60: Damian Mason: Working Class Farmer to Bill Clinton to Corporate Influencer – How Respect Paved the Road.

 

Damian Mason, author of “Do Business Better” and speaker, shares how respect is a key component to every step along the road to success.

   

** You are invited to join our community and conversations about each episode on FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/respectpodcastgroup and join us on Twitter @PodcastRespect or visit our website at www.RespectPodcast.com **

 

DAMIAN’S BIO:

Damian Mason is an entrepreneur, speaker, farm owner, author, podcaster, and self -made business person.  He’s actually lived and accomplished what he talks about.Damian delivers insights and information to inspire individuals and organizations to Do Business Better.  Audiences positively respond to his real world examples, straight talk, and smart, comedic edge. 

Details About Damian:

  • Has spoken to nearly 2,000 business audiences in 50 U.S. states and 7 foreign countries
  • Is a Certified Speaking Professional – less than 1,000 professional presenters hold the designation granted by the National Speakers Association
  • Screen Actors Guild member – yes, he’s acted in two major motion pictures alongside stars like Jodie Foster, Matthew McConaughey, and Leslie Nielsen
  • Owns and manages DaLoRosa Farms – a combination of timber, rental crop land, hay, and a small beef operation
  • Prior to starting his own business, was a sales rep for Cooper Industries, now part of Eaton Corporation-Resigned his corporate post at age 25 to become a political comedian
  • Started his own window cleaning business at age 19
  • Had his first job at age 8 on the Indiana dairy farm where he was raised
  • Degree in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University
  • Studied scene writing and improvisational comedy at Second City Chicago
  • Youngest of nine children, slept in a crib until age 6, refuses to share now!
  • Damian lives with his wife, Lori, and their dog, Jack between their Indiana farm and a winter home in Arizona
 

LINKS TO DAMIAN:

  • www.damianmason.com
  • Damian Mason Professional Speaker on Facebook
  • Damian Mason – Linked In
  • @damianpmason Twitter
  • damianmasonspeaker Instagram
 

BOOKS DAMIAN RECOMMENDS:

 

YOUR HOST: Mike Domitrz is the founder of The Center for Respect where he helps educational institutions, the US Military and businesses of all sizes create a culture of respect throughout their organizations. From addressing consent to helping corporations build a workplace free from fear (reducing sexual harassment and helping employees thrive by treating them with respect every day), Domitrz engages audiences by sharing skill sets they can implement into their lives immediately. As an author, trainer, keynote speaker and coach, Mike Domitrz loves working with leaders at all levels. Learn more at http://www.CenterForRespect.com

 

READ THE FULL TRANSCRIPTION of the EPISODE HERE (or download the pdf):

 

Mike Domitrz:                   Welcome to The Respect Podcast. I’m your host, Mike Domitrz from mikespeaks.com where we help organizations of all sizes, educational institutions, and the U.S. military create a culture of respect, and respect is exactly what we discuss on this show. So, let’s get started.

                                                Welcome to this week’s episode. We’re going to right into it here with our guest, Damian Mason. He is what happens when an entrepreneurial business person from an agricultural background collides with a comedian. He’s funny. He excels at business. He works like a farm. And he possesses a keen sense of the marketplace. And he speaks at events throughout North American while managing his farm properties. So, Damian, thank you so much for joining us.

Damian Mason:                Well, thanks for having me on, Mike. Appreciate it.

Mike Domitrz:                   Oh, absolutely. To give everyone a little understanding of where you’re coming from, because you come from a farm background and you make the point that you went into entrepreneurism, so tell us about that.

Damian Mason:                Yeah. I was raised on a dairy farm. You’re from Wisconsin, so you can appreciate this. Your basic, Midwestern dairy farm through the 60s, 70s, and 80s. I came of age during the bad 80s. The economy for agricultural America was terrible during that time. I went to Purdue and got a degree in agricultural economics, but, again, it was a bad time in the early 90s, so I started selling lighting products.

                                                1993, I won a Halloween costume contest dressed up as Bill Clinton. I was working in Southern California for my company as a lighting fixture sales rep. My company started using me at trade shows and sales meetings where I would have to dress up as Bill Clinton and be the entertainment for the employees, the customers, whoever it was.

                                                Then I decided in 1994 perhaps I could quit my job and make this my job, my business. So, I took the leap of entrepreneurism in 1994. I had three gigs lined up for the rest of my career, totalling twelve hundred dollars of gross revenue, and invented a business as a political comedian. That’s how the whole thing started, and as everybody that goes through show business, it’s not that whole thing about, oh, you got discovered. No. You just work your ass off, and you save and scrimp, and you try to make this whole thing happen.

                                                After about a year and a half, two years, things really started to click, and I started doing more corporate events. So, that’s how the whole thing happened, and I started amassing my knowledge and my business 25 years ago. It was skinny starting out in the early 90s with my thing. You know, you’re doing $300 gigs, and then if you make $300, you spend 200 of it on marketing materials, head shots, business cards. This was before the internet, so you had to mail stuff out. So, that’s what we went through a long time.

                                                Being a political comedian taught me quite a bit. It taught me about observing the marketplace. It taught me about running the business. And I was always a business-minded guy. I point out in my book that one of my friends gave me a great compliment back in my early days. He said, “I’ve seen your act a bunch.” He said, “You’re about a B act, but you’re an A at your desk of running this business and making this thing happen.” And I’ll take that. I think you can be … You can be a B+ product if you have an A at your business acumen, and you treat the customer right, you sell, you market, you invest in your business, and you keep making yourself better. I think that’s really important.

Mike Domitrz:                   That goes right into what we talk about here, which is respect. How do you think going up on the farm … How did it impact you as far as treating your work with respect, that work ethic, everything you were just bringing up?

Damian Mason:                Yeah. Well, by the way, I’ve got a ton of stuff on your topic. I actually am so glad you reached out to me, because I’ve got a ton to talk about in terms of respect. First off, the one thing that … Everybody talks about your farm boy work ethic and all that. There’s plenty of lazy farm kids I’m sure out there, but maybe less percentage-wise than there are from non-agricultural background.

                                                I think that the one thing that’s always been a big influence for me is … I say that honor roll is way not important, whereas perfect attendance is. You’ve got to show up, and you’ve got to put in the work. Being a livestock farmer … This is back in the old days when me and my brother and mom and dad did the work. We didn’t have a lot of hired laborers and all that sort of thing. It’s a daily thing. You just understand that every single day this thing has to happen or the cows will die. And then when the weather is shit, you put up hay, and you put hay in the barn.

                                                I talk about that now. I still talk about when you have a fat month, you put a bunch of money aside, and that’s called putting hay in the barn. There’s a reason that you get ahead, and that’s because you save, you invest, you live below your means, and you put the work in every day. So, yeah, we said giving the work the respect that it deserves. You don’t have to be the brightest bulb in the ceiling. If you’re responsible, take a little bit of risk, and put some hay in the barn, you’re going to be successful.

Mike Domitrz:                   And you went right out of the farm. At first, you went to the factory job, and maybe that’s the place you were referring to earlier. What did that teach you about respect specifically?

Damian Mason:                Yeah, I put myself through college. I paid my own way, and that was through being a landscaper, being a bartender, and also being a factory worker. That’s back in the industrial Midwest when we still had a lot of factories around here. One thing that you learn … When you work the night shift at the ceiling tile factory, you work with people that maybe didn’t get out of eighth grade. There are some ex-convicts and maybe some people that have been through … They’ve been through the ringer. The wrongest thing you can do is been an arrogant little prick and talk down to those people, which, because you’re a 19-year-old college kid and you think you’re smart.

                                                I never had that because I was a blue collar kid, farm boy. My dad worked nights on the railroad, so I was always around a blue collar element. All my friends growing up on the wrestling team with me were blue collar kids, so I always had a respect for that. I find it really interesting, the sort of country club set that’s fourth and fifth generation away from where the money was actually earned and how little regard they have for what it takes to be a blue collar person and what you do to get ahead.

                                                So, I think the respect that I had for those people was really, really a helpful thing for me to get along. You’re a 19-year-old kid working alongside some pretty hardened people, but you don’t talk to those people in a disrespectful manner. So, that’s an important thing about being a blue collar kid. I’ve always respected … Anybody that shows up and does the job deserves a dose of dignity, whether it’s the night clerk at the grocery or the person at the ceiling tile factory or the janitor.

                                                I’m always really friendly to those people. I still, today, when I’m in the airport, and I see these business travelers hustling through and on their cellphone and bumping into the guy that’s in the restroom picking up the trash. I always say, “Excuse me.” I acknowledge them in a respectful way, because I’ve been the janitor.

Mike Domitrz:                   Absolutely. And you probably got to see in those moments–you know, you said they were criminals and all–that a lot of times how we perceive people, like, “Oh, that’s a criminal,” that that could be an incredibly wonderful person who made a bad choice. Treating them with respect and dignity, you get to see, “Wow, I’m not that far away from the possibility of me being in that situation.” Anybody could get there, depending on the circumstances, potentially. Did you find that to be true, or was it like people have these stereotypes, “Oh that’s a a criminal,” and you just stayed away?

Damian Mason:                Oh, I don’t know. I mean, you’re in there. You’re working 12-hour nights with these people in a dusty, dirty, loud place that’s 110 degrees. So, I notice that they always had a certain amount of respect for me. They didn’t think that … The kid that got coddled and favored that was the boss’s kid had a harder time than the kid like me that was over there busting his tail, and so I guess that’s the important part is there was some mutual respect in that.

Mike Domitrz:                   Yeah, absolutely. So, now you’re in the factory. Age 25, you’ve now started doing the comedy.

Damian Mason:                Right. I graduated with my degree in agricultural economics, and I did not really use it in that regard back then. I started selling lighting products, and then I quit my job when I was 25. So, I’m in my 25th and about to start my 26th year of this, created the business as a political comedian way back when, and I don’t do that at all anymore.

Mike Domitrz:                   Okay. You don’t do which part anymore?

Damian Mason:                Political comedy. That’s a distant past.

Mike Domitrz:                   All right. So, let’s go there though. You did break out on your own. You mentioned that earlier. And ironically, your own company discovered you, which is hilarious, which provided you the opportunity to break out on your own. What were the lessons you learned in that? You talked about you make 300 and you have to spend 200 to get the next even to make 300. So, what were lessons that you learned along the way that also brought a respect level for you about certain aspects of life or business?

Damian Mason:                Yeah. Well, that’s an interesting part, because when I was preparing for this interview, I was thinking through this. You know, with a background in comedy, one thing that is really apparent is that it’s a profession that doesn’t get the respect it deserves from anybody. If I went to a party, and let’s say I was at a mixed company event, or whatever … There’s shifty people there. Oh, okay, Joe over here is a plumber, and Bob over here is a carpet layer, and then Cindy over here … She owns a fast food restaurant.

                                                If they come around to me and then if I were to say I’m a comedian … And again, I’m not anymore. I want to make sure the distinction is that I’m not anymore. But I have been. It’s interesting the level of respect … And these people don’t think they’re being respectful. They say, “Oh my god. You’re a comedian? Say something funny. Do something funny. Say something funny.

[inaudible 00:09:27]

funny.” And you don’t do that to somebody that says, “Hey, I own three Arby’s franchises,” or, “Hey, I have a carpet laying business.” It is tremendously disrespectful that this profession …

                                                And, you know, if you are good, and you are making a living and creating a business out of it, you are doing something right. The old thing about there are hundreds of people that show up every night across America and doing open mics night to try and be in comedy. If you create this business, you create this livelihood, you create this product, and you’re doing it, and then you show up and then these people in mixed company act like you should just be giving that away, it’s a tremendously disrespected business and profession.

Mike Domitrz:                   That’s always interesting. Some people hear that and go, “How …” And I know because of fortunately being around enough people that … Similar line of work as yours. But a lot of people don’t understand though. They’re like, “What do you mean it’s disrespectful? You’re an entertainer so actually love what you do. So, I want to see you do it.” Can you explain to people why that feels disrespectful?

Damian Mason:                Okay. Let’s just say there’s a professional football player, and you say, “Hey, you know what? Go out for a pass. Go out for a pass. Go out for a pass. Yeah, I’ve got …” Like, what the hell? “I’m a professional football player at a cocktail party. No, I’m not going to go out for a pass.” That’s what you’re asking him to do.

                                                “Oh, you have an asphalt business? Hey, run over here and start fixing the parking lot.” “No, I’m not here to fix the parking lot. I came to your kid’s graduation party.” So, they’re asking you to do what you can do, and you can say, “Oh, well, they’re just having fun.” I’m like, “All right. Great. It’s also disrespectful.”

                                                But there’s a bigger part of it that nobody thinks that it’s an actual job or business. And again, I was making hundreds of thousands of dollars when this thing took off, per year, doing these really big gigs all over the place, and people might respect that you had this thing, but they still didn’t really treat it right.

                                                I was just telling my friend last night about this. You would walk off stage after … I’m at some conference, and I’ve rocked this room. Say it’s a bunch of Midas Muffler managers or whatever. You’re at this gig somewhere in Kansas City, Las Vegas, or Orlando, or whatever it is, and you just rocked the room.

                                                And then, Mike, while you’re standing there after your program, because I always did the thing when I did some photo ops and whatnot afterwards, there’d be no less than a half dozen people walk up and say, “Hey, you were really funny. That’s a really good show. You know what? You’re actually smart!” So, you answer me. Does that sound like a respectful thing to say?

                                                “Hey, I really appreciate you coming and fixing my furnace. You know what strikes me? You’re actually smart!” Nobody would say that to their accountant or to the person that fixes their furnace or brings them their dinner, but they fully thought that it was something you could just do is to say, “Hey, that was a good act, but you’re actually smart,” like somehow it surprised them.

Mike Domitrz:                   Yeah. I think what happens is they think that you … Where they lack the understanding is what you said earlier that this is a business is that it takes work to be funny on stage. And they think comedians are naturally funny. So, to say, “Be funny,” to them is like, “That’s just you speaking, right? Just say it. It’s natural.” They don’t realize how many hours and hours and hours and days and months, years sometimes, can go into a single bit of comedy that somebody does on stage.

Damian Mason:                Of course you probably are naturally funny. I make points to this all the time. I’ve got friends that are still in comedy. I’ve got friends that teach comedy, and I always say, “If you’re going to teach comedy, maybe you should also give them a class on how to be tall.” Because being funny is like being tall. You either are or you are not, and it’s going to be evident by the time you’re an adult. That being said, I could teach a funny person to be funnier. I can’t teach a librarian to be funny to begin with.

                                                But, yeah, the idea that it somehow is not work … That’s still not even the point. Again, the naturally big, gifted athlete fast kid that then you act like he should just be running around doing sporting events for you for your entertainment. So, it’s a disrespect to the industry. It’s a disrespect to the person. And somehow, it’s always so accepted. And, like you said, along the lines of respect, Mike, if it happens that you’re at some event and you just happen to be saying some funny stuff, then people think that you’re always on.

                                                That’s another issue of respect about the business. They’d say things like, “Oh god. He’s just over there doing his act.” Then my wife like, “Doing his act? This isn’t his act. He just was actually reacting to you and saying some funny stuff because he’s a funny guy.” So, that’s another issue of respect, when you then are actually engaging and being humorous, because if you said something at a dinner table, I could probably make fun of the topic, the subject, whatever, and make it humorous. It’s not doing your act. So, again, there’s a level of respect there that somehow if you are being funny that you’re trying to get everybody’s attention. There’s a reason comedians become jaded, by the way.

Mike Domitrz:                   Right. Right. And you mentioned there a few times that you don’t do political comedy anymore. So, for all of our listeners, what are you doing now?

Damian Mason:                Yeah. I completely got out of that quite a while back. The thing changed. Obviously, my act was based and predicated on Bill Clinton. I was dressed up as Bill Clinton. So, the early 2000s started to change. I went through some real setbacks. Some of my business and my investments tanked.

                                                Then I was still doing some political comedy, but I really then turned into being an agricultural speaker, because I’ve got the agricultural background. My degree is in agricultural economics. I’m a farm owner. So, I started doing agricultural meetings. Maybe instead of Orlando, you’re working in Omaha. And people say, “Oh, you … Farmer meetings.” Well, remember, agriculture’s a lot bigger than that. You’ve got the food processors, the canners, the meat people, the marketing people, the machinery, finance, insurance. I could go on and on. Seed, chemical. There’s so much of an industry there.

                                                I really started doing a lot in the way of ag and then started putting more and more business message in there. With a comedy background, it’s not difficult for me to put a presentation out that’s 25% funny, and that means that I’m delivering the message, talking about business or issues in food and agriculture in a funny way, but also delivering content, whether it’s market issue, consumer preferences. So, I do a lot.

                                                The one thing about my background as a comedian taught me to be a very astute observer. So, now, I take observations on food businesses about trends, and then put that together as a package now, and I get up on stage, and I talk about issues in business. I have a couple programs. I have one that’s more agricultural, and I have another one that’s not agricultural at all. It’s just for business people about business reinvention, and that’s … In fact, I’ve got a book out now that just came out last month called Do Business Better to support that.

Mike Domitrz:                   You’ve now had decades of experience on stage. What has it taught you about respect, just being on stage and sharing from the stage?

Damian Mason:                Yeah, 25 years and probably a couple thousand audiences. It’s still something I enjoy. I can’t say I particularly enjoy the travel. But there’s this thing that I like, and it’s the energy part of it, it’s the interaction part of it, it’s that it challenges you. I see people that are professional speakers, Mike, and they are still doing the exact same program with the comma in the exact place and the exclamation point in the exact place and the exact same delivery that they were doing 30 years ago. I would shoot myself. I mean, I have changed my program. Every single time I’ve gotten up there, I do something a little differently, because I want to keep things fresh. I challenge myself to put in new material, new content.

                                                I also challenge myself to be a little bit of a contrarian. Forever, you can hear the people that are the slimey, fraudulent kind of ra-ra church stand preacher type, and I refuse to be that. I keep things very authentic and real. I’m like, “Hey, you may not like hearing this, but, boom,” and it’s a straightforward approach.

                                                So, you said something about respect. I respect the audience. In comedy, they teach you this, and obviously in speaking, which I’ve been doing this for probably a couple thousand audiences. You must always appreciate the fact that you are unnecessary. They do not need me. They do not need you. You don’t need most of what we sell. You don’t need most of what we have in the United States of America. You don’t need Amazon. You don’t need a Cadillac. You don’t need air conditioning.

                                                So, in a world that really has very few necessities that are now businesses, it’s important to understand that you give that audience a product. You give that audience a feeling. You give that audience some knowledge and some emotional takeaway, and every single time I get ready to walk on stage, I think to myself, “Remember that without them, there’s no need for you.” That is the deepest level of respect, I think, when you always realize that there’s no need for me if there’s not them.

Mike Domitrz:                   Yeah. It’s a beautiful respect of putting things all in the right frame, the right foundation. It’s great. And earlier you talked about the fact you’ve got to show up. You’ve got to be there. It’s more important than the honor roll is being there. If the honor roll kid’s skipping all the time but gets As, that’s even the kid who’s maybe getting Cs but shows up every day doing their best.

                                                We love our listeners to be able to get a little takeaway, some skillsets they can use in their lives every episode they listen to. What do you think it takes to be successful that people can listen and go, “Yeah, I want to add that to my life,” or, “I want that to be more consistent in my life.”

Damian Mason:                It’s about habits. It’s really just habits. Habits, when you think about it, Mike … You talked about respect. That’s the whole theme of your podcast, and I think that’s fantastic. Well, you said respect the work. You’ve got to give respect to the work, you’ve got to respect people who do the work, and you’ve got to have a level of respect for what it takes to be successful. There’s people I would say that were born on third base and they mistakenly think they hit a triple. I didn’t come from that. I’m pretty self-made, and I didn’t come from much, and I’m sure a lot of your listeners are the same way.

                                                Give yourself the respect of what you’ve built. My wife says this all the time. She says, “God, you still get so wound up sometimes. Just stop sometimes and smell the roses, and realize how far you’ve come and how good things are. And we have a winter home in Arizona, and there’s a reason we’ve done all that.” I said, “Yeah. I just don’t want to be …” So, the challenge now is content without complacence, to be happy with where we are, which I am, but not still having that angst. So, that’s an important thing.

                                                What about takeaways for your people? I’d say it mostly comes down to habits. Bad habits don’t generally kill you all at once, unless maybe it’s like some kind of a drug habit. Bad habits kill you over time. Good habits make you rich over time. It’s kind of like compound interest on investing. If you put aside $1 a day or $5 a day, it has a big cumulative effect over 10 years. Well, it’s the same way with your work and your business.

                                                I am not much of a vacationer, but I also don’t work 40-hour days. I mean, I’ve worked my whole life, but I just think you should put a little dose of vacation into your everyday. The one thing I do is every day I think about my business and I think about betterment, and so that’s a good habit. Every day, I try to do something creative. Every day, I exercise. So, those are the kind of things that your listeners … And that comes down to respecting what it takes to be successful, respecting what it takes to be prosperous and to have a life and business by choice. Because if you respect what it takes, you’ll do what it takes.

Mike Domitrz:                   Yeah. It’s so, so important. And you have a belief on the importance on simplicity and the simplicity of success. What is that?

Damian Mason:                Yeah. Most people complicate it. Yeah, I’ve gotten some really good accolades, Mike, on my book Do Business Better, and some folks that gave me the accolades didn’t realize that I took it as positively as I did. I had a couple people say, “You know, it’s pretty simple. Your book is … It’s a good read, it’s an easy read, but there’s not a lot of complexity to what you talk about.” I said, “Yep. Fine.”

                                                Most of what it takes to be successful is simple stuff. Show up, do the work, create good habits. Learn, constantly keep learning. Sell your services. Every day try to find new customers, because your old customers are going to die. Keep reading. Manage your money, because we live in a country where 66% of the people in this United States of America don’t have $500 if an emergency came up. You’re like, “Come on, man. The average household makes 62 grand a year, and you don’t have $500 laying around?” So, there’s a big money component to it.

                                                Again, habits, respecting what it takes to actually be successful. Simplicity of success is what, I guess, you asked me there. There’s no magic potion. There’s no tips and secrets. It’s really pretty simple stuff. It’s habits executed on a daily basis with discipline.

Mike Domitrz:                   I love it. I love a simple formula everybody can follow and implement. I want people be able to find you. Before we share where to find you, let’s talk about that book. You just had that book come out, Do Business Better. What were some lessons you learned by the process of writing the book and getting it out there?

Damian Mason:                Sure. I’m an okay writer, and it makes you stronger to do the work of writing. My wife said, “Damian, write the book you wish somebody had given you 25 years ago that would have saved you time and frustration,” and that was really some good advice, because then it dawned on me. My buddy Larry Winget is the forward writer, and he said, “You talk to business groups all the time. You’re a self-made success.” He said, “For god’s sakes, you know about business. Just write what you know and remember who it’s for,” and I thought that was pretty good advice.

                                                What I learned was it’s not a problem with all the ideas, and it is more work than people realize. It’s not like digging holes or building a fence or that kind of thing, but it still is work. The structure part of it … Making sure to bring it together as a cohesive, structured book was the part that took me a little while to get it right in my head. I knew all the things that I wanted to say, all the lessons or illustrations from the real world I wanted to plug in there for the reader. I was a little bit conflicted, or shall we say disorganized, in the beginning of what’s the structure, what’s it going to sound like.

                                                That’s kind of like you and I speak at corporate events. I always think, “What’s it sound like?” I don’t mean what the words are; I don’t mean that. I mean, what’s it sound like? What’s it feel like? And that was the part that, once I got it, it gelled, and it was a snap.

Mike Domitrz:                   I love that, and what I love about that is everybody can … Whether you’re writing a book or not, when you stop and say, “When I’m sharing with someone, what does it sound like,” versus, “Am I choosing the right words?” … Yeah, but how is it being heard? What is the vibe and the energy it’s putting off?

Damian Mason:                Yeah, you talked about … Again, and giving some respect to all the things that you’ve done … That’s the other part of it. One of the things in here I talk about, harnessing your talent stack, was actually a concept from Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert. You harness your talent stack. What we’re really talking about, Mike, is every single thing that you’ve done–your background, your experience, your upbringing, your education, all the jobs you’ve ever had, every little course you ever took, every book that ever had an impact on you–and you start stringing those all together, how do you get synergies from those?

                                                So, that was a big thing that I have actually capitalized on, I think, for my business. I don’t have a lot of A plusses, but I’ve got a lot of B plusses and A minuses that I can string together, and that’s one of the takeaways from the book that I like a lot. How can you take all your B plusses and A minuses to string them together to help your business?

                                                The other thing that you had mentioned was the respect for the craft. When you write a book … I always kept thinking was … I actually don’t want to waste somebody’s time. I respect their time. A lot of books don’t get read. Books get bought. A lot of people don’t read books after high school. I said to myself, “If a person is going to do this, I want to be respectful to them and actually give them takeaway.”

                                                Some of my fantastic reviews are, “This guy gives you a straight, no bullshit approach on being successful, and I love the way it reads.” That was two of my different reviews. I thought, “I will live with that. That sounds like exactly what I want people to say. That’s just straight … There it is. Yep, I can live with that.” And of course, it’s got some funny in it, because I’m a kind of guy that likes to go to humor when I can.

Mike Domitrz:                   Yeah. I want everybody to be able to find you so they can find that book. So, damianmason.com. Of course, it’s going to be in our show notes also. The book is Do Business Better. We’ll have that linked to Amazon also. You can find it there in our show notes. Thank you, Damian, so much for joining us.

Damian Mason:                Mike, I appreciate you having me here. I really appreciate you having me on, and I think that respect is actually really … It made me think a lot about it. I made me that about my career. It made me think about looking at others and what they do and how everybody that’s putting in the effort deserves a dose of respect.

Mike Domitrz:                   Absolutely. And on that note, our listeners, you know what’s next. It is question of the week. Before I answer this week’s question of the week, I’d love to ask you a question. Would you please subscribe to this podcast, The Respect Podcast with Mike Domitrz? By subscribing, you can make a huge impact.

                                                Now, you might be wondering, “Mike, how does my subscribing to your podcast make a huge impact?” Well, here’s how. For every person that subscribes, it raises the rankings of the show on the search engines. So, for people who care about respect like yourself, when they’re doing a search for podcasts, they’re more likely to find the show, thus providing an awesome opportunity for us to spread more respect around this world. And all you do is hit subscribe under your podcast.

                                                Plus, the second benefit is, by subscribing, you automatically get every episode right into your phone or whatever device you’re listening to the podcast on. It happens automatically. So, subscribing also makes your life easier.

                                                Now, let’s get into this week’s question of the week. Oh, and by the way, you can always ask your questions of the week by joining us on Facebook in our discussion group. It’s called The Respect Podcast Discussion Group. Go there on Facebook and ask whatever questions you would like me to answer and/or address in this segment of the show, and then listen to each episode to find out when your question is included.

                                                This week’s question is, “Mike, what was it like growing up in your home and in your family?” That’s a personal question, obviously, and it’s one I’m very comfortable answering. I’m grateful for the parents and the sisters that I grew up with. I’m very grateful. And I know not everybody has a situation where they feel gratitude about that, and so I very much appreciate and understand that. I grew up in a home with two parents who were role models for really believing in what you’re trying to achieve and going for it and really working to make that happen.

                                                My mom, growing up, was a very successful coach, and she coached me. So, I got to see her on a daily experience in club coaching, literally daily, and how she upheld what she believed in her values and her core beliefs and how she upheld that to her swimmers–and she was a swim coach–and to us and how true that was at home. The alignment was consistent. I got to watch my dad continually be a leader in his industry and to see how he worked hard in what he believed in. At the same time, he was also there cheering us on at cross country or wrestling, whatever sports I was doing.

                                                My sisters each were very successful at whatever they chose to focus on. They were all very successful athletes, incredibly successful athletes. So, to watch that set a standard of excellence. It put down a foundation of working hard for what you believe in and creating that work ethic, and if you do work hard, here’s what can happen. By the way, it doesn’t mean that I worked that hard at the same age as they did at the same things. I wasn’t the committed athlete they were. No way. Later in life when I found my passion and my commitment though, there it aligned, and it showed. I had a foundation from growing up that naturally just kicked in at that moment. I’m so grateful for that.

                                                And I’m so grateful that I was allowed to be me in my home. I was allowed to be goofy and silly and hyper and energetic and supported along that process. If I wanted to do theater, I did theater. If I wanted to do whatever interest I had … I once auditioned for a TV show called … It was a lip sync TV show back in the 80s to a song, Punk Polka, that a lot of parents would probably have been looking at their kids like, “What are you doing?” And my parents were like, “Okay.” So, incredibly supportive of which I’m very grateful for.

                                                Do you know what I would love? I would love to hear your answer to this week’s question of the week. So, would you please answer what your answer would have been if you were asked that question today on the show. All you do is go to our Facebook page. We have a special group where we have these discussions called The Respect Podcast Discussion Group. So, The Respect Podcast Discussion Group. And share with us what would your answer have been to this week’s question of the week.

                                                And, if you take a moment, post us a new question for future episodes. What question would you like to hear me answer in an upcoming episode? That’s all done on Facebook in our special group, which is The Respect Podcast Discussion Group. Can’t wait to see you there.

                                                Thank you for joining us in this episode of The Respect Podcast, exploring work, love, and life, and this episode, like every episode, is brought to you by our organization, the Center for Respect, which you can find at centerforrespect.com. Of course, you can find me, your host Mike Domitrz, at mikespeaks.com. Thank you so much for joining us.

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