Larry Weidel: We are here with Mical Pyeatt from California. Mical’s a million-dollar earner, always been a success, and has a tremendous business that he’s built and stood the test of time.He’s solid as a rock. He’s been involved in every kind of turmoil and change that you can imagine, and he always comes out on top.
So, congratulations Mical on breaking through this year to the million-dollar income and doing it with energy. You appear like your business is going to continue to compound and grow pretty rapidly. I think it’s a significant breakthrough because a lot of people inside your team are now going to see the bigger picture of what can happen to them as they follow in your footsteps.
Tell everybody where you came from and what you’re most excited about that you’ve been able to achieve so far that you never would have imagined.
Mical Pyeatt: I started financial services part-time when I was with Universal Studios, which I was very unhappy to still be there after 9 years. After about nine months, I made the decision to go full-time. This was my first move to freedom.
It was never about making a lot of money or just having a big business because I didn’t think I could. I just wanted to be free. I wanted to get up and go to bed when I wanted to or just go to the beach and surf three or four days a week. It wasn’t a really complicated story. There have just been different levels of freedom.
This million dollar a year recognition to me is the best recognition I’ve had in a long time. I think we’ve made about $20 million since we’ve been here but to do it in 12 months in the middle of a pandemic, when everybody else is having a problem in business, really is a special thing.
So to be free, to me, is really a big deal and I am free. I’m happy.
LW: You didn’t graduate college, get four or five undergraduate degrees, and then a Ph.D. You got out of high school and got a job.
MP: When I went to college, I think I had shoulder-length hair and a motorcycle. I rode out there and went to classes the first day. I didn’t like it. On the second day at noontime, I quit and ran away and that was it for my college experience.
I just didn’t want to do it. It felt like more of high school and I was ready to go make a living. At the studios, 60 hours a week is just average. So I just worked hard for a lot of years and financial services part-time turned into something really fun.
I didn’t start with a lot of self-confidence. But I thought, “Man if I did a sale once I could do it twice.” So, I did it twice. Having Art Williams as my coach back in the day was the greatest thing that could have happened for me because he talked me into being somebody when I didn’t think I was.
LW: A message that Art had that resonated with many people was: “Do you or do you not want to do something special with your life?”
I think that’s kind of a below-the-surface thing that a lot of us carry around, but we never really think about or verbalize. Had you?
MP: You know, I think one of the most beneficial things about Art was when he used to say things like, “all my life I wanted to be somebody.” You had to define “be somebody.”
For me, it wasn’t anything bigger than my mom and dad being proud of me. Then later on in life, my kids being proud of me and what I did. What he did is defined it, I think, in such simple terms.
One of the terms he used to say back in the day was, “You can beat 90% of the people by working hard and being honest.” I’d write that down and I’d roll my eyes. But he’d say it over and over again. I’m like, “Yeah, I’ve been working hard and I’m honest.”
I don’t know how many hundreds of times I wrote it down. And then he flew in his G7 to Burbank to do a meeting for me. We put him up in front of some people and he started with his stuff, and he says, “I always told you, you can beat 90% of the people by working hard, being honest. I was wrong.”
So I grabbed my notepaper and I wrote, “he was wrong”. But he said, “It’s not 90. It’s 98.” It’s true because most people think that honesty is like some extra thing you do to a suit like cufflinks.
Honesty needs to be a basic part of your character and your life. You can’t drop it in like salt on eggs every now and then to spice up the flip. You gotta be honest all the time, in the small things, the big things, and the medium-sized things.
The hardworking work ethic is something that at least half of America no longer has because they don’t see the need for it.
LW: Right now you’re coaching and talking to a lot of people, but when you went to work at Universal Studios, how many people do you think worked there? Thousands?
MP: Yeah, Thousands.
LW: And, in your organization, now you have thousands right? That’s got to be mind-blowing for you. You have offices in many states, many hundred thousand dollar earners and million-dollar earners. Do you ever calculate your leadership team like that?
MP: I really don’t focus on that much. What I focus on are the ones I have in my office that I can work with on a daily basis, because once they get out of here and they’re flying around on their own, they don’t take directions anymore.
You can encourage them in a direction, but they usually don’t listen too much. When they figure out a system, rhythm, or thing to operate their business with, pretty much all others pass by the wayside. This is the only way in their mind that works even though they were raised in a different house.
So, I basically focus on just our office and the handful of people we have there.
LW: Has that always been the way you operated?
MP: When I started we were doing just buy term, invest the difference and, recruiting. It was kind of like tic-tac-toe or checkers. There’s some strategy involved and the first move is always the best, but it’s not real complicated. After you’re here a while, your brain wants to be challenged.
So you change the game to chess and you get a little bit better and you add securities in a heavier way, or loans, the series 65 license, or whatever it is to keep you occupied and keep your mind challenged.
You got to lay the foundation. In my mind, the foundation is two things. Number one is, you gotta have character and integrity.
If you have people walking in the door and you show them how to cut the corners and cheat right away in your business, I think you’re doing nothing but planting weeds in your garden for future harvest. If you just talk to them and say, we do what’s right for people. It’s not a company line. We actually do what’s right for people.
Then do the other thing that you have to do as a leader, go get wide – get a lot of people that you train directly. You need to be responsible for your width. Once you got width and you’ve laid in terms of doing things correctly, it just naturally goes off on its own.
I don’t have much of a relationship with the attorneys in this company at all, and it’s because we don’t have crooks, we just have good guys. They’re the kind of people that you could hand them your wallet and come back a day later and it wouldn’t be light. They’re just honest, good people.
LW: You have to choose these kinds of people. That means you probably had to weed out a lot of people along the way at the front.
You have a certain standard and style. Talk about that as a leader of an organization and a team, setting that kind of tone right from the front end for people to come in the front door.
MP: The first one you got to set that tone with is, you. If your number one value in your life is to maximize income, you might not set that tone correctly.
My number one value is to be proud of whatever it is we put together, so my kids could participate later and find out everything dad’s been doing and they’ll go, you know what? We’re proud of dad.Integrity is what you do when nobody else is watching. -Mical Pyeatt Click To Tweet
I think Art did a great job teaching a sales force that they need to be doing that. It certainly wasn’t part of the value ethos of the studio business. The philosophy that business has built for the employees is, let’s figure out how to get paid the most for doing the least. That’s not a great life plan.
LW: That goes all the way up the ladder to the top guys.
You were in that environment for 9 years. What would you say you learned happened to you in the nine years, other than you developed a real hatred for not being your own boss.
Did you grow at all?
MP: I worked my way up in the studios because you can’t even get in unless you know somebody.
But, once you get in and you’re there for a couple of years and you get past tests, you have a guaranteed lifestyle for the rest of your life. You’re in a union. You work 60 hours a week and sometimes if you’re on location it’s 70 or 80.
That’s where they make large money in that industry. Once you get yourself onto a production company, that’s the money game. You’d have to come in early in the morning before everybody else, get whatever your truck was or whatever the equipment was, and you had to get it out there to where ever the location is, and get it set up.
After that, you’re pretty much done until the end of the day. I got really bored doing that. So, I started buying books. I started off with some novels and then I got into stories about people’s lives, whether they were written by themselves or somebody else.
These were successful people’s biographies. It occurred to me that they were pretty much like me. Most of them were regular guys that went and tried something and they failed. But, they got up and brushed themselves off and did it again until it worked. When I came across this company, I just thought I’d try this until I tried something else. It just happened to work. I had been preparing myself for it, unbeknownst to me for a long time.
LW: You followed your natural curiosity and took advantage of your free time.
You used that to build your brain so you could come to a point down the road where you made the jump. It wasn’t as big a jump because you had read so many stories of people who had been through the same cycle.
Mical went from reading about these things to giving up lifetime union salary. That was a big jump and he has made it pay off in a big way and has helped thousands do the same in the process.