12 Life Changing Lessons My Dad Taught Me

You can be faster than Matt Overman.

I was 13 years old.

From the passenger seat I stole a skeptical glance of my Dad’s face while he drove.

He looked honest.

Which was crazy. Matt was fast as hell and the perennial captain of the “A” team.

I was just cut from the programno, not the teamthe entire program.

Not really believing my dad but appreciative for what felt like a loving vote of confidence, I swallowed and nodded slightly.

I didn’t know it at the time, but that moment would change my life.


I) Winning Matters

Show me a “good” loser and I’ll show you a fucking loser.

Growing up in a generation that values participation over competition, I was lucky to have my dad.

A strained hip flexor?

Ice it. Rest it. And when game time comes tomorrow, take some advil, apply some Icyhot and go skate and hit people and score goals.

You don’t complain. You don’t make excuses. You go win.

Even if you're just playing bags with the family.

Even if you’re just playing bags with the family.


II) Debt Will Kill Your Soul

Being ultra-rich won’t make you happy.

But having enough money is absolutely paramount. It provides freedom and security, and it alleviates stress.

So, in an era where parents mindlessly harp on the importance of college for 18 years only to force their kids to take out loans and chain themselves to the man indefinitely, I would be remiss not to mention this.

My dad worked his ass off in our one-income family to pay for the overwhelming majority of my four year undergraduate degree.

Being 100% debt free just six months after graduating college gave me the mental and logistical freedom to begin pursuing entrepreneurial ventures.

I cannot understate the importance being debt free at 23 had on my life.


III) Pick Your Head Up

No, literally, pick your head up.

And retract your shoulder blades. Quit dragging your feet too.

Sadly, I was too upset with my triple bogey on eleven to heed Dad’s advice while we waited for the five-some on the 12th green to stop dicking around so we could hit our approach shots.

Who knows… had I listened, I might not be working overtime today on thoracic mobility and external shoulder rotation.

But you know what’s even more important than how your shoulders feel when you bench press? Nothing, literally nothing.

Haha, touche.

But seriously: your posture signals to others who you are.

Without diving into a psychology lesson in business and dating, one for which I am thoroughly underqualified to give, let’s agree that standing up straight and looking people in the eye is better than the alternative – moping around wondering how you pulled two tee shots out of bounds on a par three.

Thank God for match play at least.


IV) Own Your Income

I lost my job today

His words hung in the air.

No one said anything.

My mom and sisters and grandma stood around the center island.

My dad looked at the ground.

I had never seen my dad look at the ground when he talked.

If you ask me, he felt ashamed. If you ask me, he felt like he let us down. If you ask me, my dad believed in his heart that he was failing his role as provider.

When in reality, he was operating in a broken system.

It was 2008.

Forget MBS, bailouts, and Goldman.

Those may have been media-proclaimed scapegoats for that crash, but this system is still broken.

The Federal government controls the Money Supply. Politicians are incentivized by reelection rather than the public interest. Not to mention everyone on TV is lying to us all day long.

Now, let me be clear, never once did my dad complain or point a finger of blame.

But in the years since his unemployment stint, I have begun to notice these things; these implied rules that force you to look a certain way and behave a certain way and play within certain invisible boundaries – never acting too different – or you’ll be on the outside begging for a job.

Performance reviews aren’t based on performance; they are based on your likeability.

There is no “secure” job. There is no company loyalty. There are no gold watches at retirement anymore.

All of this led me to the following conclusion: having the ability to make my own money is the only option for my life.


V) The Cream Rises to the Top

“Just look at Casey Hankinson. He stayed home and played with his buddies. Now he’s captain of the gophers.”

We stood on the first tee of a father/son golf tournament.

My grandpa and uncle Jeff were going back and forth.

Play at home, or go to prep school?

You need Shattuck or Ann Arbor to get noticed; NHL scouts won’t find you playing high school.

My dad interjected, “You stay home. And you play with your best friends.”

Because the cream always rises to the top.

Sure, you can get noticed by being the loudest.

Beat your chest, promote your ebook, and tell everyone you’re the greatest over and over and over.

Biz dev, go to the right parties, rub elbows with editors, join affiliate circles, and donate to whoever’s charity it takes for a spot on Good Morning America to promote your Ginko Bio OMG Super Rare Never-Been-Seen-Before fat loss supplement.

And people will recognize you on the street. And you’ll get rich. And you might even date a few super insecure supermodels. But guess what:

You won’t be the best.

When you blow up because your work is so painfully good that everyone who sees it is needs to share it, that’s when you’re at the top.


VI) Be A Caretaker


In college, my uncle Mark was blind-sided over the head with a two by four.

He suffered tremendous brain damage, spent a long time in a coma, then lived the rest of his life completely blind. And when my Uncle died twenty years after his accident, it was my dad who delivered his big brother’s Eulogy.

My dad was obviously suffering, but you wouldn’t know it.

Rather than embrace the mindset of a victim, I watched him spend his time and energy taking care of everyone else’s sorrow: his parents’, my sisters’, and my own.

Everyone relied on him because he is a leader and he’s clutch under pressure.

Because he’s a caretaker.


VII) Treat The Pauper Like The Prince

My dad asks cashiers about their day.

He calls waiters and waitresses by their first name.

He compliments janitors, and he once told me that he tries to make someone’s day everyday.

Watching this my entire life has made me internalize the following:

Your character can be determined by the way you treat people who can’t “do anything for you.”


VIII) You’re a Man – Fucking Own It


I’ve never been big on dressing up and taking pictures, but I do love the conch fritters and VMO pumps.

In today’s feminized society, many previously valued masculine qualities are often deemed bad or dangerous: aggression, competition, and independence to name a few.

We confuse integrity with politeness, being good with being nice, gender equality with gender same-ness.

Boys and girls are the same!

No, boys and girls are not the same. Boys and girls are fundamentally, hormonally, and psychologically very different.

And while much of the explicit guidance I received growing up was how you treat your four younger sisters, how you talk to your mother, and how you behave towards women in general.

There is an implicit gift in having a positive masculine role model; an understanding that even though my teachers say I can’t run and can’t yell and can’t roughhouse – to be man and to display masculine qualities is neither wrong nor bad.


IX) Ignore Everyone

You have a new comment on your wordpress post.

I had launched my blog four weeks earlier.

It was getting 25 page views per day but somehow also a flurry of angry comments.

  • “Burning bridges isn’t smart – you’re never gonna make it”
  • “What’s with all the foul language??”
  • “What are you gonna do when we have another market collapse?”
  • “You can’t do fitness on the internet”

Through tears of doubt and massive uncertainty, I deleted comment after comment.

It was just three days after moving to New York City – with nothing but a laptop and two pairs of clothes – to work an unpaid internship for John Romaniello.

I slumped out of my apartment in need of fresh air.

Walking through the upper east side on that perfect May afternoon, my stomach was so knotted that I couldn’t appreciate the beautiful weather, let alone all of the attractive women sending what a friend would later teach me are called please fuck me eyes, an extended seductive stare as you cross paths on the sidewalk.

I sat on a bench outside Starbucks on 75th street and tried not to puke.

Looking down at my phone through blurry eyes, I called my dad.

I don’t remember his exact words; my dad usually fights fire with fire.

I do remember him empowering me to be unapologetically myself.

I remember him encouraging me to listen to my own voice.

And I remember him telling me that negative feedback usually has more to do with the person GIVING the criticism than the work itself.

All of which left me with the following maxim:

Maintain a small circle of people you fully trust, and ignore everyone else.


X) Pain Is Optional

I was eight years old.

My teeth sunk into his arm.

He didn’t even wince.

I released, giggled, yelled “say uncle!!” and bit into his flesh again.

He was unfazed. He never conceded.

He never even showed pain.

At the time, I thought he was superman.

That was important.

If we talked about this today, he would call himself dumb and meat headed.

But he’s wrong.

My dad did feel pain; his brain is just tougher than his body.

He demonstrated supreme mental toughness.

With the knowledge that you control your own limitations, think about all you can accomplish:

  • your progress in the gym
  • the efficiency of a study session
  • the total hours you put into your craft

Your brain owns your body, not the other way around.


XI) That He Loved Me

And that he was proud of me. 

He told me this every single day of my life.

He instilled a belief that I mattered and that my life mattered and the decisions that I make are important – that my actions not only change my life but can change the lives of others.

And that changed everything.


XII) You Build Your Own Future

Study longer hours, get better grades.

Write more blog posts, get more traffic.

Lift heavier weight, get bigger muscles.

Surprisingly, there are people on earth who don’t believe they can improve. They give up quickly when challenged. These people are said to have a fixed mindset.

Their counterparts have what is known as a growth mindset. The belief that through patience, effort, and open-mindedness their potential is limitless.

My dad gave me the belief that I control my own fate; he gave me a growth mindset. 

That mindset is the root of most accomplishments in my life: adding 40 pounds of muscle, quitting my corporate job and starting my own business, and picking up the pieces after a bad break-up.

And while I may have ended up playing intramural beer league after high school while Ovy went D1, the lesson I learned while cruising north on highway 100 that early winter morning was one of many gems from dad that led me to where I am today.

Comments for This Entry

  • Carter Good

    Wow, your Dad seems like an awesome guy! Having a supporting cast around you is so powerful. I really enjoyed the personality you brought in this post! Thanks for sharing.

    September 20, 2015 at 11:04 am | Reply to this comment

  • Keeli

    Great post! Ignore everyone hit home the most for me. Letting others validate your worth is tough to shake.

    September 21, 2015 at 1:45 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Jesse F

    Great post! You're lucky to have such an awesome dad and role model. Really liked points 8, 9 & 11. Thanks for sharing.

    September 21, 2015 at 3:39 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Regine

    This is a lovely post and it's clear your dad is an awesome guy!! Only thing I'd ask is whether you're sure the masculine qualities you mentioned are actually masculine and not just strong-person qualities: you better believe I can be aggressive, competitive, and independent - and probably most of the interesting women you know could say the same thing, considering that the alternative would be retiring, uninterested in competition, and dependent. Just a thought - and the most important thing is, thank you for sharing such a great post!

    September 21, 2015 at 3:46 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Emily

    Both you and your Dad seem like very caring, levelheaded gentlemen. Thank you for sharing his lessons, this was such a great article!

    September 21, 2015 at 3:53 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Blair

    Awesome blog post, Mike. Personally, be a caretaker resonated with me most. I'm in the same position balancing very carefully being an enabler but it's something that I feel I have to do right now. I also appreciated You're a man...fucking own it. Not for me personally, but because society is having some significant gender issues and man and woman are fundamentally different and that's ok. Thanks for the update. Blair

    September 21, 2015 at 3:56 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Linh Tran

    Your father is a good man and you're lucky to have him. It reminds me to be thankful for having such a good father in my life also. Great post - here's to good men and appreciating them! :)

    September 21, 2015 at 3:59 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Joe Gavin

    Fantastic Mike! And wonderfully timed for my life at this particular nanosecond. A "good" loser IS a fucking loser. And I was one for WAAAYYY to fucking long. De-pussification of your life is paramount.

    September 21, 2015 at 4:00 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Heather

    Amazing post! Having an amazing parent in your life is always essential and when I read posts like this I pray I am such a great role model to my 3 children. ???

    September 21, 2015 at 4:00 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Rebeca

    LOVE!!! This totally resonates with me and you are so right about the debt- we have been debt free for about 4 years and it changes everything!!

    September 21, 2015 at 4:04 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Jamie Reimer

    Hey Mike, Inspiring post! How is the golf game these days?

    September 21, 2015 at 4:08 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Jacki

    I completely agree with "ignore everyone"... it can be really hard to do that especially when you're young and your self-worth is mostly determined by how others perceive you (peer pressure is a bitch!), but now that I'm 29 I hear those negative comments from people saying I can't do something and I'm like "Hahaha - WATCH ME!" It's a pretty awesome place to be. :)

    September 21, 2015 at 4:10 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Smitty

    I am fortunate enough to know Mike's dad. Not one thing he talked about is fabricated or over estimated. Not only did Mike's dad instill these values and lessons in his son, but everyone he interacted with on a daily basis. I am lucky to be one of them. If there was more people on this earth like Mike's father, there would be a lot of competition at the top! Best post yet Mike.

    September 21, 2015 at 4:11 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Rosaleen

    Lovely post, your dad is a wise man.

    September 21, 2015 at 4:15 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Jill

    1. Your dad and my dad seem to have a lot in common. 2. Can we agree that pain is optional within reason? ;) It's not a matter of being a wuss or not if you ignore pain. Pain is telling you something. My take on it is; know your body, know what's normal, and know when to seek treatment without using pain as an excuse. I, of course, know a lot about this. ;)

    September 21, 2015 at 4:19 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Jane

    Nice post Mike. It's amazing the power of positive support. Lucky you! and you seem to have embraced that and are spreading the wealth.

    September 21, 2015 at 4:24 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Courtney Graham

    Love this post....so real and transparent. Sounds like u have an awesome dad and I can relate to so many of these things in my own life. My favorite is how we treat people who can do nothing for us..... Keep up the good work Mike, you are nothing short of awesome in my book!

    September 21, 2015 at 4:25 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Vinny

    Really needed this post today. Thanks Mike!

    September 21, 2015 at 4:33 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Petra

    Very inspirational story. Stay true to yourself and your dreams, stay focused, work hard and they can become a reality. Your life is proof! Love to read your blogs.

    September 21, 2015 at 4:35 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Fred W

    It sounds like your dad gave you a toolbox full of tools that will last you a lifetime. Now you just have to go be an awesome carpenter.

    September 21, 2015 at 4:40 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Cecilia

    I loved this post, thank you. I and II (Debt does feel crushing at times) resonate most; as a new parent, my husband and I will soon be faced with putting our little one in sports and dealing with the ever present 'participation' trophies and teaching our daughter the value of working towards actually winning a trophy. :)

    September 21, 2015 at 4:48 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Lexi Storm

    Love love love this! Definitely going on my fridge...just have to tweak "you're a man, fucking own it" to woman. Women are too afraid to cry, be emotional, etc nowadays but you can't fight hormones and estrogen!

    September 21, 2015 at 5:03 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Suzy

    I'm lucky enough to have an amazing dad like yours who taught me the same lessons however, it's nice to see you passing on those excellent qualities through your work and helping others (I've learnt loads from you!) really appreciate it ? x

    September 21, 2015 at 5:13 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Braxton

    Your dad and my dad have a lot of common. Mine calls me every day at the same time no matter what. He's always encouraging me to be BETTER through every lesson. It's pretty awesome. Great post! Thanks for sharing a big piece of you, bro.

    September 21, 2015 at 5:41 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Jason

    I'm sure reading this tribute will bring that elusive tear to his eye. Every dad should aspire to have that kind of impact on his children. Great work Mike!

    September 21, 2015 at 6:02 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Heather

    "negative feedback usually has more to do with the person GIVING the criticism than the work itself." This is genius and a wonderful pearl to keep front of mind! What a wonderful post!

    September 21, 2015 at 7:43 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Kirsten

    Thank-you. I needed this today.

    September 21, 2015 at 8:54 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Becca

    I always enjoy your posts Mike! So heartfelt - wonderful! :)

    September 21, 2015 at 9:26 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Cecile Cann

    My sister sent this too me... She is a client of yours and I totally get what you are saying. Also, My son plays travel,hockey in Texas ( go figure) so we totally get the hockey references ! And more than likely he will get cut too, so I hope we can give him the great advice your Dad gave you if and when that time comes. Dallas Stars Elite is his Shattucks so,we will see if he ends up! Keep up the good work and I really enjoy your posts!

    September 21, 2015 at 9:37 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Joe

    Great post Mike makes me appreciate the values my own dad instilled in us kids growing up. Love your energy and passion to help others. Keep it real and keep showing the love brother and it'll come back to you 1000 fold.

    September 21, 2015 at 9:53 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Kathy

    Great! Thanks for sharing!

    September 21, 2015 at 9:57 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Brenda Cain

    2 and 7 are my favorites! Thanks for sharing all that wisdom. Your dad sounds like a very wise man.

    September 21, 2015 at 10:22 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Kimberly Saldate

    Absolutely amazing! It's crazy how there are so many lessons we learn throughout our life. & to recognize them is powerful! I love every single word about this! You are great mike! Love the blog don't stop!

    September 21, 2015 at 10:35 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Marcy

    Great post and great timing to read it. Your dad sounds awesome, thanks for sharing his wise words! :)

    September 21, 2015 at 10:49 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Rich Mankus

    I love to read your writing. It not only inspires me.....it touches me emotionally. I only wish I had experienced a father's love the way you did. You are one lucky guy. Thanks for your post.

    September 21, 2015 at 11:08 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Rich Mankus

    Oh.....and you are well beyond an "average writer". I teach writing....trust me on this.

    September 21, 2015 at 11:10 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Romeo

    Great stuff Mike. Your dad sounds like an awesome person. Winning does matter and good ol fashion customs and courtesies, being polite, building rapport and treating others like you want to be treated is something people fail at nowadays. I think the smart phones are taking away from people being more social and in turn they bury themselves in their phones, wrapped around garbage that does nothing for them. Anyway, I digress, great post, keep doing you, stay motivated and always remember HTDLHPD

    September 21, 2015 at 11:20 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Marisol

    Great post! I enjoy your writing very much.

    September 22, 2015 at 1:24 am | Reply to this comment

  • TOG

    Awesome post! My Father was of the same cloth and we're both lucky to have had such support. I've been going back and forth between OTR And Williams program. You just sold me on yours! Quick q....is yours a 5 or 3 day program? Thx for sharing!!!

    September 22, 2015 at 6:51 am | Reply to this comment

  • Tracy B.

    Fantastic post! You're a lucky man to have a father like that. Values and lessons as you described are lacking, to say the least, for most kids these days. Love reading your posts. Thanks for sharing your stories! They're always inspiring!

    September 22, 2015 at 8:12 am | Reply to this comment

  • Tamara Mata

    Love this so much, thank you for always keeping it real man.

    September 22, 2015 at 8:28 am | Reply to this comment

  • Denny

    Mike: Thanks for sharing these GREAT stories. Your dad's influence has created a great person. Mike: Your Dad's influence has always been noticed and appreciated my myself. He raised a great kid.

    September 22, 2015 at 8:39 am | Reply to this comment

  • Kristin

    Great read Michael ! He's all of that! I need to chat with you sometime

    September 22, 2015 at 10:12 am | Reply to this comment

  • Angela

    Awesome post and great writing. It reminds me of something a friend said to me once. When dealing with others, you can make a big positive difference or not. You don't know at the time if your interaction will be life changing or not. You should treat your interactions with others carefully.

    September 22, 2015 at 10:41 am | Reply to this comment

  • Pat

    Hey Mike, thanks for taking the time to post and share this awesome and inspiring lessons! I'm somewhat on the opposite end of your side where I grew up without positive male role models. The only lessons I learned from growing up watching my dad and uncle is to be the opposite of them and that's what fuels me everyday. They are both unsuccessful men that cannot take care of their family and didn't achieve much in life. My mom has supported and raised my whole family (I have 4 sisters) and I am grateful for having her in my life and having a work ethic like her. I think in life...everyone's fighting their own battles. Rather than have a victim mindset, I use it to fuel my motivation and try to Kaizen each day. My lessons in life are mostly through reading books or stories of successful men and also blogs like yours. After reading this post, I hope to be a man like your dad is one day to my future kids. I think that's one of the greatest gifts in life. Thanks for taking the time out to share this...you're definitely inspiring people and changing our lives!

    September 22, 2015 at 11:30 am | Reply to this comment

  • Zoe

    Wonderful post, Mike. Makes me miss my Dad. He's the greatest man I ever knew.

    September 22, 2015 at 12:32 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Christy

    You're lucky your Dad taught you these values and you have learned from them in leaps and bounds - my dad wasn't a bad father but he didn't teach me these values. You are making a difference yourself in many others peoples lives. You inspire me to stand by what I believe and not curl into a shell and back away from myself! Your quote: "My dad gave me the belief that I control my own fate; he gave me a growth mindset." Through your writing and your guidance you have given me this too - I thank you!

    September 22, 2015 at 2:45 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Filipe

    Great post man! That mindset is the best, I'm happy I got that from my family as well. It is clear in your work the influence you got from your father. He must be really proud!

    September 22, 2015 at 4:23 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Kaisey

    Love this post, it's made me smile on a rainy Melbourne (Australia) day. This really hits home and to be honest makes me understand my own relationship with my father that little bit more. Thank you :)

    September 22, 2015 at 5:23 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Kari

    Your dad is totally Superman! He's helped you learn so many great things and you're passing them on to us, so thanks for that. It's refreshing how you open up and are real. You write what most people think but don't say. Someday your mom will read these blogs and she'll never stop reading them! Debt suck's and everyone needs to learn that lesson, like, 10 years ago. (Also, props to your friend for telling you about the eye thing - very important.) Treating people according to their potential is EVERYTHING. Thanks for these points, they're great lessons to remember and practice.

    September 22, 2015 at 6:01 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Megan Busby

    Great post, Mike. Nice to see this personal side of you. Love the part about having a growth mindset. That is a very powerful tool he instilled in you.

    September 23, 2015 at 3:44 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Luc Joseph

    Excellent post. These are core values that every man should have. I did not have my father around to teach them and had to learn them the hard way, but I go out of my way to teach them to my son. I'll be sure to share this with him too.

    September 23, 2015 at 11:24 pm | Reply to this comment

  • SFG

    Ignoring everyone seems like good advice to me, or at least ignoring most people. This is especially true when it comes to fitness and fat loss, an area full of snake oil salesmen.

    September 24, 2015 at 7:01 am | Reply to this comment

  • Brandon Ford

    I really like the persona that your father exerts. Be strong enough to push through the tough times, make zero excuses, and be willing to be a man. At the same time he knew when to show a softer side. Calling a waitress by her first name and telling his children that he loved them. Great article.

    September 24, 2015 at 1:50 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Christopher Johns

    Great job, man. Looks like your dad is a true role model.

    September 26, 2015 at 11:17 am | Reply to this comment

  • Mark

    Good Read. Thanks for the insight. Being debt free is definitely an attainabe goal. The path to least resistance is the path to pain, right? Unfortunately, I was not fortunate enough to have my education paid for by my father (whom I was raised without) . My mother barely made above minimum wage to support our household . College was considered a luxury and a gift if you could attend. I did attend, and I did have to accrue some debt. Am I a better person for taking out those loans? Hell yes, because it enabled me to pursue my education. At times, it's necessary to take that plunge.

    September 27, 2015 at 7:23 am | Reply to this comment

  • Josh g

    Awesome read mike. I hope to leave such a lasting impression on my own children. You and your dad are very blessed to have such a relationship.

    September 27, 2015 at 11:57 am | Reply to this comment

  • Colt

    Mike - Glad to see things are going well! I've been getting your updates ever since you were kind enough to help me when I signed up for programming with Roman. Rarely do I feel compelled to comment on a blog post, but this was awesome! You've got a talent for writing, and have lots of great wisdom to share. It's always exciting when I see an update in my inbox from you.

    October 1, 2015 at 1:43 pm | Reply to this comment

  • John

    Excellent post Mike, every bit you've written captures your Dad, good for you to actually take it to heart

    October 16, 2015 at 5:23 pm | Reply to this comment

  • David Pearce

    Great post. So refreshing to read a traditional father and son story.. Reminds me of my relationship with my dad before he got early onset alzheimerz. Makes me miss him and his invaluable wisdom and little quirks.. But reading this took me back and reminded me that there still are real fathers out there giving their sons real man's advice... And that the traditional male is still supposed to be a man and women appreciate that. The advice was absolutely golden too. Great father and great son bro. Makes me realize how far I've fallen off these past few years as a real man. I really needed this inspiration. You touched someone today... and not in any guy way like some weirdo commenter might imply. God bless. Will be subscribing.

    October 23, 2015 at 8:59 am | Reply to this comment

  • Fill

    I grew up without a father, or any males for that matter, so i had to get male role models from wherever i could. Two days ago i just got out of surgery removing a tumor from my scalp, four lymph nodes from my neck, and some skin from my abdomen, and even my girlfriend seemed to have been testing my strength--testing my ability to console her and her emotional needs in my moments of physical and mental weakness. This post has really helped get my head straight. Good lookin out

    October 31, 2015 at 3:43 pm | Reply to this comment

  • m

    Great post! I envy you for having such a father. I grew up with a single mother and two sisters. Never really had a father and it shows. Although my mother dragged us four through hard times she could not possibly have replaced him. Because she is a mother, not a father.

    November 24, 2015 at 11:54 am | Reply to this comment

  • Merilyn

    Mike, The wisdom your Father shared has taken root. That's good. But tell me, in the presence of your lovely sisters and mother would you continually use the "f" word? You're an intelligent and caring young man. So why cheapen your message with gutter language? Please don't pepper-spray decent people with brute, indecent language. Then we'll share your message everywhere.

    January 13, 2016 at 5:38 pm | Reply to this comment

    • Mike Author

      Thanks so much for reading, Merilyn! I don't use the F word around my mother because she doesn't like it, but I do have conversations with her about why I do use it in my writing. And I use it around my sisters indeed. I don't believe any word can be inherently bad. Intent and context make words good or bad. You might like this piece from an author I like (Mark Manson): http://markmanson.net/potty-mouth

      January 14, 2016 at 10:21 am | Reply to this comment

  • Jayne

    This is probably one of my favorite articles. So transparent and filled with great info. Thanks for posting, I'm definitely bookmarking this for later. Also makes me miss my dad. (fyi he's not dead he's just in the west coast and I'm in the east coast lol). Thanks again!

    February 8, 2016 at 3:11 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Lisa Grim

    Hi Mike!! I saw your video from Dec 25 post on FB. It hit home for me every word you spoke is TRUTH. I sent it out to all my managers and I can not wait to sit with my boys and watch it with the, as well. I did I little stalking of you and read this article, I am looking forward to reading more! You are blessed to have a strong foundation of love and support! Though I am not a client, I do have an on-line coach for now. I will be following and passing you forward to many! I have always preached to my staff it should never be about money. Built it and they will come. Passion feeds the bank account. Your passion runs deep, you will do well. Keep your Dad's focus your pinnacle for success! If you ever make it to Gettysburg, stop in for great home cooked meal! I will definitely pick up your tab! Your biggest fan in Pa! Lisa Grim

    February 13, 2016 at 10:33 am | Reply to this comment

  • Jake

    I admire how you can articulate everything. I think my Dad is awesome but I don't know why and I cant explain how. So what did your dad do for work after being made redundant in 2008?

    April 3, 2016 at 10:37 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Grace C.

    I've been watching your vlogs on YouTube for a couple of weeks and now that I have a handle on your personality and your content, I enjoy them immensely (and they make my commute less soul crushing). But it is your writing that paints pictures and moves me to tears - just the honesty and goodwill in your intent in every letter. Dont ever stop writing. Muscles aside, it is the strongest and best part of you.

    May 29, 2016 at 5:31 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Sam

    This was a really great read, Mike. Hit close to home.

    May 29, 2016 at 10:40 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Daniel

    Excellent post. I agree with a lot of your points, Mike. Especially about debt. :) Continue what you are doing, it is working.

    June 20, 2016 at 11:51 am | Reply to this comment

  • Praveen

    I really loved this article! Thanks Mike for writing and sharing. I can easily relate some of thoughts expressed above with my own experience and learning from my dad. Unfortunately, due to work I have to stay from home but I do speak to him at least once a week and tell him that I'm happy (this automatically puts smile on his face). I have two kids and hope I would be able to inculcate some good habits as I learnt from my dad. Love you dad.

    July 16, 2016 at 11:25 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Becky

    what a fabulous man your dad was

    January 26, 2017 at 4:14 am | Reply to this comment

  • ED

    Hey Mike, I've read through almost all of your blog post in the past week and I have to say, this is one of my favorite. I didn't really have long-term positive father figures in my life, but I'm glad to learn from your experience. Glad you're honest and making a positive impact. Cheers bro.

    March 28, 2017 at 10:44 am | Reply to this comment

  • Zach

    Great read man, I grew up basically my entire life without my father, but while reading this It brought back the good memories. You're dad is a spectacular man and from the looks of it, he raised a hell of a man! Good work brother! Keep it up!

    April 1, 2017 at 1:15 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Brian D

    Excellent. I lost my father about 12 years ago, but his lessons still burn within me, every single day. It sounds like our fathers were cut from the same cloth. Congrats on your success. He is proud of you, I am sure.

    April 15, 2017 at 1:43 am | Reply to this comment

  • Jim Smith

    You are an awesome son. It's no surprise to me your dad has always been proud of you.

    May 2, 2017 at 10:41 am | Reply to this comment

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