What transformations are you willing to undergo to fight for the highest possible vision for your life? Today’s guest, David Neagle, had no choice but to answer that when he had a near-death experience 30 years ago. Until that point, he was working night and day to support his family on a low-income salary, and there was no end in site to that path. After literally seeing his life flash before his eyes, David began a huge internal transformation. In under a year, he had tripled his salary. Examining how he did this without getting a raise or changing careers is what led him to study personal development, mindset, and gratitude. These years of study prepared him to be a critical architect in the personal development industry. Today, David Neagle is a New York Times Best-Selling Author, a Success and Mindset Coach, and the host of The Successful Mind podcast. David is known for helping his clients turn their annual income into their monthly income and has helped thousands experience life-changing transformations of their own. Int his episode, David shares with us what keeps his vision expanding (even after creating a multi-million dollar company), how The Science of Getting Rich changed his life, and how to make sure you are cultivating a mindset for success.
Interview with David Neagle
Transcript of EpisodeLeah Gervais: Hey visionaries, welcome to the next episode of Your Biggest Vision I’m your host, Leah. And we are so lucky and I am personally flattered to have David Neagle with us here today. He is one of the most inspiring people I know. He has helped me more than he probably realizes in my own journey through everything he’s done. And we’re going to hear a lot about that, but I’m very excited to share his wisdom with you and a lot about his story. He’s one of the biggest visionaries I’ve ever met or heard of. And so I knew when I started this podcast that he was one of the first people I wanted to have on it. Let me just read a short bio about you, David, but thanks for being here. David Neagle: My pleasure. Thanks for having me. Leah Gervais: Thank you. So David is a bestselling author, success and development coach and the host of the Successful Mind podcast. After a near death experience in 1989, David’s perspective on life, it’s value, and his own potential completely transformed. Within 12 months following the accident, David tripled his income and it hasn’t stopped there. He has since gone on to on to build a multimillion dollar business and supports people in transforming their lives all over the world. And David, you are one of the most inspiring people I know. So I found you quite a couple of years ago actually because I read and was moved by and was obsessed with the science of getting rich. I like googled everything I could about it. I still to this day listen to it once a month. It’s just changed my life. And so you know, I really got to know you and your work more when you did your podcast, but I actually found you even before it started. I don’t know if I’ve ever told you that story. So thanks for being here and thanks for doing such good work on The Science of Getting Rich David Neagle: Yeah, that book changed my life too. It was a profound moment when I came across that book. Leah Gervais: Yeah. Yeah. I think it really, you know, comes to people when it’s the right time for them too, when you can really receive it. It’s, it’s pretty life changing. I have a question for you about it here, but first I’d like to back up a little bit. So this show is about your vision and you know, acting on behalf of your vision and really realizing that no one’s going to ever fight for your vision as much as you are. And sometimes it’s even hard to do that for yourself. And so you’ve done so much in your life to follow your own vision, but it didn’t always look like this. So would you talk to us a little bit about where you looked like before you had your business and maybe even a bit about your childhood? David Neagle: Yeah, absolutely. So, you know, my childhood was, I mean, I dunno how you want to put it, dysfunctional, but I mean that’s really become very cliche today. My parents broke up when I was 13 years old. I was born and raised in Chicago, but we briefly were living in Phoenix at the time that they got divorced. I moved back to Chicago with my mom and my mother. At that point, it was like a culture shock because we moved to inner city. So, you know, I was probably about 12, 13 at the time. So my parents kind of went on a like a trip about their own life at that point in time. And I was really kind of left for my own. It was nobody giving me direction and I was making a lot of poor choices in my life. The one thing that I did know how to do his work though, I had this, I had this really good work ethic. I didn’t really like it very much at the time, but I, but I actually had this good work ethics. So that was helping me not get into much trouble. We call them side hustles today, then it was just, you know, figuring out ways to make money. You know, I would buy a car for a couple of hundred bucks. It would have like a broken alternator on it or something, I’d go get one from the junkyard turnaround, sell for 700 bucks, you know? So those were ways that we did. We did stuff then, but I hated school. Ever since I was a little kid, couldn’t stand school, didn’t do well in school, was always a D, F, maybe a C student, you know, at the best. In the classes that I liked, I got good grades, but outside of that I didn’t, so when I was 17, I just quit. I just walked out. That was the age that you could go in and sign yourself out and you didn’t have to have your parents do it. So everybody told me not to do it. I did it anyway. And then I was in the army for a little while. Came out of that. That really didn’t go anywhere either. I made the brilliant move of getting married and starting to have children. So I quickly found out that I did not have… I was creating all this responsibility and actually couldn’t afford it. It was devastating. I mean, it was just my life all of a sudden started completely falling apart financially. My car was repossessed, I could not pay for the rent in my apartment. The guy wouldn’t let us out of our lease, we had to leave in the middle of the night. We had to go into low income housing. We were on basically on food stamps. I was working every hour that I could possibly work. And we just, I mean, we were living, we were surviving, but it was no way to really live and raise kids. Then I had the accident in 1980. So what the accident did for me was it, it made, it gave me a sense of urgency to change that I didn’t have before. I was like, Oh shit. Like you could die. It really happens and it could happen to you young and it could happen to me. And I realized if I had died that day that I got sucked through that dam, I would have left nothing but problems for my wife and my children. So it was like, okay, I need to change. But now it was how do you change? Like I had no idea, right? There was no internet back then. I was going to the library and starting to read books. I didn’t know about self improvement. I didn’t know about professional development. I didn’t know anything. I didn’t even know where to start. I was working so much. I couldn’t do the obvious thing, which was go back to college. Right? Like go get an education. I didn’t have the time or the money to do it and I was struggling so bad. And I was exhausted, I was tired. I was extremely frustrated and angry and in a real peak, intense moment one night while I was working, after I got yelled at twice by my bosses, that day I just started crying. I broke down crying in the back of his trailer that I was loading food into and a little voice in my head said, change your attitude. And I thought to myself, could, could that really be the answer? I mean, I knew my attitude was bad, but I didn’t see how that would, how that would change my income. When I did it, I changed my attitude. I changed three specific things in my attitude and my income tripled in a month. And I was like, what the hell just happened? Like how is that even possible? Leah Gervais: So this was after your accident? David Neagle: Yeah. This was after the accident. Leah Gervais: This is when you had that sort of kick and you were just trying to figure it out and didn’t really know how and then you saw it this change. David Neagle: Absolutely. I saw the change and that’s what inspired me. I’m like, I have to figure out what I did because if I understand it, because I completely didn’t understand it and everybody was just telling me, you’ve got lucky. I’m like, no, maybe I got lucky, but there was something else to this. It is not a coincidence that I decided to make this attitude change and very specific things I might add. And then 30 days later, my income triples. How does that happen? I’m getting disciplined 30 days before, like they’re ready to fire me, where I’m working, you know? So, that inspired me, it sent me down a path for seven years of studying and I was basically studying me. What’s wrong with me? What did I learn? What bad habits and what bad thinking processes do I have that I need to change and how do I also, I mean, I didn’t even know what emotional intelligence was at the time. I knew that mine wasn’t good. That’s what I did know. So how do I fix that? That was a process of, of seven years of just, I mean except for my wife and my kids, everything else I got out of my life, I stopped listening to music. I stopped going to movies, watching television. All I did in my spare time was read or listened to books on tape at that time. Leah Gervais: Wow. Wow. What an amazing story. So before your accident, before you went through this journey, before you started studying, when you were living, you know, in a, in a way that is really just surviving, not really living… what would you say that you had a vision for how you thought things would get better? Or were you like, not even that, to that, to that point where you were seeing a future, you were just like trying to get through the day David Neagle: Secretly I had been feeling that I was supposed to do something big. Definitely, but I had heard so many times like, don’t be a dreamer. You know, they used to say like, my mom used to make fun of my father because he wanted to be an entrepreneur, but he didn’t really know how either. Her and my grandmother would make these jokes back and forth though he’s not a responsible man that can hold down a job for a while. You know, he’s, he’s always trying to get involved, he has pipe dreams, you know, stuff like that. I didn’t know if this feeling that I had that I could do something bigger was real right. Or even what it would be. But I knew that I was terribly unsatisfied working for someone else and I just could not see the rest of my life working for someone else. Like I couldn’t breathe. It was like the most depressing thing I could, I could think of. Even though I did work for a company that would allow me to bridge the gap while I was learning, which is why I tripled my income by the way, but it gave me the income and the time to study to get my head on straight so that I could realize that, oh, actually I’m an entrepreneur. That’s why I can’t work for anybody else. It’s not that my attitude is bad. I just feel like it. I want to be my own boss. I want to, I want to create my own life and know that I could do that. Leah Gervais: Right. I resonate with that so much. I definitely always feel like I had that voice in my head and my version of people telling me I was a pipe dream pipe dreamer, rather was more that I had been told growing up Catholic that I should be grateful for what I had. And so I was calling that voice inside my head that made me feel like I was meant for something different, greed. Or grass is always greener syndrome or you know, dissatisfaction. You’ll never be satisfied. All these things I was telling myself that we’re masking what was just something I needed to eventually listened to. And you know, it was such a relief when I did leave my nine to five job and when I did start my own business that I did feel like the grass is greener here. It’s not still, I’m not chasing it anymore. You know? It was wrong thinking anything else. And so when people listen to that or when people listen to this or when you talk to people and that sparks something in them where they’re like, you know what? I know that too. What advice would you give them for the first step they can take to really own that? Because it is scary if it means you might have to change quite a bit of your life to listen to it. David Neagle: So I think, here’s, here’s what I think. I think there’s, there’s things that we have to build it ourselves is that are foundational that allow us to do everything else well. And if we don’t build those core things, those core foundations, then it becomes difficult with everything that we do. Life itself becomes difficult. What are the biggest problems people have to, they use, they’re very insecure and they don’t have a lot of confidence or they have no idea how to change that. Like it was supposed to be instilled in us as a child. But if it’s not so now, now what do you do? Right? It really comes, the first thing is really coming down to, you have to be really honest with yourself about this question. Do you trust yourself? Like if you say you’re going to do something, are you your word? Will you actually do it? Now there has been a lot written about, you know, self trust, but I don’t think anybody has even come close to understanding how important that actually is because it is the basis of our self esteem, right? I can trust myself to do something. There’s nothing that I can’t do but start there. But then I can learn to trust other things because I know what it’s like to, to hold myself accountable, um, to doing something. So it makes a huge difference. Speaker 1: (13:08) Do you think people can, can strengthen that, solve trust by doing sort of little daily promises, like with working out or disciplining how you eat? Or do you yeah. How you think that that’s a helpful way to start? Yeah. Speaker 2: (13:20) So I tell everybody, you start where you are. Yeah. One of the interesting things about it is that it’ll, it, when you make that decision and that commitment with yourself that you’re going to be your word. Um, when you do that, you start evaluating what you say you’re going to do differently because, yeah. Okay. Now I, I can’t just spout off at the mouth that I’m going to do this because I’m gonna make the commitment to actually do it. So you start with, you starting to ask yourself, do I actually really want to do this? I think that’s one of the first things, um, because there’s a lot of things that we need to do. Like the Dr. May say, Hey, you need to lose weight, or you need to eat healthy or whatever, but you’re never going to do it unless you want to. Right. So whatever you’re going to change, you’ve got to ask yourself, do I want to? And if I don’t, but I need to, how do I get myself to want to do it? Right, right. Myself to want to do it. I’ll keep the commitment because you tell me to do it. I’m not, I’m not going to do it. Speaker 1: (14:16) Yeah. Right. This is such awesome advice and I love that idea of sort of figuring out how you can be more careful with your words and get better at it because it’s, it’s, it’s easier to do that and build up that way. Then reverse engineer and be like, Oh, I’m just going to quit my job and hopefully I figure it out. If you’ve kind of proven that to yourself in smaller ways than it, it makes the net a bit safer to jump. Although I have mixed opinions about that. I think you should jump anyway. Speaker 2: (14:40) Yeah, I think you should too. But what I read and I did, I did do that job, but also something that I recognize was that I practice that being by word for seven years before I made the job. Yeah. I made the jump prior to that. I don’t know that I would have had the discipline or really understood commitment enough to actually bring the intelligence that I do have and actually make it work for myself because I made too many excuses about my own life. Right, right. Wouldn’t show up to work, you know, oh, I’m too sick today. You know, I’m not going to work. You know that. You know that kind of those kinds of things or not doing the best that I could once I got there. Speaker 1: (15:21) Right, right, right. This is so powerful. It’s such a reminder that how you do one thing is usually how you do everything and when you’re trying to transform one part of your life, it kind of does require looking at how you’re showing up in every part of it. And I want to go back a little bit to what you said about sort of the way we’re being raised now and how we’re not being raised with sort of the confidence that we really need to step into a lot of what we’re meant to do. Um, and one of my, probably my favorite single favorite episode of yours that you’ve ever done on your podcasts. I listened to it regularly because it just hit me so clearly. Um, when you did it is about the middle middleclass or the Midwest mindset. And you know, I, I, I’m sure that that’s not everyone’s favorite topic. Let’s say like if they’re in the middle class, they might find it somewhat, you know, ruffling some feathers. But could you talk a little bit about how you think that, that, that mindset, which not everyone has, I understand that, but how do you think it’s, it’s plaguing our society and how you think that it’s, it’s speaking to this lack of trust people now having themselves? Speaker 2: (16:21) Yeah, absolutely. So, I mean, I can speak to it authentically because it was born and raised in, right, Speaker 1: (16:26) right. And I’m, I’m from Colorado, so I’m also not standing out from the outside judging. Speaker 2: (16:31) Well, yeah, there you go. So the, the thing about thing about the Midwest and then it also carries over just like middle class, just about anywhere, is that we’re literally being prepared to live a life that is based on survival. So the value systems, the ethics that were given, the ideology that we have is all about, it’s all about survival. Now, in order to do that, in order to survive the way that, that most people are being raised, they don’t understand the correlation with the idea that I need approval for that to happen. So my survivals, like if I’m working for you, if you hired me to go do a job, I need your approval. Stay in that job. You’re in control of my income. Right? Right. So if I don’t have your approval, whether you don’t like me or I’m not doing a good job, right, I’m a jerk or I’m not showing up or whatever the reason is, you can be like, David, you’re outta here.
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