Episode 78 – Unstoppable Career Transformation Expert with Tony Pisanelli

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It is ok to step out and do something different with your life and career according to our guest on this episode, Tony Pisanelli. However, the people who are most successful at transforming their careers and lives are those who plan and then make informed decisions about where to go and what to do.
Tony tells about his Italian parents who moved while young from Italy to Australia. As he describes it, they mostly just took a leap of faith although they probably did some advanced planning. However, they did not teach Tony about what he calls “informed risk-taking”. You will hear how he figured that out and what he then did with his life.
In our episode, Tony will teach us how to make better decisions. He will give us the lessons and a plan to follow that all of us can use to make more informed decisions right from the outset of our careers. He will also describe his six concepts that go into making up an unstoppable mindset. I hope you enjoy listening to Tony as much as I did in interviewing him.
About the Guest:
Tony Pisanelli breathes new life into dying careers before they experience a major crisis.
Having spent a lifetime in commerce, Tony Pisanelli finally tore himself free from the corporate world to launch a new career helping other professionals make this difficult transition.
He is the creator of the E3 Career Transformation Method, and author of ‘The Phoenix Career Principles’ – a blueprint to finding fulfilment in a rapidly changing world by connecting careers to an inspiring purpose.
About the Host:
Michael Hingson is a New York Times best-selling author, international lecturer, and Chief Vision Officer for accessiBe. Michael, blind since birth, survived the 9/11 attacks with the help of his guide dog Roselle. This story is the subject of his best-selling book, Thunder Dog.
Michael gives over 100 presentations around the world each year speaking to influential groups such as Exxon Mobile, AT&T, Federal Express, Scripps College, Rutgers University, Children’s Hospital, and the American Red Cross just to name a few. He is Ambassador for the National Braille Literacy Campaign for the National Federation of the Blind and also serves as Ambassador for the American Humane Association’s 2012 Hero Dog Awards.
accessiBe Links
https://www.linkedin.com/company/accessibe/mycompany/ https://www.facebook.com/accessibe/
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Transcription Notes

Michael Hingson  00:00
Access Cast and accessiBe Initiative presents Unstoppable Mindset. The podcast where inclusion, diversity and the unexpected meet. Hi, I’m Michael Hingson, Chief Vision Officer for accessiBe and the author of the number one New York Times bestselling book, Thunder dog, the story of a blind man, his guide dog and the triumph of trust. Thanks for joining me on my podcast as we explore our own blinding fears of inclusion unacceptance and our resistance to change. We will discover the idea that no matter the situation, or the people we encounter, our own fears, and prejudices often are our strongest barriers to moving forward. The unstoppable mindset podcast is sponsored by accessiBe, that’s a c c e s s i  capital B e. Visit www.accessibe.com to learn how you can make your website accessible for persons with disabilities. And to help make the internet fully inclusive by the year 2025. Glad you dropped by we’re happy to meet you and to have you here with us.
Michael Hingson  01:16
Well, hi again, and welcome to unstoppable mindset. Hope you’re having a good week. And wherever you are, drive safe if you’re driving, but we hope that you enjoy our episode today. Today we are interviewing Tony Pisanelli, who is an individual who came from the corporate world. And eventually is I don’t think this is his exact terminology. But he kind of escaped from the corporate world and started his own business and he helps businesses thrive and deal with issues that they may be facing long before they become a crisis. And I’m sure that Tony is going to talk to us a lot about that. But Tony, welcome to unstoppable mindset. How are you?
Tony Pisanelli  02:05
Well, thank you, Michael. and, thank you for having me on your show. I appreciate it.
Michael Hingson  02:10
Where are you located?
Tony Pisanelli  02:12
I’m based in Melbourne, Australia.
Michael Hingson  02:15
So do you have any friends who are kangaroos? I have to ask what can I say?
Tony Pisanelli  02:21
I don’t actually i,
Michael Hingson  02:23
i they receive a kangaroo.
Tony Pisanelli  02:25
I’ve actually encountered some on a golf course a few years ago. So you don’t know whether they’re friendly or not? So yes, to keep your distance?
Michael Hingson  02:33
Yes. It’s sort of like bear as well. bears more are not friendly. But yeah, some kangaroos I understand can be and some are not friendly. So better to stay away. Exactly. Well, I appreciate you taking part of your morning because it’s afternoon here of the previous day. But I really appreciate you taking the time to be with us today. Tell us a little bit about you, maybe your early life and some of the things that kind of got you to where you are,
Tony Pisanelli  03:03
I guess I grew up to parents who came out from Italy in the late 1950s. And they came out to create better lives for themselves and their children. And so it involves them leaving behind their loved ones. So which was a really difficult decision for them. And I learned a lot from my parents in terms of the courage it takes to leave the unknown, to leave the unknown behind and step into the greater No. And both my parents really appreciated the value of a good education, something they instilled into me. Because it was something they were deprived off in their childhood, given the finances of their family didn’t allow it so it by instilling a strong education focus that led me to gaining accounting qualifications, and going to college getting tertiary qualifications. And it appeared that I had the world at my feet in terms of working for a large corporation earning a good income, working alongside professionals. Yet a few years into my career, I found myself deeply dissatisfied with my work. I found myself doing this boring routine accounting numbers work. And it was it operated on monthly cycles where the first week of the month you were collecting numbers. The second week you would organize and the third week you would analyze them and then you would report on them. And then their cycle repeated and I remember going going for walks at lunchtime, in nearby parks thinking to myself, surely I can’t do this for the next 40 years of my life, this is just going to be held. But I thought I was fortunate in working for a large organization that I had opportunities to take my skills and move into more business areas. And that sort of made my working life far more interesting. So I got to experience very early, the depth of job dissatisfied satisfaction that a lot of people go through, and that the outside world don’t necessarily understand it. There was really no one I could discuss or talk to about that it was something that I had to navigate of my own. And to the back end of my career, I saw a lot of people, I came to recognize the same element in people, you could see them come to work, bleary eyed, disengaged, disinterested, going through the motions, and then there was a select few people that had a spring in their step, kind of work focused, mission driven individuals. And so just a few who separated themselves from the crowd, and what was it about those individuals that actually made them inspired about coming to work, and I was fortunate to work alongside a young gentleman earlier in my career, who, we did the same accounting work. And here, I was just sore, it is pure, drudgery. And on the other hand, he was just deeply enthusiastic. And I turned to him one day and saying, what is it that makes you so energized, engaged by his work. And the reason was that his work was connected to a greater purpose. He had a vision 10 years out of one day, starting his own financial planning practice. And he saw his day to day work as an apprenticeship to that goal. Whereas for me, and a lot of my other work colleagues coming into work was really just simply an exchange of our time, labor to earn an income. And it doesn’t quite, you can only do that for so long. If you’re not connected to a higher purpose work can become extremely draining. I, I’m not sure I’m sure it will. I suspect you’re familiar with the concept of the great resignation, where a lot of people as a result of the pandemic left their jobs to find something else, Michael. But what a lot of people have discovered is that the great resignation became the great regret. Yes, because they didn’t plan it out. They simply move from one job to the next. Those who will be successful are those who stepped in, step out of a job, and into a job that’s connected to who they are, their unique core talent, and some sort of purpose that allows them to make a difference in the world.
Michael Hingson  08:22
You know, it’s interesting, your parents left all that they knew, and stepped out Why did what caused them to do that?
Tony Pisanelli  08:30
It was the pain of going without. So they went without an education. They didn’t get the clothes that they would have wanted. The toys that a lot of people take for granted. So that became their ignition switch, if you like to search for a better life,
Michael Hingson  08:54
did they? Did they do much planning? Or did they just take the leap one day?
Tony Pisanelli  09:00
I think that they just put themselves on a boat. And as they came, I think the only planning they did was potentially through letter writing, communicate to others who they’ve may have known friends who had ventured before them. And ask them, Well, how is it over there? And so if they got positive feedback, that would have reinforced their decision. Obviously, you can leave Italy and come to Australia, if you find that it doesn’t work, you can always return.
Michael Hingson  09:35
Sure. But still, you want it to work. But as you learned, spending more time and being very deliberate about trying to plan or create a vision adds a lot of value to
Tony Pisanelli  09:50
the process. Exactly. And their vision was to have their family in Australia and give them a greater opportunity than they had themselves.
Michael Hingson  10:00
See, the only thing they didn’t do initially was to maybe think a little bit more about how to do that. But they were able to make it happen. And ultimately, that’s what matters. Unfortunately, what they didn’t I gather do was to really teach you a lot about that. So you went into the workforce, and didn’t yet have that spirit or that plan or that idea of how to create that vision.
Tony Pisanelli  10:23
That’s true. I mean, to the best of their knowledge, it was about getting a job earning a good salary. And you’d be set they didn’t take into account well, hold on, your career needs to be connected to some higher purpose.
Michael Hingson  10:40
Well, so you worked in the corporate world, and then recognized, especially when your your colleague told you what his plan was, that had to turn on a light for you.
Tony Pisanelli  10:56
Exactly. I had other experiences in the corporate world where, you know, I worked on major initiatives for the company, and then in early 2000, was called into my manager’s office. And it was basically put to me whether I would be interested in taking a payout and losing my job. And it came as a complete shock to me to find, here I was one minute was in high demand, because the company needed me to deliver a major project. And once that was delivered, they could easily dispose of you and they wouldn’t think twice about how that would impact me as a person and my prevailing life circumstances, Michael. So it was a reality check to say, okay, the company you work for, is really not devoted to you and your career.
Michael Hingson  11:52
Yeah. I know, my first job that we talked about, well, the first job was with the National Federation of the Blind, but then I worked for the company in Massachusetts, that was purchased by Xerox. And I didn’t know at the time, they really didn’t care about my career, I had some suspicions near the end, that they were not going to want to keep me around or other salespeople who are already leaving. So the one thing I did do was, took some courses to learn how to plan to explore job searches and the things that people were looking for, and so on. And some of that I used and some of that I didn’t. And then of course, sure enough, I received a letter one day late in June of 1984, saying no longer interested in having you work for us. What I learned much later was that Xerox had bought, the company wasn’t interested in any of the people, but rather, the technology that they were purchasing. Some people were kept for a while because they were in the blindness part of the company. The product that I sold when I had to go into sales was the more commercial version. And what Xerox wanted was just that technology and not the salespeople. Now, I’ve come to believe that it’s never a wise decision just to get rid of Salesforce that has a lot of tribal knowledge that you don’t. And you think that Well, I don’t need it because we’re bigger, and we know all the stuff. And that’s what corporations often do, which is such a horrible mistake.
Tony Pisanelli  13:34
It is so and that was something I saw in my corporate journey, the company, let go of people who had deep knowledge and wide knowledge. And it wasn’t until a few months after they left, I came to realize the wheels have started to fall off certain processes and systems and delivery mechanism said hold on, we actually do need people with deep knowledge.
Michael Hingson  14:00
Yeah, it’s a rude awakening for somebody who doesn’t see it coming.
Tony Pisanelli  14:04
It is it’s a rude awakening. But it’s also it became the opportunity for me to say, Okay, I need to take control of my destiny. And like that gentleman said, Okay, well, what am I passionate about? And for me, it was, I really was immersed in the personal development world, and took an interest to coaching and human behavior. And to the back end of my corporate career, I started spontaneously, if you like Michael, just coaching the younger generation, in terms of their growth and development, and also alerting them to the realities of corporate life. And this sort of became the clue I needed to understand what it was that I would do after my corporate career would be coaching mentoring people in terms of their navigating their career journeys, both from a dissatisfaction perspective. Given also securing it beyond one employer to rely on one employment employment situation can be a bit tricky in today’s world where we’re experiencing rapid development and growth.
Michael Hingson  15:15
What was in you? Do you think that helped you take the leap of recognizing that you don’t use your lack of excitement about a job as just an excuse, and you just kind of go on, but rather, I can go on and teach I can do other things. What, what do you think is the the thing within you that allowed for that to happen?
Tony Pisanelli  15:42
It was, it was really interesting. When I was in the corporate world, Michael, I became a keen observer of people and how they went about managing their career. By virtue, I suspect because of my own initial experience of deep dissatisfaction. And I remember a story of a gentleman who kept a counter on his desk. And each day each day after he finished work for the day, and he wrapped up his briefcase, it clicked over the counter, and he was counting down to the days towards his retirement. So in other words, instead of making these days counts, he was virtually wasting them. And he was a sad and forlorn figure. He brought misery if you like, wherever he went, because he complained. And so that became a really important catalyst for me to say, Do I want to stay here for the entire for my entire working life, becoming that person who based his his life? Or can I use my corporate career as a springboard for something else?
Michael Hingson  17:04
There is something to be said for today is the first day of the rest of your life.
Tony Pisanelli  17:10
There is and your career question is deeply connected to your life, your life journey. So in the early phase of your career is how do I get a job? How do I advance my career to a shift occurs typically at the mid age point in the 40s? Where, how can I be of service and contribution in the world? Can you relate to that? Michael?
Michael Hingson  17:41
I can. It’s interesting that when I was in college, I wanted to graduate, go on and get advanced degrees and teach. I liked teaching. I worked at the campus radio station, I like doing a radio show, I like communicating with people. And I consider that certainly some of the qualifications that a good teacher needed to have. But then my first job came along. And it was working with Ray Kurzweil, the inventor of the Kurzweil Reading Machine, and a number of other things and the National Federation of the Blind, to further this concept of making a piece of technology that would read printed pages outlined for blind people. And what I, although I didn’t know how to verbalize it, or maybe didn’t even realize it was, what a great purpose in being involved in creating an exciting piece of technology and helping so many people. I was fortunate that I had that opportunity. But as I think about it, and began that job, as I think about it now, I got to teach because one of the things I had to do early on was write a training manual for the machine. And it very much warped my view of what technical manuals and training manuals should be about, which is not nearly what technical writers do today. I think that that material needs to be a little bit more interesting to read to draw people in. And you have to approach it at their level, not your level, because otherwise they won’t truly understand it. But I got to teach, I got to observe people, I got to do a lot of those kinds of things. And then later when I needed to go into sales. I realized that good sales people are guiders are counselors. They’re teachers, that you don’t just sit there and say buy my product. It’s all about not only assessing what a person’s needs are, but it’s also about helping them understand and maybe even coalesce more what they believe their needs need to be and then deciding whether what you have worked with him or not. So I still got to teach and I still get to teach today. And of course that’s a lot of what this podcast is about helping people realize you can be more unstoppable than you think You can,
Tony Pisanelli  20:01
exactly the other catalysts for me was, and a lot of people experienced this when they work for large organizations is, you’re a long way removed from the end customer in terms of the service the company provides. So you don’t ever, ever get to see the difference you’re making in people’s lives. So you can’t sort of speak to him at the end of the day and saying, How is this service or product working for you, because you’re in some sort of Tower, producing reports or whatever it is you’re working on. There’s never a recognition that you’re making a difference in someone else’s world.
Michael Hingson  20:43
Well also recognize, though, that there are any number of people who truly are satisfied with that kind of a role.
Tony Pisanelli  20:51
Well, there is, I’m not having a go at these corporations, right? They serve. And they obviously need to provide what they do. But for someone like me, and from what you’re telling me through your story, you reach a point where you say to yourself, I’m done. Okay, and I was done. Yeah, the question is, are you can stay there and burn and rot? Or are you going to grow to the next journey?
Michael Hingson  21:23
That’s the issue, when, as I said, there are any number of people who like sort of doing things by rote, and that is perfectly okay. Because we’re all different. There are people who like doing the same accounting tasks and so on, and don’t want to explore alternatives, or looking higher, should they? That’s their choice. And far be it from me today, that their choice is wrong, because every one is different, which is what you’re saying. But it is also true that for me and for you, we like to look in different directions, and find that thing that really satisfies us. You know, one of my favorite science fiction stories is an Isaac Asimov story, in which everyone as they were growing up, at some point, took a test. And that test, analyzed your brain and basically told you what you were going to go into as a career. And then you were programmed to, to do that over the next several years. And then you took a test that validated that and showed that you are ready to go into that career, whether it was a technician or whatever. And there was this one young man who took the test initially. And the people doing it, it was all part of the government looked at his test and didn’t say anything to him. And he went on and they said, We think you probably would do well in engineering, but he went on, and he continued to do stuff, and started feeling crazy. He said, I just don’t like this. I don’t I need more. And eventually, he kind of ran away and he got hunted down. And these are the people who found him said, what’s the deal? And he said, I just don’t think that that is for me. I, I don’t think that I should be doing that job. I think that I need to be more creative. And you guys don’t want me to do that. And they said, No, you don’t understand. We saw that in you. And we needed you to grow and get to the point where you could recognize you’re one of the few people who doesn’t be a technician or doesn’t just do a job, you’re the creator who figures out the next thing that we need to do and so on. It’s a great story.
Tony Pisanelli  23:54
It is and that’s you make a perfect distinction. If you’re comfortable, and you enjoy doing that basic routine job. And that fulfills you, then you belong there. But if you’re someone that you outgrow that, or it’s not you, then then you’re hurting yourself significantly. By staying in that environment and not searching for the next your next journey.
Michael Hingson  24:23
You but you then have to develop the courage, really to do what your parents did. And that is to step out and what you did, which is to step out and be willing to take that risk. And not everyone is a risk taker and that’s probably a lot of what it’s all about.
Tony Pisanelli  24:41
Well, it was interesting because the later phase of my career, Michael, I specialized in risk management. Yes, that helped me enormously because in life and businesses you need to take risks. So there’s no formed risk taking, and then there’s just risk taking. Right? So I knew I was taking a risk by leaving. However, I understood what those risks were. And I developed a mechanism to manage those risks, which has become the mechanism I use for others who is equally looking to make that step. Yeah, really is you you’re not, you’re not going to potentially generate a consistent income in the first few years. Right? How do you manage that risk? One way is you build a financial reserve for yourself, to see you through that. Another way is you could develop a service or product and take it to that minimum viable product level. So you can start developing cash flow, rather than perfecting it for years, and never putting it out in the marketplace.
Michael Hingson  25:54
Another way is exactly what your colleague did. He knew what he wanted to do. And he knew that he would be doing taking a risk to do it. But he was willing to stay with the company until he had what he felt was necessary to leap off and start his own financial planning business.
Tony Pisanelli  26:16
Exactly. He had clarity as to who he was going to serve. And the problem he was going to solve for them. I’m sure you’ve attended a number of networking events, and you hear people communicating what it is they’re doing, and they’re trying to be everything to everyone. And you end up being nothing to nobody. Right? So and I get people to specifically hone in, what is the problem you solve? Who specifically do solve it for? How do you reach them? And that gives them the clarity that then to say, Okay, I’m actually stepping into a more certain world than where I actually don’t know what I’m going to be doing.
Michael Hingson  26:59
So how long ago was it that you left corporate world as it were, and started your own company and became an entrepreneur,
Tony Pisanelli  27:08
I left in 2015. But I began the journey while I was still there. I’m a big believer, I’d, I’d watched a few savvy entrepreneurial corporate professionals who had started to develop side hustlers, Michael. And they were building their next career on the side, while still employed by the company, either because they had become dissatisfied, or they knew was only a matter of time where they be tapped on the shoulder.
Michael Hingson  27:38
Right? So did you start that side operation while you worked for a company? Or did you wait to you leave you left, but at the same time, you obviously knew when you were going to leave?
Tony Pisanelli  27:52
I started putting the building blocks together, Michael, so I was acquiring the qualifications in terms of coaching, I had also joined a entrepreneurial group, to understand how those people, the mindset of those people, because I knew I needed to think differently as an entrepreneur, than when I was employed by a company.
Michael Hingson  28:18
What do you believe an entrepreneur is? How would you define it?
Tony Pisanelli  28:23
An entrepreneur, I go, there’s a definition of it. And I cover it in my book is someone who takes resources out of lower value activities into higher. So if you’re in a basic job, performing a set of tasks, it has a certain value. If you’re an entrepreneur, you’re not doing tasks so much, is actually creating the future, or building new levels of wealth. So in the company, I got to see in the later phases, where they were shifting their employee profile, if you like Michael, where they were shedding the employee types who were holding on to the old, doing their daily tasks, to the entrepreneurs, from other companies, who were dismantling the status quo and creating whether the future was going in terms of technology. So I see the entrepreneur as someone who’s disrupting, dismantling a ailing culture and creating the next is so do
Michael Hingson  29:36
you. Yeah. I think so. Do you think that a lot of people or a number of people at upper echelons of larger companies still maintain an entrepreneurial spirit or does it shift to something else?
Tony Pisanelli  29:52
I think companies who have people, the more senior levels, more entrepreneurial When they were, say 1520 years ago, you’d remember the story of Kodak. So they were in the photography, film business. So they fought the business they were really in, was in the memory business. Okay? Correct. And they didn’t shift their thinking to understand their business from the customer’s perspective they held on to the thinking from, we need to preserve the photographic film business, and not go down the digital world. And eventually, they demise. And that’s because they applied an employee mindset to the business where they are holding on to the current world, rather than stepping into the new world, just as my parents could have easily held on to their old Italian world, rather than stepped into the new. It’s interesting, a lot of Italians who moved from Italy, to Australia, or Italy to America, brought their world to Australia, and America. And you’ll see a lot of restaurants and shops with that culture represented. Does that make sense?
Michael Hingson  31:16
It does. Well look at companies like, Well, what was Disneyland and the the organization that Walt Disney created, he clearly understood that what he was doing, was connecting with people. And he built the company. Along those lines, it was a great vision. And he was a kid at heart to a degree too. But he built a company that connected to and created memories and gave people what they wanted, which was escape and so on. But he saw that and was able to make the company successful because of it. I think now, I don’t know whether I would say it’s exactly the same or not. But clearly what Walt Disney created was a quite a monumental achievement, and definitely represented the entrepreneurial spirit.
Tony Pisanelli  32:16
I mean, you hit the nail on the head. If Walt Disney had an employee spirit, rather than an entrepreneurial spirit, he would have simply been satisfied with creating a set of cartoon characters Michael, Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse have left it at that. Agreed. Where is he and he understood he wasn’t in the cartoon business. He was in the entertainment storytelling world. And so
Michael Hingson  32:47
those cartoons led to movies like Snow White, Cinderella, and other very innovative things. And then he said, Let’s even connect with people in other ways and create a Disneyland that opened in 1955.
Tony Pisanelli  33:05
Exactly. So entrepreneur, he a Walt Disney is an example of applying the principle of transmedia, or creating an echo system. So he took his cartoon characters, and the next product became toys around those characters, Michael, right. So can you see how he’s then evolved from that to something else. And then he created films, he created a film a theme park, that’s the entrepreneur continually evolving from a base level, to something greater to something greater to something else, and creating
Michael Hingson  33:41
the films and the other things that he did. He also created and understood the need and value of creating the teams that could truly all work together to create that vision. And everything from the music in the movie to the artistic part of it to the dialogue and finding the right people. And then of course, all the other things that went into the theme park as well. But he understood very much also the value of teamwork and people sharing his vision and communicating that vision so they could understand it.
Tony Pisanelli  34:20
Exactly. I’m a firm believer that there’s a level of entrepreneurial spark in everyone. Now, I even just going back to my parents, it wasn’t just purely the fact that they stepped away from the country of birth and come into somewhere else. When they came to Australia, they eventually bought their own property, Michael, and one of the challenges they faced was making the home repayments and feeding a young family so they owned a large house house with four bedrooms in it. And they partition the house so that the family utilized two bedrooms. And the other two bedrooms were rented out to other Italian immigrants that were coming out to Australia at the time. And they were earning an income from that. So can you see that requires a level of entrepreneurial thinking to say, okay, how can I take these rooms and create an income stream for themselves, and to help others who are migrating to Australia?
Michael Hingson  35:36
And that, I don’t know what the time whether it did or not, but certainly affected somewhere along the line, you’re thinking and helping to enhance your understanding of getting this whole concept of a mindset of entrepreneurship or unstop. ability?
Tony Pisanelli  35:55
Exactly. If to humble Italian people who had a limited education had that level of entrepreneurialism about them. I believe it’s in most people, I remember speaking to a cleaner, who went round houses, cleaning them. And then he would compile a list of 20 customers he cleaned houses for. And then he would sell that business with the 20 clients to the next cleaner who came along, Michael, can you see even a cleaner, who’s not highly rigger with all due respect to cleaner, we’re not highly regarded by most people can think entrepreneurial.
Michael Hingson  36:41
And he also became somewhat of a franchisor. Exactly. And I’m sure that he was very much involved in either not selling to someone who he felt would lower the standards, or he taught them what they needed to have and do in order to take the business and run with it.
Tony Pisanelli  37:00
Yeah, and he was very big on at the heart of running as successful businesses, look after the customer. And then the rest will will, will look after itself. So I thought, Michael, that we look at this unstoppable mindset from an entrepreneurial perspective.
Michael Hingson  37:22
And I was actually just going to ask you about that. But but let’s do that. Let’s do that. So first of all, do you think an unstoppable mindset is different than an entrepreneurial mindset?
Tony Pisanelli  37:35
There’s a lot of correlation. If you look at the story of Steve Jobs, for example, Michael, there’s certain points in his career where he would come up with an idea to create something designed something new, he would go to his engineering people. And they would say, No, you can’t do that. It’s not possible technology doesn’t allow it. Did Michael? Michael? Did Steve allow their limited mindset? Can’t do that mindset stop his vision of what he wanted to do. No, it’s personal. He turned back and said, find a way of doing it. He has. Okay, that’s the entrepreneurial mindset. Hopefully those engineers and those systems people worked out that he was actually attempting to program them to think entrepreneurial in that moment.
Michael Hingson  38:32
I wonder how successful he was, of course, we don’t know much about what happened in in internal meetings. So um, but I wonder how successful he was? Maybe a better way to put it is he created a number of new technologies. And since he is left us, how has apple evolved into more innovations?
Tony Pisanelli  38:58
Exact I would suspect even though he’s left, he’s left an imprint, not only in terms of the products that are available in the marketplace, but the way different people think about their working life. I have an element of the entrepreneurial mindset is that you need to be true to who you are. If you looked at Steve Jobs. He spoke the way he would speak as a person, not as a corporate individual with a corporate voice. He dressed as Steve Jobs, not in a suit and tie and whatever he was being that being true to himself.
Michael Hingson  39:42
Right. And he wasn’t ashamed of that either.
Tony Pisanelli  39:45
No, he loved telling stories. And that’s another great way of connecting with people. He also as an entrepreneur, had a love of calligraphy. So he drew on other things. yields to come back to his main area of development of technology and design, simple design. So that’s another element of entrepreneurial isms of drawing ideas from other fields to add value to your field. But to your question of being unstoppable, I would say, Steve, it was about not allowing naysayers convincing him that it can’t be done. And I think we’re seeing that same quality today in someone like Elon Musk.
Michael Hingson  40:34
Oh, I think absolutely. So now, if you would only make an accessible vehicle, so my wife could drive it, we’d be in great shape. But that’s another story.
Tony Pisanelli  40:45
So yeah, I think there are a strong correlation back to your question between an unstoppable mindset and entrepreneur. However, they’re also elements of an unstoppable mindset that can serve you in different aspects of your life, whether that’s as a leader or as a parent. But I think the traits and I’ve looked at a couple of key traits, because I’m a keen student of studying the leaders, and the entrepreneurs, and their habits, and how they can be developed in each of us to be successful in terms of our next career path. And I think, if I had to single down an unstoppable mindset, there’s about seven key areas that I think it comes down to or boils down to. And I’m happy to share those with your audience, please. Okay. I think, just by the word unstoppable, Michael, I think the first area is persistence. I came across a story in one of the Polian Hills early, earlier books on the laws of success. And he shared a story of a young man who applied for a job as a salesman. With your sales background, you’ll, you’ll appreciate the story of Michael Vick and his prospective employer was reluctant to employ him because this young man didn’t come across as confident and strong that he would last in the sales field. Because in the sales field, as you know, you’ve cop a lot of rejections. True. Sure. And you need to be able to handle those and bounce back. So anyway, he fought the prospective employer for well, I’ve got nothing to lose, I’ll give this young man a job. So the role of this young man was to sell advertising space back then in just your local magazine, journals, to the storekeepers in the area. So involved going knocking on their doors and selling advertising space. So in the first day of his job, he managed to sell three advertising spots. And then for the remainder of the month, he sold another eight. To get his bonus, he needed to sell 12. So he missed out by one. So he made it his priority in the following month, to make sure he sold to that one gentleman that one store owner that he never sold to. And he would turn up as of his door each morning when the store owner arrived, asking for the sale. And for the bulk of the month. The store owner said I’m not interested and explained his objection. And then it got to the last day of the month, and the young man was there again. And the owner turned to the young man and said, Have you got to buy now that I’m not interested, you have wasted a whole month of your time trying to sell me something that I don’t want or not interested in. To which the young man turned around to the store owner and said, I haven’t wasted my tail time. I have got to learn all the objections that someone can throw at me develop a response that will melt make me a better salesman in the future. To which the store owner said, Young man, you have just taught me a valuable lesson in persistence. I will buy your advertise.
Michael Hingson  44:17
I I once heard a story sort of in a sense, the opposite of that. But just as valuable in the sales world of someone who was selling to the government and specifically to a particular person in an office and I don’t remember what it was but he we were talking about sales philosophies one day and he went in to this office after making some presentations and been there a number of times and he said okay, and now I’ve explained what I what I can to you and we’ve gone through all of this. I would like you to order our product and And he didn’t say another word. And the person across the desk from him, didn’t say another word. And this went on for about 15 minutes. And then the customer said, All right, you convinced me, most people would come in here and they’d ask for the order, and then they keep talking and not shut up. And you clearly understand the value of once you ask for the order, you’ve got to wait for a response. And he ordered.
Tony Pisanelli  45:30
Silence is very powerful, isn’t it? Why isn’t it though.
Michael Hingson  45:34
And it wasn’t that this guy was becoming uncomfortable, because they were both solid silent. He was waiting to see if the sales guy was going to cave in because he understood the value of it. And the sales guy didn’t cave in. Again, another lesson, you ask for the order. And then once you’ve asked for the order, you’ve done what you can do until, and of course, there is truth to the fact that a lot of times selling really begins once you have an objection. But the sales men that you’re talking about, took the opportunity to really learn. And that’s what it’s all about.
Tony Pisanelli  46:11
Exactly. So that’s a powerful lesson in persistence is part of the unstoppable mindset. The second element of an unstoppable mindset is going the extra mile. There’s a story I read about Abraham Lincoln, Abraham, because of his family circumstances, grew up not getting the formal education that he wanted. So Michael, that meant he had to resort to his own resources. And he started reading books, to educate himself. And one day, in the district he grew up in, he found out that there was a farmer who owned a book that Abraham wanted to read. So and he knew he couldn’t afford the book. So he went, walked to the farmers property and said, Can I have this book, and Abraham couldn’t afford to pay for the book. So he agreed to work on this gentleman’s property for a number of days in exchange for the book. And he walked miles to get there and back home. And by the time he got home, he’d already read the book. But so that’s another example of an unstoppable mindset about going the extra mile and paying the price in order to get what you want, and being willing to pay the price. Exactly. Again, an attribute that you equally applies in terms of an entrepreneurial mindset. The third element of an unstoppable mindset is a person’s attitude to failure. There’s a lady called Sara Blakely, who is a famous American businesswoman who started the company called Spanx. And it’s a hosiery company. And she got turned down. When she presented this idea to company representatives. She could have allowed that to stop her. But it became the catalyst for her to spur her own business. And her attitude to failure. She acknowledges was growing up with a father who around the dinner table each night would ask her and her brother what they did each day, that was a failure, what they learned from it. So the unstoppable mindset sees failure, as an experiment as an opportunity to learn rather than something that stops you in your tracks. So that’s the attitude. Another unstoppable mindset. The fourth one is, people with an unstoppable mindset, are prepared to ask, ask for help when they get stuck. I came across a story of one day, a man with no legs, met a blind man. And the man with no legs said to the blind man, would you mind if I hop onto your shoulders and I will be your eyesight and you can be my legs. That way. We can both support each other’s journey. And that’s really a key secret in life is that we’re all country we all have strengths and weaknesses, but we can still all contribute to one another in terms of our own journey.
Michael Hingson  50:00
It makes perfect sense, of course. Okay, did you want to I mean, we all we all have gifts. And I think if we look at it in terms of the entrepreneurial world, if our company is going to involve other people, we need to understand the gifts of the people around us. And sometimes reshape our thinking to take into account those gifts, or figure out how to bring those gifts into what we’re doing. And the either way, is important to address. But we all have gifts. And we don’t need to all have the same gifts, in fact, in an accompany environment, is probably best if we don’t all have the same gifts.
Tony Pisanelli  50:53
Exactly. It’s actually a setback. If you do. You don’t have the diversity. There’s two ways you can spell disability, Michael, you can spell it D is ability, or you can spell it T H is ability. Again, it’s the way you frame your mindset isn’t really, absolutely. Okay, so that was asking for help. The next one is, and I see that with this see this quality in a lot of unstoppable people is they are highly focused individuals, they’re focused on one key goal, which then they break down into small chunks. I’ve recently written a book. So the one big goal was writing the book, but you chunk that down. So you don’t let anything stop you. And you break it down into a daily writing routine, that then eventually becomes a chapter. You can also then delegate some of the activities to others in terms of someone to edit the book, someone else to design a cover someone else to work on the layout of the book, someone else to to help you promote it. So then work teamwork, or so that’s number five. The sixth element I’ve looked at for the unstoppable mindset is a person’s beliefs. Henry Ford said, If you think you can, or you can’t, either way you will be right. And it really comes down to your beliefs. I another interesting theme around beliefs is when I speak to a lot of people, they tell me that typically in their lives, they’ve had one group of people who believed in them, even to the extent that they believed in them more than they believe in themselves. And then they had one or other people who didn’t believe in them. Does that make sense? So you got the two opposing forces, right. And I had that experience when I was contemplating getting a tertiary qualification telling one of my friends, I’ve been accepted, to go to college. And he turned around in that moment and said, You’re going to college, you’re not going to last a month. Clearly, he didn’t believe in me. So there’s two ways you can go with that dynamic. So the way I see it, the people who believe in you give you have the competence to keep going. Even when you feel like stopping the people who don’t believe in you, give you the determination to keep going when you’re thinking about stopping.
Michael Hingson  53:52
And again, it helps if your vision and your your conviction is strong enough. I talked to somebody earlier today who will be a guest on an upcoming episode. And she talked about when she was in high school. She really wasn’t a very good student. She was just a young woman and wasn’t hadn’t found herself. She wanted to go to college. And she went to her guidance counselor near the end of school and she was all excited because she wanted to go and she wanted advice from this counselor. And the counselor said, Oh, I’m not gonna waste my time with you. You’re just going to start having babies and have a bunch of babies over the next few years. You’re not going to do anything and be successful in college. And the woman said, but I want to go to college. Well, I’m not going to waste my time. You’re not going to do that. You’re just gonna have babies. So I’m done with you. And literally ushered her to the door and she went out after which time she went to college and she now has a dog doctorate degree, and her own career got married later. But she did have the conviction. And she would not be talked out of it. And unfortunately, sometimes people think that when somebody who they believe is more knowledgeable than you say something you buy into it rather than sticking to your convictions to but it’s the same thing. And going back to what you said about Henry Ford, another version of that is the next time you come to a fork in the road. Take it.
Tony Pisanelli  55:33
Yeah. So this lady, you’re talking about what was her great aspiration, Michael,
Michael Hingson  55:41
she wanted to become well, actually, she wanted to become an Egyptologist. And she eventually did some of that, but now has her CIDOC, her doctorate degree in, in psychology and, and she has her own coaching career. She did do Egyptology and studied African Studies, and so on, and worked with African Studies for a while. And that evolved into what she’s doing today. And I say that because she never was unhappy with Egyptology and so on. It’s been an interest of hers, but that has evolved into what she’s doing today, which is helping women.
Tony Pisanelli  56:18
Exactly. So she’s working at something that serves a higher purpose. Correct. And so that’s the number seven, quality of an unstoppable mindset is what’s either called a chief aim, a burning desire, an inspirational purpose, call it what you like. But there is something driving these individuals, just as we spoke about Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, they’re driven by a bigger picture, a higher purpose. And there was a Indian wise man by the name of Panther jolly. And he said, When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts, break their bonds, your mind transcends limitations. Your conscious expands in every direction. And you find yourself in a great, new, wonderful world. And I see that people who have left employment land behind and to become entrepreneurs, have expanded who they are as individuals, and step into more wonderful worlds, and to look back on your life, and to have missed that, I would call that a real life of regret. And that’s what inspires me to help people take that step. Is this greater purpose beyond an income beyond my own sort of power and status, but it’s to help people step into that greater purpose?
Michael Hingson  58:06
Do you think that an A person with what we’re defining as an unstoppable mindset needs to be an entrepreneur?
Tony Pisanelli  58:15
No, I don’t. They can express that in other ways. They can be a leader. They can be a leader in a company, they can be a parent who has an unstoppable mindset in terms of doing what they do, and bringing up a quality family, giving someone a quality family, right. So the unstoppable mindset has application beyond just the entrepreneur.
Michael Hingson  58:44
Take it the other way. Do you think that an entrepreneur has to have an unstoppable mindset?
Tony Pisanelli  58:52
I do believe they need to have an element of an unstoppable mindset.
Tony Pisanelli  58:56
I agree.
Tony Pisanelli  58:57
They’re ushering in a new world, they will always come across come up against those folk who want to hold on to the safe, secure world of today. If they allow those people and their reasons and excuses and rationale to stop them, then they’re not going to achieve the New World. And Michael, when I was back in corporate life, that became one of the reasons a lot of people lost their jobs. It wasn’t because they weren’t good at what they did. Or because the company didn’t need them. They became stoppers in terms of the where the company needed to go. Does that make sense?
Michael Hingson  59:43
Yeah, it does. And they weren’t able to take that next step, and stick to perhaps what their convictions were. And so they prevented progress. They can prevented the change in the world that they could bring about or help bring about
Tony Pisanelli  1:00:00
exactly because of their own insecurity. So, hence, the importance of an entrepreneurial mindset and having an unstoppable mindset full stop.
Michael Hingson  1:00:12
So entrepreneurs, I’ll be it with unstoppable mindsets, do sometimes have challenges, and maybe they fail at what they do. I would assume that you’ve had experiences like that, how do you bounce back from big failures?
Tony Pisanelli  1:00:29
Well, again, goes back to how do you define failure? I mean, do you allow that to stop you? Or do you say, I need to do something different? And then refine yourself? So if I look back in terms of a failure in terms of my coaching practice, I would say one area that I failed quite early was I allowed my lack of understanding around technology to slow me down. Now, do I then say to myself in that moment? Well, technology is just going to become more and more invasive. In the world? Do I just throw the coaching business away? Because I’m never going to be able to deal with it? Or do I say to myself, I need to slowly get my head around it. Or I need to potentially delegate the elements that I don’t understand to others. And thirdly, in appreciate the value of technology in terms of automating parts of my business, that actually frees up my time, you can automate a lot of functions in the business through the use of technology that frees up a person’s time. So it depends how you look at that I could have used technology as a big excuse to stop my business, or to say, how do I work around that?
Michael Hingson  1:02:06
Exactly the real point, it’s not an excuse, it’s a it’s a learning experience, and what people call failures ought to be the best learning experiences that we can imagine. Because a failure is nothing but an opportunity to move beyond it, and learn from it. Because there’s always a reason that you quote, fail, what you’re really doing is you haven’t found yet all you need to fully succeed, it doesn’t mean that your vision is bad, or that there is a real problem. But there are always lessons to be learned. And good people, entrepreneurs, and people with unstoppable mindsets, do like to learn or should try to do their best to learn.
Tony Pisanelli  1:02:55
Exactly. I mean, and that’s another point around the unstoppable mindset, Michael, is, and I’m keen to get your perspective of it is the importance of observing your own mindset. Right, each time you hit an obstacle, what’s your mind doing? Is it shrinking and moving away from that obstacle and allowing yourself to be stopped? Or are you trying to develop an alternative and see another solution and grow, grow beyond it. But that moment, involves you looking at yourself and your reaction to that situation?
Michael Hingson  1:03:37
And one of the things that I love to recommend to people is that at the end of every day, take a few moments to look at what happened that day, even what you regard as successes. And think about what could I have done different to make it better? Or when you have a failure? What is it that I can learn from that so that that won’t happen again? And if we don’t take that time to ponder and think and as a result, learn and grow, then we never will.
Tony Pisanelli  1:04:10
Exactly. And can I just add one more component to that is if I allow that moment of failure to stop my journey. Then not only have I failed, but I have failed the people who I meant to serve in the future. Right? Okay, you’ve created a podcast. And it’s an opportunity for you to allow others to share their message with the world. Had you allowed a whole host of excuses, Michael to stop you, or a moment of failure to bring an end to what your journey was about this opportunity that you’ve given me, today would not have happened.
Michael Hingson  1:05:06
Oh, look, and I can come up with all sorts of excuses. There is a lot of technology that would allow me to do more editing of this podcast and the sound improvement, and a lot of other stuff that is totally inaccessible or extremely inaccessible. Should that be an excuse for me? No. Either I get someone else to do it. And I have done some of that. Or even for me more fun and more creative. I have gone to the people who develop the technology, and we have begun a dialogue, and I was the first one to approach them, but I’ve helped improve even more their thoughts of doing it. We are now discussing how to make the products accessible and usable. And that’s what really needs to be done, of course, and we’re having, we’re gonna have a lot of fun, dude.
Tony Pisanelli  1:06:00
Perfect. And in that little story in that little snippet, Michael, you exhibited both the unstoppable mindset and the entrepreneurial mindset,
Michael Hingson  1:06:10
right? Tell me about your book, you refer to it. And we’ve been talking for a while, and I’m sure people want to know. So Inquiring minds want to know about your book.
Tony Pisanelli  1:06:20
Okay, so the book is called the Phoenix career principles. And the big idea about the book is moving someone from this employee mindset into an entrepreneurial way of thinking. And I have organized the book that lays the ground, the builds a bridge that helps them cross over that path. So an employee, typically Michael, is immersed in their day to day. And I’m saying, as an entrepreneur, start having a purpose and a vision that encapsulates your life and the life of others, not just about earning an income for yourself. And that helping to create that is having a longer term plan that helps you to stand in the future, like that young gentleman, and start seeing it. The next element of transition from employee to entrepreneur is about a person’s attitude to change. Change isn’t something to be feared, resistant. It’s actually to be embraced, and actually turned into an opportunity. The other element, and we spoke about this earlier is if you find yourself hitting the dissatisfaction brick wall, recognize that that’s a sign from inside you, your heart, your spirit color, what you like, but you’re not meant to be here, you’re meant to be something else greater this waiting for you. And don’t just blindly step into that something else. But transition towards it, by developing a picture of what that needs to look like, by understanding who you are, you mentioned that that lady, you need to find yourself first, to understand what your strengths are, and what it is you really are here to do. And then the fifth element, I talk about the entrepreneurial mindset, and I share this story of Jeff, in that chapter. So Jeff, one day, he worked at a large company, I think it was in the finance field. And he said to his boss, are thinking of starting an online company. And the boss turned around to Jeff and said, Don’t be silly. That’s for people who don’t already have a job. You’ve got a great job. Jeff wasn’t prepared to be stopped. And Jeff, developed a company called Amazon Amazon. Yes,
Michael Hingson  1:09:17
I knew you were going there.
Tony Pisanelli  1:09:20
And lo and behold, if you want to buy that book, it’s now available on Jeff’s platform called Amazon. So can you see how he has created an opportunity for someone like me? To get my message out in the world? It could have been stopped by his managers voice that said, Don’t be crazy. That’s for someone else, not for someone like
Michael Hingson  1:09:46
Jeff took the time to prepare. And when he started the company, he clearly had a vision and even went through many years of unprofitability but he knew where he was headed. And he got there. Now he owns a newspaper and all sorts of things, and it clearly has become a force in the world. And probably very much still has Well, certainly an unstoppable mindset and, and I would think, in a lot of ways, still very entrepreneurial. In in nature, personally speaking at least.
Tony Pisanelli  1:10:26
Exactly. And I, in writing the book, Michael, it was my hope that after someone had read it, it activated a sparking them to awake, do their own Walt Disney inside them their own Jeff Bezos, their own Richard Branson, or whoever, and created a major difference in the world, at whatever magnitude they want to play at is their call. But I hopefully the book awakens the entrepreneurial flame in people who find themselves trapped in the concrete cage, that corporate life company life can become. For some people, as you said, not everyone, but for some that is their existence. And I just want to show people that it is possible to create a bridge outside that will be on that
Michael Hingson  1:11:32
road. And I can’t think of a better way to end this podcast than to really give people the opportunity to reflect on what you just wished for. And I hope that people will do that. I’ve always believed that if I don’t learn more from doing these interviews, and meeting and having the opportunity to talk with people, if I don’t learn more than than they do, then I’m not doing my job well. And I really appreciate all that you have given us the time and the opportunity to hear and hopefully we’ll learn from today. So I want to thank you very much for being here. And I know you’ve got plans coming up for the future. And I want you to keep us apprised of them, we’ll probably have to just have you back on again, to continue some of these discussions. I know you’re looking at doing some summits and some other things if people want to reach out to you and learn more about you. And again, I’ll put this in and learn more about the book and so on how do they do that? I can
find the at Tony Pisanelli.com Or could you spell so Tony T O N Y  and Pisanelli P I S A N E double L I.com. And the book is called the Phoenix Career principles, which I hope people go to Amazon and buy and truly appreciate its value. And Michael, I want to also extend my thank you for allowing me to speak on your podcast, and also for being someone who is a true representation of someone who’s unstoppable. Thank you.
Well, thank you. And I hope that people will take to heart all that we’ve had the opportunity to discuss today and that they will reach out to you and want to learn more about you and and that they will get the book. And I am very serious. We need to do this again, and continue the discussion, I think we can have a lot of fun doing it. So I do again, thank you for being here. And for those of you listening, wherever you are, please feel free to reach out to Tony. And also I’d love to hear from you. So you can reach me at Michaelhi at accessibe.com. That’s M I C H A E L H I  at A C C E S S I B E.com. Or go to Michael hingson.com/podcast. And of course, as we always ask very seriously, hope that you’ll give us a five star rating, because your comments and input are valuable. And I hope that you’ll give us a five star rating for what we’ve been able to do today. So thank you for listening. And again, Tony, thank you very much for being here. Thank you. Bye, everyone.
Michael Hingson  1:14:37
You have been listening to the Unstoppable Mindset podcast. Thanks for dropping by. I hope that you’ll join us again next week, and in future weeks for upcoming episodes. To subscribe to our podcast and to learn about upcoming episodes, please visit www dot Michael hingson.com slash podcast. Michael Hingson is spelled m i c h a e l h i n g s o n. While you’re on the site., please use the form there to recommend people who we ought to interview in upcoming editions of the show. And also, we ask you and urge you to invite your friends to join us in the future. If you know of any one or any organization needing a speaker for an event, please email me at speaker at Michael hingson.com. I appreciate it very much. To learn more about the concept of blinded by fear, please visit www dot Michael hingson.com forward slash blinded by fear and while you’re there, feel free to pick up a copy of my free eBook entitled blinded by fear. The unstoppable mindset podcast is provided by access cast an initiative of accessiBe and is sponsored by accessiBe. Please visit www.accessibe.com. accessiBe is spelled a c c e s s i b e. There you can learn all about how you can make your website inclusive for all persons with disabilities and how you can help make the internet fully inclusive by 2025. Thanks again for listening. Please come back and visit us again next week.

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