to a point and then either maintain it or optimize it. But I always have to be a beginner in something, growing something and an expert in something if, if I'm, if I'm really in the right mindset, because if this is an expert, financially, I'm fine because I'm making money. Good money with very little time growing something that's really kind of challenging to tweak and pivot. And beginner, I need to be doing something that there is a high probability that I'm going to fail. I have to be interesting, happy.

Joe Pomeroy 30:13

So do you find that when you have all three of those things filled that that's when you feel like life is at the pace you enjoy the most,

Vincent Pugliese 30:21

when those things are lined up like that, and it really is like if you play guitar, tuning a guitar, when you tune it, it sounds great, but it doesn't stay like guitars out of tune right now. It sounds terrible. Like it like an animal die. Right? And I got it. I got it. Yeah. But that's what my guitar is tuned. Those three things are going because I've been in it before, say the expert, right. And there's a lot of people like this. They're an expert in something but they're not growing and they're not a beginner anything because they don't want to challenge themselves. I got it good. And those are the people that feel the worst for because when you're doing really well, and you're dissatisfied, it's really really empty. And I've been there and you could talk to a lot of very well Well, people way wealthier than I am, that were there. And it's empty. Because but when you're failing, and you're and you're not doing well, you can blame it. You can say, Well, when I make this much money, oh my business successful, then I'll be happy. What is the successful person do when they're unhappy and successful? What can you say? It you more success isn't going to do it? What do they turn to like drugs? What are they? Whatever it would be that they turn to to make them because there's emptiness there. And I think personally unless there's like mental imbalance, right? When you can go into something that you're a beginner at your wound care if you learn violin, something that you are not an expert in, it keeps you humble, and it keeps you growing, and type of thing where it's like I always need to be there. So when I find myself becoming too much of an expert, I need to bring on set like you'd entrepreneur school or a podcast, something where it's like, good chance that nobody's gonna listen to, I'm gonna fail and that's why I don't promote anything that I do. Instead, I'll do this and people talk about because I want to see if it's real. I want to See if it's gonna make it on its own. And a lot of people think I'm crazy, but when it's all bonus, I don't need to have the most successful thing I need to know if what I'm doing is real. And I don't Some people think that's crazy, but it's the way that I have to work.

Joe Pomeroy 32:12

Now, it makes sense. And there's a lot of a lot of good things that are are in there. You mentioned something about what do successful people do if that's all that they're doing is defining themselves by success, once they reach success, then, you know, achieve their milestone then what happens? And, you know, there's two aspects that you brought up, and one is that they just continue chasing, and they're never satisfied or to they look to some other external source to meet that need, be it drugs or affairs or whatever, whatever that could be. And so it's interesting to me is you're talking about what if we go back to earlier in the conversation when we talked about what takes if life is simple, and the way to have contentment, joy, that freedom, the things that we're looking for a simple and what takes it from being either easy or hard? It's an It's an pursuing x, it was pursuing external things. But I, you know, I've got this internal void, and I'm comparing myself to somebody else to try to fill that void, or I'm creating some kind of expectation, some kind of tangible thing that I have to accomplish in order to fulfill that internal void. And yet, then you present a solution that you've recognized that there's three different areas that if you are pursuing each of those three areas within your life, that those provide life, they provide light to that, that void. So tell us about what are those three? Can you give us a for examples? Give us the specifics. What are those things you're specifically doing right now and in family and or career combination of both? The one that you feel an expert in the one where you're growing in and the one that this may fail terribly, but I'm doing it anyway.

Vincent Pugliese 33:52

Yeah, um, it's always changing

Joe Pomeroy 33:55

Like day to day, hour to hour when you say it's always changing. What does that mean?

Vincent Pugliese 33:58

You know, back in my more manic days it was it was our to our just my poor wife just sometimes people send you a thank you card I'm like send her the thank you card right she's the one that needs it because she deals with this stuff and I've honestly balanced myself a lot more right and got myself healthier you know even supplements crazy like just getting myself just more straight lined in a lot of ways that I have enough energy as it is I don't need more right and so it would change our she would see my face I come and we're gonna do this I'm like, should I feel bad thinking back like that looks at her face. And she had to learn that until I really start spending money on something don't take it seriously, if that ideal be gone. Right? So just relax. Relax, like my don't like I collect domain names. I used to collect baseball cards cuz that's gonna be the next big thing, right? Right now, totally freedom is optimal. That's I consider myself I guess an expert in it. It's, we keep it at 100 people it's sold out and

Joe Pomeroy 34:55

that your mastermind,

Vincent Pugliese 34:56

mastermind and community so I have two elite masterminds and then I have everybody else in the community, which is more of a membership. But I do calls with the group, we have guests, and we do like today, today we're doing a content sprint, we get together and we just knock it out together as a as an acountability group actually going on right now I'm supposed to be going back to them, but they know they're gonna take over because I'm talking to you. That I feel like it's just, it's just firing on all cylinders for me, right? And because I don't have the expectation of keeping up with somebody else like that the way I want, I like it at the certain number because if something's not working out, I can get them out and I could bring in someone that really wants it. So we have a waiting list to really keep making the stronger. The podcast, the, you know, speaking, obviously, that's not very much right now with a pandemic, but things like that. Those are things that I'm all growing. I'm learning from constantly. I'm like, Okay, how do I tweak this? How do we make this better? How do we get the stories to be better? It's very artistic for me. I'm not looking to explode anything make anything enormous. I I believe in a Seth Godin calm concept which is like, I never had a podcast, I never had a blog go viral, I just wrote 10,000 days in a row. And that's how it became the biggest blog out there. And I and I subscribe to that a lot. And so that's my thing with the podcast, just record 1000 straight episodes, daily podcast, it's all I gotta do. It's got to get better at it. And youth entrepreneurs, cool. Business wise, is the thing that's like, we have no idea. We have no idea how it's gonna work. We have no idea. You know, it's a different format, because you're working with parents and kids, you know, I can talk to adults, but talking with adults and their kids that are young, it's like, it's kind of working without a net. So we did a founding group that went really well we already have kids that are starting businesses and, and but as it grows, how do we handle it as it gets bigger? Um, so that's my beginner thing that it's like, we could crash and burn and we can look silly, but we have we, whether it has the whole thing, it's kind of like the whole you know, could fail or there's nothing to lose anyway. Is the the worst case scenario we're teaching our kids, these these thoughts, these ideas, these lessons, that's the worst case to have it failed with everybody else. At least we're going through this with our kids. It was the same thing with writing my book. I even wrote my book, you know, I know only my mom and my wife, were gonna read this, I had to take it out, because we tested it with hundreds of people that have read it, so it wasn't true anymore. But I literally wrote that that nobody's gonna read this. I don't care I have to write this. So that was my beginner thing at that point, as was the podcast but now it's an entrepreneur school and then as they become successful if they do they go into growing an expert phase and then once they're an expert phase, I get to decide do I want to optimize it? Do I want to kill it? Or and then what's going to be beginner that so I have no idea what's gonna be beginner next?

Joe Pomeroy 37:45

Does anybody in your mastermind or wanting to get your mastermind do they have to worry about you killing that anytime soon?

Vincent Pugliese 37:50

No. And because I've grown up a little bit like two years ago, I probably would have two years ago, honestly, I probably would have been like, you know, we did this. Let's move on. You No, I did I think I killed one of the elites that we had three elite masterminds. And I, it was too much mentally for me, too many people going too deep with to think about it. I'm like I need to. So I did. So I told a handful of people like, you know, we have a couple spots and other ones. Otherwise, you have to go down to the community. And it's a hard thing to do, because you're risking income, you're risking, you know, them being apart, but I couldn't do it. And they know me. And I know, I will change things around a lot. So it feels really good right now. But no, we're not. It brings too much satisfaction to see these changes happening in people's lives. And it's my way of like, kind of like what we did with you in terms of that first initial email. I get to do that with them on a consistent basis. So I love having not that blunt. Right, but I love having that type of exchange, and I guess impact.

Joe Pomeroy 38:46

Awesome. Well, I'm excited about the things that you have going on right now. And it makes a lot of sense. Having those three different categories gives the opportunity to have the impact that you desire as an entrepreneur, while also continue to grow and develop as a human being And see what new ways that you can influence the world that that you get to be in that you get to be a part of. So I will we are out of time. So two questions to ask everybody at the end of the episode. First one is, if there's one principle that you would like listeners to walk away with, what would that be? And the second question is, how can we get in touch with you connect with you? And what's the best way to do that?

Vincent Pugliese 39:22

Cool. I always have a hard time just one because it depends on the moment. Right?

Joe Pomeroy 39:26

I what's the one for this moment, then?

Vincent Pugliese 39:28

You know, it goes with this. Like the whole it's all bonus thing. I want more people to think that way. Right for themselves, like, they're you. You don't have as much to lose as you think you do. I try some and amazing what I taught people to quit their jobs so often. And I say you will come back to me and you'll say, I wish I would have done it sooner. And I literally get emails that say that I You were right. I wish I would have done it sooner because they see the time that opens up and the opportunity. So that's all bonus part. And then we've kind of alluded to it a couple times, but like what keeps me grounded is I want to be content. But not satisfied. Like it keeps me grounded. Because if I'm not content today, I'm not happy. I need to be happy today. I need to be content with whatever it is that I don't need anything today. And if I always don't need anything today, I'm fine because I'm not missing anything. But I also don't want to be satisfied because that's when I get really lazy if I'm contented satisfied that I'm not accomplishing less I'm just kind of retired and I'll never be retired. Right? So when people say like, oh, the the fire movement like financial independence, retire early and like what a bunch of crap like you're not retired early, you're now blogging and speaking that's not retired, right? So contempt not satisfied something I always want to when I start getting out of whack, that's what I go back to.

Joe Pomeroy 40:40

Perfect. Thank you. All right, and how can we get a hold of you? And I think you mentioned something about a free gift.

Vincent Pugliese 40:46

Oh, yeah. Um, I've got a handful ways. I got a podcast called total freedom podcast, The Daily Show. It's unconventional. I don't do an intro and outro or music or ads. It's five to seven minutes of me doing this. goes right into it. So totally for your podcast. our website's total freedom calm. And then youth entrepreneur dot schools, youth entrepreneur school. And then I recorded my book freelance to freedom, and an audio format I give away for free. And so I want to go to totally slash f two f book, and anybody that wants the book in its full form, there's not just like a part of it, then you got to pay for the rest of it. It's all free. I want to make that available. David wants it.

Joe Pomeroy 41:28

Awesome. Well, we'll have all those links in the show notes so people can go there. So thank you so much for your time. Vincent is great chattin' with ya.

Vincent Pugliese 41:34

Thanks, Joe.

Joe Pomeroy 41:40

Thank you for joining us on today's episode. If you found the information helpful, remember to share it with your friends, family. And make sure to subscribe on Apple podcast or your favorite podcast player. You can find more episodes at Forward with Joe dot com. Thank you and we'll see you next time.