Episode 144 – Brian O’Neill – Prison Break[through] to Personal Freedom

“For me, things didn’t start to change in my life until I started to think differently. Once I changed my approach as to how I think…to get me over the hump of feeling like I’m in this prison that I can’t break out of, that I’ve created this lifestyle. Once I started to change the way I think, all mental, that’s when my life started to change.” – Brian O’Neill

  • [02:08] Patrick introduces his next TEDM guest, Brian O’Neill.
  • [03:22] Brian and Patrick get down to business! Brian explains what he’s up to in business these days plus the road to, and the motivation for, his personal W2 Prison Break (aka breaking free from his corporate golden handcuffs).
  • [08:08] As an elevator salesperson for 25 years, Brian spent a lot of time on the road, and it wasn’t until an admission from his son, that he finally started taking the steps to give his dreams the light of day. Brian shares an exercise he undertook to get a sense of what those dreams were for him.
  • [10:00] Brian takes a look through his coaching lens to discern the 51 clients who get the same coaching, absorb the same information, but 1 is doing something with it, and 50 are not. Mindset, a purposeful why, and resolve to take consistent action are key.
  • [12:14] From corporate job to real estate and coaching. Brian describes the fears that showed up for him which kept him in analysis paralysis for years and the breakthrough that occurred for him to get unstuck.
  • [15:47] In addition to the intellectual fears around money, Brian also faced the emotional stories that were circling in his brain about how his wife would perceive him if he failed. Turned out his BS (belief system) stories were largely unfounded.
  • [17:24] Brought up firmly in the system of school, good job, steady paycheque, health insurance, etc., Brian naturally gravitated to the same lifestyle, until one of his mentors dropped this truth bomb: the job is the risk.
  • [21:27] Brian describes the way most of his coaching clients have entered the business of real estate investing and how they approach their vision for it. In the end, most entrepreneurs are looking for autonomy and agency over their time and lifestyle.
  • [24:22] Mindset plays such a huge role in real estate investing, and Brian shares some of the primary roadblocks he sees his coaching clients bump up against. One of the clarifying realizations is there is always opportunity in every type of market; the solution is the right strategy for the right market.
  • [28:08] Brian explains some of the creative strategies he undertakes in his business of real estate investing and the process of solving problems.
  • [31:49] US housing perspective: Brian shares what he’s seeing both in his home city of Chicago and what’s happening overall as a result of this past couple of years. There will be a lot of opportunity to help people who may now be in a thorny situation.
  • [35:34] How about interest rates, affordability, and inventory? Brian offers a viewpoint on that as well.
  • [38:45] Lessons from the Corporate! Brian acknowledges the incredible training and opportunities he experienced in the world of corporate which transferred and set him up for success in his own business. It was a mindset shift that ultimately pushed him to take the entrepreneurial leap.
  • [41:18] Brian shares the fork in the road moment that changed his life.
  • [43:10] Finding the support and outlets that allowed Brian to open up and unpack some of his own roadblocks were critical in breaking a cycle and moving him forward toward his dreams.
  • [47:02] In the coaching and self-discovery journey, it is the quality of questions that we are also willing to answer, which unlock the knowledge that dwells within us. Articulating our vision for the future is a powerful change agent but what if we also envision a future that remains unchanged? That contrast can supercharge our resolve.
  • [50:20] Regret and take-aways. Brian expresses a common regret, and with that, how he’s also been able to let it go. The learnings along the path of self-discovery have resulted in letting some relationships go but have also made space for new values-aligned relationships to come in.
  • [54:58] Brian describes the values he and his team share in business, along with the strategic wheelhouse they operate in toward their income goals, and their clients’ needs.
  • [59:16] Blazing into the rapid-ish-fire: Brian’s self-care routine; impactful personal development book; iPhone or Android; favourite inspirational quote; favourite swear word and why; message at the pearly gates; room-desk-car; favourite band; favourite movie to watch; best movie produced.
  • [65:04] Brian’s gratitude.

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