Mike Engle’s Interview with Nick Shucet

Nick: (00:23)

Hey, what's up, everyone? Welcome to the Million Dollar Sellers podcast. I'm your host, Nick Shucet. Today, we’ve got Mike Engle on the podcast. What's up, Mike? How's it going, man?

Mike: (00:36)

Hi, Nick. Glad to be here. Thank you for having me.

Doing It the MDS Way

Nick: (00:39)

Yeah, man. We're excited to have you. Stoked to have you in the group, man. I know you're a new member as well this year. A lot of people might not recognize Mike's name, but Mike, you mentioned, you have been selling since about 2016 on Amazon. You guys crossed the million-dollar mark around late 2018. Messing around with some wholesale.

Good time to get into wholesale, for sure. But now it sounds like you guys are more focused on that private label business model, which is where a lot of MDS guys end up. I think that's a path that a lot of us take. So it's always interesting to hear those stories when new members come in.

About the Kids

Nick: (01:24)

But Mike, there are some other interesting things about you, man. I know you're a pretty busy guy. You've got, I think you said, three or four boys?

Mike: (01:33)

Three little boys.

Nick: (01:33)

Yeah. And you just had your third, is that right?

Mike: (01:36)

Well, yeah, two years ago.

So, I got a six-year-old or four-year-old and a two-year-old.

Nick: (01:41)

Okay. Yeah, that's kind of close. My oldest just turned 10, which I felt like that really impacted me. I was like, “man! I've been a dad for 10 years.”

Mike: (01:52)

I can imagine. I can imagine.

Nick: (01:56)

So yeah, I'm sure the kids keep you busy, man. Excited to learn more about your family life, and what you've got going on there. I'm sure you've got some interesting thoughts in your head about that man. And one aspect of yourself that is really interesting to me is this journey of meditation that you've mentioned. This is something that I'm actually pretty passionate about myself.

But, you've really taken it to the next level, Mike. You said you spent five years on a solo meditative journey. How'd you end up there?

Mike’s Meditation Journey

Mike: (02:31)

Long story, but I'll try and keep it more or less short. I grew up with some exposure to Buddhism and different things. As I grew up with my dad primarily he was running a nonprofit where he was actually taking scientists to go dialogue with the Dalai Lama.

Observing the Dalai Lama

Mike: (02:55)

So, there was this really interesting meeting that he was hosting. Where there was really top-notch scientist, physicists neurologists, or, whoever chemists. And they would go and they would sit and they would explain their field to his holiness—the Lama. And what they saw really quickly was that the Dalai Lama was very sharp, and it started changing from them, teaching him to be more of a dialogue.

And they were learning as much from him as he was from them. And so somehow just by chance. By luck, really, I got to be around these kinds of people, which are really, really amazing people. And they had a huge influence on me. Just having that exposure, being able to see those conferences, being able to sit and talk with these people.

It had a bit of a big effect on me.

Training the Monkey Mind

Mike: (03:51)

And I remember when I was about 14 or 15, my dad was talking to me about meditation. And he said, how your mind is kind of jumping around all the time? And I said, yeah. Actually, I did notice that it's kind of, it's going wild. , like just totally nuts most of the time. When was 15, I was smoking a lot, drinking, and getting in trouble. It was kind of like me and my brother.

I have a two year older brother and we were kind of getting into trouble and doing different things. And, so he said to me well we call that the monkey mind. And that's actually something that you can train. And I said, really? And he said, yeah, when you practice meditation, you're actually learning to work with that, and you can train it to be more calm and focused.

And I said, well, that's interesting. And he said, would you like to learn? I said, sure. And then later that year he took me to some sort of teaching where it was about a week long. Where I learned for the first time. And it was really difficult being 15 and having no exposure to that, or like actually sitting and trying to watch your mind and follow your breath.

It's challenging. And trying to do that for a number of hours, every day. It's hard. So I came out of that with a good taste of it but also really wanting more.

Happiness That Defies Pain

Mike: (05:15)

There's something that just clicked. It just made sense to me. This idea that our happiness and our well-being aren't necessarily based on these external conditions that we put so much effort into. But, it can be something that we can cultivate from the inside out. And I was getting exposed to people who had really difficult lives.

A lot of these Tibetan teachers went through torture in different things with the Chinese invasion of Tibet. And they've been living as refugees. But, some of them were actually imprisoned and tortured and they actually came out happy. They didn't come out more traumatized or totally broken people. They had this glow to them and it was something I'd never seen before.

And I still don't… you don't see this in people. It's kind of like their eyes are moist with compassion, something like that. So I was really impressed saying that there could be people who are just kind of radiating happiness and joy and love from the inside out.

The Joyful Feeling Around the Dalai Lama

Mike: (06:24)

It was almost contagious being around them. And I always felt like that when I was around the Dalai Lama too. The way he laughs and he's very joyful. He's very kind of fun. And you get happy around him. So as I grew up, I started trying to learn more about that. How can I do that? How can I train my mind? How can I practice?

Different Practices and Traditions

Mike: (06:47)

Started doing different practices and learning different traditions. And then went through my college and studied philosophy. And after university, I went to Nepal and I did some research for about a year in the monastery. I was researching attention training and monastic education. And then after that, I ended up in this five-year retreat in Southern France.

And it was like this culmination of me kind of going in that direction. Always wanted to see if I could train my mind and what would happen. Like to what extent I could do that. And after… shortly, I think when I was maybe 17, I started practicing regularly. And I made a commitment to do like 30 minutes a day. And then I just stuck with that. And I've stuck with that.

More Space With Your Thoughts and Emotions

Mike: (07:43)

And then it kind of increased and grew. But what I started to see was really big changes in my mind. It's not like I was super blissful and peaceful and just like this kind of ball of joy or light or something like that. It was just more like my mind was more clear or calm. And I had more space with my thoughts and emotions. So emotions would come up—lots of emotions.

A 17-year-old boy in university. It's like, there's a lot of things going on there, but I wasn't necessarily getting caught or wrapped up in it in the way that I had been before. So slowly, this process of learning, like

  • What is my mind really?
  • How do I work with my mind?
  • What are your thoughts?
  • where do thoughts come from?
  • Where do they go?

It's kind of like these things that we never even question. And I started to really see that our education system is so focused on these things. That math and science and all this stuff is really great. It's great to know it, but there was no education about how to work with your own mind.

Meditation in Schools

Mike: (08:53)

And it's just this thing that has been lacking. And now it's starting to be introducing the education system with different programs, and then it's taking off, and they see a lot of benefits, and kids can do this. Kids can learn this. And it's not like a woo-woo meditation or religious thing at all. It's scientifically proven, and it's just, kind of, like a fact, and you can discover it for yourself.

You just sit, start watching your breath, you see what your mind does and you keep training it and you start creating new habits in the end.

Be Patient; It Gets Better With Practice

Mike: (09:27)

It's this way of working to learn how to direct your attention and relate to your experiences. And slowly, slowly, that becomes a new habitual way of being. And if it's like playing the piano or anything, at the beginning, you're super clumsy. Your fingers don't know how to make those movements and that's normal. Any instrument, anything that we actually learn how to do beginning, it's challenging.

And the same with practice.

Emotional Intelligence

Mike: (09:58)

But slowly, if you keep doing it, you start to see that you actually create a habit. Some new neuro-pathways are created and it becomes easier and easier. And then your mind just stays focused maybe a couple of seconds longer. Or maybe when you're distracted, you just recognize you're distracted sooner and you come back to your breath.

Or you're in the midst of a fight with your spouse and you recognize that you're fighting and you're like really angry. And you kinda like step back. It's like these little spaces, between you and the emotion or you and the thought that are just priceless. Because it's in those moments that we have the capacity to choose our response. We can decide what we want to do.

Otherwise, it's just like this current. And we follow the habits and tendencies. Things we learn models from our parents or society, what we've seen in movies. All these things. And we just kind of go with it and then in a big fight, and then things can really get outta hand. You get divorced. It's like, things can just go full on. But if you kinda step back at that moment, it gives you space.

So it's not necessarily like…

The Changes Aren’t Always Mystical

Mike: (11:12)

For me, it was never that I had really deep, profound, mystical experiences. I had different experiences, but it was more of this practical day-to-day how:

  • To be happy
  • To be content
  • To have some sense of well-being through understanding what my emotions are
  • What my mind is and how to work with it, and really practically being in there and training it—working with it.

And now, you get to a point where it's difficult to go back,? And if I stop practicing or whatever, then I see kind of how different I feel, or it's just kind of the way the momentum goes to a point where you can't really go back,

Nick: (12:07)

I love the way you explain things. I think it's, it's very tangible for people. And the way that you… because meditation, as you mentioned, was very mystical, like you're thinking like Ezekiel in the Old Testament, like next to a river, seeing things come outta the sky or something crazy. That's not what it is, and it doesn't have to take up a lot of your time.

Like I've noticed benefits from when I first started doing 10-minute Headspace meditations a day. And within a couple of days, I noticed a difference. And now, I don't do it daily It's definitely one of my more regular things that I do. But I get in these moments where I get busy and it is one of those things I'll put off. And I know it's a bad decision.

I know it's a red flag when I start putting that off cuz I need it, Mike. I Know if someone had come to me at 16 or 17 and asked me to go on a retreat, I definitely would not have gone even, especially if it was my dad

Meditation and ADHD

Nick: (13:14)

I was going through a lot of similar things that you mentioned, but my story went pretty bad before I got myself on track. But it was those things. Meditation allowed me to kind of deal with the craziness in my mind and get some control over it. Which led me to years later. Truly developing an identity of who I wanted to be and a plan for becoming that person.

And I eventually realized that where a lot of my issues came from is I just had no idea who the hell I wanted to be.  And I was just out there doing what everyone else wanted me to do. So, meditation was critical for me. I've been diagnosed with ADHD, so meditation helps me immensely. And I think you just touched on so much good stuff, man.

And people don't realize how powerful our brains are. I think people forget that these days the content that you are watching is affecting your brain because of how powerful it is. And those neural pathways and shape being… it's crazy, man, but that information can be overwhelming. And if you're struggling with these things, as you listen to this and you're like, man, this might help me, like, ten minutes a day, get the Headspace app.

Or, I'm sure Mike has some suggestions for exercises that work well for him. What would you say to someone who believes in what you're saying and is ready, to give it a shot? Like where would you tell 'em to start?

Advice for People Who Want to Start Meditating

Mike: (15:02)

Yeah, I think, there's like… it would be interesting. First of all, I'd like to have a conversation with them just to see really where they're at. But a lot of us have this sense of like it's difficult for us to slow down. I don't know how else to say it.

Day-To-Day Activities

Mike: (15:19)

It's like we are so wired with our lives. And, first thing, when you wake up, you can just turn on your phone and start looking at things. And then it's like, you have emails, you have social media, you have messages, you have your Seller Central account. It's like, you can just see all this stuff automatically. Like things just start moving.

So, your mind starts moving and we don't really have this capacity, not necessarily because as humans, we don't have it just because we haven't really trained it or gotten familiar with it. Just letting go and being.

Stopping the Fast Train

Mike: (15:58)

And so we get in this space where we're like, we got the to-do list set up that we set up the day before, and then we kind of like get into the to-do list and we start cranking things out. Moving, moving, moving. And, and that speed makes our minds move around. So our minds are moving around thinking about the next thing and this and that and that. And that agitates us at some very subtle level at least.

And so then a lot of times when we try and stop, when we try and slow down, it doesn't really happen. It's like the momentums going too fast. And so we have this sense of kind of like you sit down to do something like meditation, but your mind is like, boom, boom, boom. It's moving really fast. And you're thinking a lot of things and, or you feel kind of like agitated, you feel like you can't sit still.

And sometimes even we go on vacation and we just wanna relax on vacation and, and it's difficult

Nick: (16:56)

Takes three days just to get into vacation.

Mike: (17:00)

Like, yeah, exactly. It's like decompressing, you know. And, and so what… a lot of times when I teach… because after I did my retreat, I came out and I started teaching and doing kind of like coaching and things like that. But also teaching groups and teaching a lot online to businesses in the US. And, a lot of times what I talk about is this sense of just dropping.

This kind of skill that we can learn that we know how to do. Like if you had a really hard day of work and you just don't want to do anything else, and you're kinda like turn off your phone and you just drop. It's this thing of. it's actually some form of surrendering. Of being kind of vulnerable and letting go. Cause a lot of times you're trying to.

Give Yourself Permission to Drop

Mike: (17:50)

So there's this bottom underlying attempt of ourselves or our ego or idea of what should be happening. How things should be. And, if I don't do that if I'm not on top of things like it's gonna go back. And so we don't actually give ourselves that permission to drop, you know? And that's why when we wake up, first thing, we kind of like start moving things, making sure everything's okay.

Making everything organized. So that things go okay. And that's why when we're on vacation we have to take those days to decompress to actually… because those outer conditions aren't there for working or whatever. You've kinda like set the boundaries. Like I'm not gonna work for weeks and it's gonna be okay, but we're still habituated at that.

So that sense of letting go of just dropping, maybe if you've exercised a lot, you have that sense too. Like you just, you just, you just rest.

Nick: (18:54)

Yeah. I think a lot of it is kind of like the power versus force idea, right? Meditation allows you to have more over things versus forcing something to happen in those high-stress moments. Fight with the wife, tough situation with the kids and you just have more… Instead of trying to force something to happen like, you've mentioned that space between your thoughts and your actions and that's power.

That's leverage. Like when you have that space, that can be applied to anything in your life whatever role you're wearing in that moment. Executive, father, husband, whatever it may be. That's the power I've experienced from it. And I'm not even a serious practitioner of it. But it's there. I just get so blown away because I think it can solve really serious problems without a lot of time invested.

Like it's in us, right? Like it's innate, it's programmed into our bodies.

Getting a Step Closer to Meditation and Away From Your Thoughts

Nick: (20:06)

So in my opinion, when you're able to, to let your mind calm down a little bit, you actually tap into it relatively quickly. Cause it's there, it's been there for a long time in our DNA and it's in every single one of us. So if you really give it a shy, I think a lot of people can relate to taking a breath, right? They're stressed out, oh, I need to take a breath. Well, take 10 take 20.

And you're getting a step closer to meditation as you take your mind off your thoughts and a little more on your breath. I think that's a step in the right direction. I think a lot of those guided meditations seem to start out that way as well.

You Might Not See the Importance at the Moment

Nick: (20:50)

I always thought it was funny when I was doing Headspace. I got to like pro level five and it was just like nothing it was nothing. I was like, well, I don't need Headspace. I guess I don't need this anymore. It was just the guy Andy, like right at the beginning and right at the end. But it's a great experience. Anyone else who has ADHD undiagnosed or diagnosed.

Whatever it may be like being able to let your mind be at ease and not think about much and maybe just look at the sunset or the sunrise. It's priceless, man.

This Sense of Being Present for Your Life

Mike: (21:34)

Absolutely. That's that's another really big thing. It's like this sense of being present in your life. Cause that's what I also saw exactly. I saw that I was trying to do well in university, trying to do well in my studies. And it was kind of like trying to move everything to be successful. And then I was losing all of these really nice possible moments.

And they're always there. They're, they're just there. And it's like now I'm I see it with my family you're with the kids and it's like, yes… kids, is just super stressful being with kids.

Being Present for Your Kids and Spouse

Mike: (22:10)

And little kids they fight and they scream and they demand things and they pee and they… it's just kind of like, they're hungry. And if you're just kind of moving all the time. But there are all these little sweet moments in there that oftentimes we can miss so easily because we're just with emotions. Or thinking about things we need to do, or we have all these things going on.

So learning some skills to just drop… Like you said, just being with your breath, taking deep breaths, just allowing yourself to really let go. And if you can just give yourself that permission to let go, then automatically some space opens up. And then you can just, like you said, watch the sunset or just like, watch your kid play. Or just hug your spouse or something.

It's not necessarily like have to be there.

Take Time to Savor Each Moment

Mike: (23:04)

Cause I think we're so agitated. We look for bigger experiences to kind of break that agitation. So we kind of look for a big like skydiving or something. So kind of, it, it cuts through that. But really if we can let that agitation kind of release, then there's a lot of these more simple, everyday things that are actually really nice, right? Hot showers are really nice.

Or like a nice cup of coffee or a piece of chocolate cake, it's really nice. But a lot of times it's like, Ooh, that cake looks so good. And then it's like, wow, first bite. Really nice. And then it's like the rest of the bites, you're like, you're on your phone. And you're eating, but you're not actually just savoring. There’s something about savoring what your actual life is while you can because it changes.

Time Goes by Faster When You Have Kids

Nick: (23:59)

Especially once you have kids and stuff, like time just starts to go by so much faster things really do start to change. And those moments become so much more precious man. And like I think it's important to be proactive about this idea of being present because even to this day, sometimes I'll catch myself. Cuz I still try to do a lot. I have a lot going on, I've got the kids, I've got the house, I've got a lot going on.

I like to take care of myself. I like to hit the gym and stuff like that. So, it keeps me busy, but I caught myself scheduling time with my kids, which is a good thing. But then I catch myself not being able to get off my phone. And I'm like taking a walk with my son and he's talking to me and I'm just like this. And he's like, dad, dad, dad. I'm like ‘Just start.’

And, it's funny because I think, for me, sometimes my first initial reaction is to be frustrated. Like why are you bothering me? And I'm like, geez, like what is wrong with me right now? This is the time I scheduled for him. I can stay off my phone. Like I'm so wrapped up in this. Like I need to just be present. It's that push and pull man. Because like you're at work, you're thinking about missing the kids.

You're with the kids. You're thinking about work.

Meditation Journaling Is Important

Nick: (25:29)

It's really like that. And I think meditation is the... Meditation journaling helps a little gratitude routine. Stuff like that. That can take three minutes. You do it a couple of times a day, and it'll have a huge impact on your life and those people around you.

Creating a Habit of Appreciation

Mike: (25:49)

Yeah, absolutely. It's creating that habit. So when you do this gratitude thing, it's like you're creating the habit of having an appreciation for the things in your life. And appreciation is just a pure goal. It changes everything. When you appreciate what you have, it just makes your life so much better. And there's all these like I was saying, little things like hot showers or whatever.

Or moments with your kids that we, most of the time, just don't appreciate. And if you just start appreciating, you feel like your life is already that much better, even though it's the same as it's always been more or less. But I think this thing also of being with kids it's been really interesting for me to start a family. And we started a family like very quickly, my wife and I.

We started having kids quickly. And then back to back it wasn't necessarily planned, but it happened. And so it's like… and it's intense having like one baby after the next and then the next. And you had all these little guys around and I think that has really given me this opportunity to kind of grow into that. And there's so… like you said, so many things.

It's like work, it's the house, it's your own wellbeing. But it's also like, what does it mean to be a father? And like a husband or a spouse. And how do I relate to that situation? And all these kinds of… is very different, having a family, as opposed to just being with a couple. It's just like the dynamics change so much.

Recognizing Distraction Is as Precious as Being Focused

Mike: (27:30)

So I think the practice gives you that space. Like you were saying, even if it's just that moment while you're having a discussion or before you say something or it's like a lot of times. When I teach, I talk about this moment when you're practicing and you recognize you're distracted. And the actual moment is as precious as being focused. Because of that moment, if you train yourself to recognize when you're distracted, then you can catch yourself throughout the day.

And then, just recognizing you're distracted, you're already aware.

Nick: (28:10)

Yeah. I think it's important to like… for everyone listening to kind of repeat that. Because in the moment it might seem bad. Oh, I'm all over the place. It's a mess. I'm distracted. But no, that's the progress. Like when you lift weights, they have good cues and bad cues And that's a good cue in meditation for sure.

Let Yourself Go

Mike: (28:31)

Exactly! So you catch yourself distracted and then automatically you're aware. And then you can be aware of anything. It's not like… Okay, I'm aware I have to follow my breath. And if you're with your kids, you're just like, “Okay, I'm distracted thinking about work.” And then you're just kind of like, I'm just gonna be with him. Or just be with my wife or whatever it is.

And then I think also there's as you do different practices and you continue with the practices, there's also this letting go of yourself. In some ways, you just become a bit more expansive and less controlling. And trying to hide or keep you cuz we have fixed side that ideas of who we are and how we should be. Yeah. And when you start practicing, you start to see that those are just kind of your ideas, and they actually change all the time.

And so maybe we could actually get in there and start working some of those to loosen them up so that we're more happy in fact. And so you have some idea like I'm bad at public speaking and then you just never even try because I'm bad at it. And so, those moments that you can kind of loosen those things up. And, open them up and then act in different ways and like play with your kids or whatever.

And kind of like roll on the ground and just get into their level of what it's like to be a three-year-old. It's actually interesting. It's kind of fun.

Nick: (30:03)

It's great watching the kids just be themselves and You get to see the… It kind of reminds me of meditation in a way that it's just like, it's, it's just pure. It flows it's organic it's and it's just happening and it's…There's no good or... there's no labeling really. I mean, well, I guess parents will use… some parent will come in and put a label on something happening.

It's usually just great to watch them do their thing, man.

Mike: (30:36)

Yeah. Very spontaneous.

The Role of Meditation in Business Growth

Nick: (30:37)

Mike, how do you think this stuff has served you in the business world and what you have going on now? like with your children as well, I'm interested to hear if you think it helped you with business. You mentioned… you thought… you felt like you kind of got lucky on that… So yeah. Why don't you touch on that a little bit?

Business Challenges

Mike: (31:00)

I think it's this thing like I'm saying it's just this overall fundamental sense of, who you are and how you work with your experiences all the time. And starting businesses is you’re kind of putting yourself out there. No, you're kind of going on this limb of like, is this gonna work? Am I putting all my energy into this thing that might just crap out at the end?

And there's all these hopes, fears… Different emotions that are constantly coming up. And then dealing with Amazon too. It's like a whole other level of nightmare. Like they changed the rules, they shut down the listing. It's kind of like… you're like, oh my God! and you're kind of like…

Nick: (31:47)

Meditating in between suspensions

Increases Flexibility

Mike: (31:52)

You create a whole system based on one thing that works really well. And then they just like, “No, we're not going to do that anymore.” And you're like, “Oh man!” And so there's this need to be really dynamic. And I think that's actually how life is in fact. Life’s constantly changing, and a lot of times, we kind of treat it as a more stagnant or fixed thing.

Like it's more permanent like, well, this is gonna be like this. And it's always gonna be like that. But actually, it's much more in flux and then flow. And so I think when you've practiced… and when you do practice, you start to create more flexibility in your mind to be able to move with all those changes. And the ups and downs too.

Clarity for Informed Decision

Mike: (32:42)

And you see also you're getting very emotionally charged about something. It's just having a bit more clarity about the whole thing. It's not necessarily like I walk through and like Zen bliss, like wisdom kind of making perfect decisions all the time. It's more like, I'm going through the thing like everybody, but maybe I'm not getting as wrapped up.

And maybe because I'm not getting so wrapped up, I have a bit more clarity to not make that decision. And I'm not just so scared of that happening that I just do a bunch of things and it turns out that that was actually a bad choice. So it's more like this process of going through the same thing as everyone else, but just maybe with some more or different tools at my disposal to work with them.

And, like I said, that is for starting a business or for family relationships and, and kids and what it means to be a parent and how you want to show up in those roles as well.

Incorporating Meditation or Compassion Into Companies

Mike: (33:48)

Kind of taking that space to also see… like I mentioned before, we have these beliefs of how we are or who we are and to kind of question them. And kind of. Is that really true? Can I make that wiggle? Can I is that really how I wanna be? Did I just yell at my kid for no really good reason? Do I really wanna just yell at him every time he does that? 

Can I kind of shift that? Or like something around in the business and the way you relate to the people who are working with you.

The Effect of Staff Well-Being on the Company’s Health

Mike: (34:23)

And, I've read some really great literature about how to incorporate a kind of meditation or compassion or selflessness, into companies. And that's actually been really helpful for me to see too. Because I see that it's benefiting a lot of other companies, cuz we have this idea that to be successful.

Create a Supportive Culture

Mike: (34:47)

It's like, show no compassion to your..., it's kinda like you have... it's competitive, it's focusing on yourself, your own success, cutthroat all the rest of it. But maybe there are other companies that are doing things in other ways. And in fact, it's working a lot better cuz you're creating different cultures within the company that are that are supportive of each other.

And everybody feels actually happier.

Give Them Purpose, Meaning, and Friendship

Mike: (35:18)

And in the end, what you're doing is creating something that people are happy to be doing with their life. It gives them purpose. It gives them meaning. it gives them friendship. It makes them want to be there. And if your company isn't that, then ultimately you're gonna lose them because that's what they want. Everybody wants that in their life.

So if you're not thinking about the well-being of everybody in the company, then you're kind of like automatically cutting the well-being of the company itself. Or the lifespan, or the growth, or capacity of the company. So seeing how some of these same concepts, when they're applied to the business world, is a shift in perspective.

Which is actually really interesting for me and, and is actually very nice for me to kind of... It feels like I can do all this in a way that's kind of in line with what I wanna be like. something that has been nice before I started getting into business and stuff. I was like, oof. Cause I didn't get into business when I was younger. , I was like studying psychology. I was studying philosophy. Then at one point...

Nick: (36:28)

Was it after the five-year journey that you got... Was that when you started your business after that?

The Start of Mike’s Business Journey

Mike: (36:37)

Yeah. it was a few years after that. Right after that, I started teaching. And doing coaching. And then maybe after doing that for two or three years, I started getting into the business, and it's…

Nick: (36:51)

How did that happen? How did you come across the opportunity?

Mike: (36:56)

It was just family… Some family members wanted, to start something like this. And they came up to me and said like, would you be interested? And I happened to have some contacts that could kind of support the whole thing. So it was like I was saying to you before, it's kind of like conditions just came together for it to actually be successful.

Cause I could have kind of tried to do it, and it could have just bombed So when I...

Nick: (37:24)

It's amazing how life throws stuff like that at you.

Being Part of a Big Picture

Mike: (37:27)

Yeah, I know. It's kind of like for me when I do it, I don't think that I'm like super clever, great entrepreneur. It's more like I see that it… there are so many conditions there that are supporting the whole thing to work or not. And people too. From people who are like working with me, to people who are supposedly working for me or whatever.

It's kinda like, I'm part of a bigger thing. I play a role in it, and at the same time, I play a very responsible one. I have a big role in that sense, and I can kind of like shut the whole thing down if I just wanted to. But at the same time, it opens the space. So it's not just about me. And then it's kind of like, wow, great. We did it.

Mike’s Strengths and Weakness

Nick: (38:20)

What are you good at or bad at in the business? Like what do you find yourself doing…?


Mike: (38:26)

I'm bad at numbers. And kinda like focusing. I'm not like a good… I'm gonna do the accounts and, and focus on numbers and like…

Nick: (38:35)

Numbers aren't my thing either. Like a lot of things, I can visualize in my mind. But if a math problem involves more than like four things, then I need the whiteboard and some notes.

Creating Systems

Mike: (38:56)

You should pay someone else to do it. For me, it's like getting into all that, it's not my strong suit. But I kind of thrive in this space of creativity and like problems. Creating systems, figuring out what's the next thing. It's kind of… and for me, that's much more interesting for me. And before, when I worked in companies, and I had that space in the company, I did really well.

But then when they started putting more kind of like “no, you should be just focusing on this and this and this.” Then I was kinda like, oof. That's not really my cup of tea. So, in that sense, this work of being an entrepreneur is really nice for me. As it's this creative space that kind of nourishes something inside of me,

Wholesale and Private Label

Nick: (39:45)

And now you're doing just private labels, or are you guys still doing some wholesale?

Mike: (39:49)

We're still doing some wholesale, but shifting to the private label. And the private label has been really, really nice. It's been a nice shift because I'm like I was saying, there's much more of that space for creativity.

Nick: (40:04)

And then you get to own it too. Like you need to create something, and it’s yours. Versus creating a bundle for a wholesale client like it's just different. It's like they can still shut that bundle down if they feel like it. But your product is your product.

Mike: (40:24)


Nick: (40:25)

So that's exciting.

Mike: (40:27)

It's kinda like creating your own thing, and you have ownership. But it's also that process of… I'm interested in the branding. I'm interested in the content. I'm interested in how the customers are receiving it. For me, like we've been doing some stuff with Instagram and I really like it. Like I have someone else working on it, but I like to look at it and I like to see what they're saying.

And I like to see how it's helping or not, and, learn more. And so, in the end, trying to create something that brings benefit to others. And then kind of being creative about how that can grow or how that can change. Or what needs to be changed or, or tweaked with it or, or not. So that's more or less what I like.

The MDS Culture

Nick: (41:21)

Awesome, man. Yeah. That's, that's exciting. Is that part of the reason why you joined MDS? Cause you were getting more into the private label stuff?

Mike: (41:29)

Well, I don't know. I'd heard about it. I have a friend who's in MDS, and he'd always just praised it so much. And then I wanted to just check out and see what it was like. And I've been totally blown away. I mean, you get in there, and there's like all these posts. And you're like, wow, yes. To spend all this time going through posts and posts and posts.

And you're just like, okay, I gotta go back and redo some of these things I've been doing. Like I've been learning so much and it's just… I'm incredibly impressed. Not just about the quality of what people are saying, but like the, the quality of care for everyone. It's just like, everyone's like a good friend super kind to everyone. I'm just blown away that there's this group of really nice people doing this, who happen to be really good at Amazon.

Up Coming Events

Nick: (42:20)

Yeah. Everyone's so great. I've seen the group grow from, I think around 300 people now we're a little over 500. And they do such a good job just finding the right culture fit for the group. Like everyone is just… you could really just meet someone for the first time, and it's kinda like you've known them for a while. Like there's an instant kind of comfortability factor that comes along with it.

It's been life-changing for me, man. Are you scheduled for any events coming up?

Mike: (42:56)

I would like… I'm in Europe. I want to go to the one in Europe,

Nick: (42:59)

Right? Yes.

Surfing Trips

Mike: (43:00)

It's a bit more tricky for me to get over the other side of the pond. And especially to go to the other side of the pond with the kids, with the COVID and all the rest of it. So we've been very much just in Spain. We've been going around Europe a bit last summer. We did a bit of a surfing trip down to the south. We started in Spain and into Portugal in the van.

Nick: (43:22)

Okay, nice. I was just watching… I think the Supertubos contest was on, which was in Portugal. And of course, Nazare and I think the event's gonna be in Lisbon in July

Mike: (43:35)

Yeah. I saw that. I saw that.

Nick: (43:38)

So yeah, I haven't made it out there yet to that side of the water. So I'll make that happen. But that's cool, man. I didn't know you surf. Do you guys have any other hobbies or anything else you do with the family?

Hanging Out With the Kids in Nature

Mike: (43:50)

Well, my kids actually go to a forest school—the four-year-old and the six-year-old. They go to a forest school and we live… we're not like in Barcelona, we're a bit outside of Barcelona. And there are the closest mountains. It's called Montane. And we spend a lot of time in the mountains, in nature at the river. I try and go every day with my two-year-old, down to the river and just hang out.

Or go down to the beach bike around here. We do a lot of kind of mountain biking as a family. And I started trying to get into kite surfing. And that was nice. I like it, but it's just, that it's challenging doing anything when you got three little kids. How am I gonna get the time? And I also feel a little bit guilty, kind of like, okay, you're gonna be with the three kids today to my wife, right?

Cause I know what it's like when she goes for the day. And I'm like with the three kids, it's kinda like, You feel bad?

Nick: (44:54)

I'm gonna go have a really good time doing this really great thing all by myself. See you later.

Mike: (45:01)

I'll send you some photos. And you come back, and you're in the super good mood, and they're like burnt out from like screaming babies. And they're like “Your turn take it over.”

Recommended Books

Nick: (45:13)

Yeah, man. Yeah. That’s how it plays out, man. Well, Mike dude, it has been great chatting with you. I really look forward to meeting you in person and engaging more with you in the community. Before we sign off, I just wanna ask you a couple of quick questions. I think it'll be valuable for the audience. And then when we wrap up just let them know where they can reach out to you, man.

Maybe some people are interested in some of the teaching and stuff you do as well. So Mike, what's one of the best personal books you've read that you would recommend?

Tuesdays With Morrie

Mike: (45:53)

Well, there are a lot of them, but this just came to mind. When I was 18, I read Tuesdays with Morrie. I dunno if you've ever read

Nick: (46:03)

That. I have not

Mike: (46:05)

Read it. It's short is very nice. And it's about a man who is dying and a younger man who goes to visit him. And the younger man is a journalist who ended up writing the book. And it's kind of like what he learned from that experience. And it's very powerful. And I remember it just kind of like this sense of death and impermanence that we're actually gonna die.

And we just do not think about that at all, especially. But when you kind of like put your life in that, in that framework, in that perspective, a lot of things become more clear. Become like, okay, this is a waste of my time. This is a waste of my time. This is really important to me. And so for me, that's always been something that I try to be aware of.

And we have these moments of it, but, when your grandparent dies or whatever. But then, when you have these moments, you're like, wow, wow. so heavy. I'm never gonna see Grandpa again, and then, wow. Maybe I'm gonna die too. And, but then we kind of get back into work, and we get back into life, and you forget. So I think for me, that book… really creating that space to have that perspective to put things into what's important in your life.

Nick: (47:30)

Okay. All right. I like it. What about a business book? What book has helped you touch on a cool subject earlier, which was that yeah. The idea, of being this giving person through business, I think was…

The Mind of the Leader

Mike: (47:45)

Yeah, it's called the Mind of the Leader. It's a pretty… it's more recent and it's by someone named Rasmus Hougaard. I think his last name is. And Jacqueline Carter There were some people who teach kind of mindfulness, meditation, compassion, and different things, and different businesses with a program called the Potential Project. It's kinda the second book they came out with and it's great.

You know, for me, it's been really nice to see those ideas. I've also been, thanks to you and this lovely podcast, I've been looking at traction and we've been really enjoying it.

Nick: (48:28)

That's a good one, I think. Yeah. Yeah.

Mike: (48:31)

That's a good, good one that doing the vision, the whole vision thing, that's where I'm at, you know, but very nice. It's kinda like a

Nick: (48:38)

Meditation practice for a business somewhat. Like I like the way they package things and kind of have to slow down a little bit and focus in. I like traction because it… I think it allows, it allows you to amplify who you are versus telling you, you should be a different way.

Mike: (48:58)

Yeah. Yeah.

Nick: (48:58)

That's what I liked about traction. Totally. Alright Mike, well, why don't you go ahead and let the listeners know where they can reach out to you, man? if they want some more info on your meditation practice, and the teachings you do.

Mike Loves to Give Back Whenever He Gets the Opportunity

Mike: (49:13)

Yeah, sure. I mean, if you want, you can just send me an email at mike.engle@gmail.com. But also just reach out to me in the group, if you're in MDs. But if you're not in MDS, send me an email there, and then we can set up some time to chat and see how I can help. If there's any way. But I would love to, you know? For me, I feel very fortunate to be able to have been exposed to a lot of this stuff and been exposed to a lot of really wonderful people who nurtured me.

Taking that time to train me and teach me how to do everything. And so for me, if I can give back even just a little bit to anyone, I'm very happy to do it.

Nick: (50:01)


Mike: (50:02)

So, yeah, if anyone's interested, please do reach out.

Nick: (50:07)

All right, Mike. Well, it's been great, man. Good chatting with you. And, I look forward to doing it again sometime soon. Thanks, man.

Mike: (50:14)

Cheer. Thanks so much, Nick.

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