The 5Ps - Living a Joyful, Abundant & Purposeful Life
This is an exciting interview … I get to turn the tables on Charly, who’s literally spent hundreds of hours asking questions about my life and businesses. Charly’s insightful questioning and coaching has helped me clarify my life’s purpose, work more effectively, and build strategic plans for several businesses.
A bit of background
In the late 1980’s – before the Internet and the World Wide Web became popular – Charly was helping people use the power of computers to connect and communicate.
He created his own bulletin board system (BBS), Livingston County On-Line, which eventually grew to serve an entire community in Southeastern Michigan.
In 1995, once the Web started to catch on, he and his wife started the very first internet service provider in Livingston County, Michigan, Internet Services of Michigan, Inc. (ISMI) Not only did they provide local internet access, they (gasp!) created some of the first web pages for many businesses and organizations, and offered in person training courses on using truly using the Power of the Internet.
Today, Charly serves by helping people create and maintain purposeful, positive and profitable businesses, while assuring they're living in harmony with those they care about and those they serve.
That’s more than a tagline.
I know from personal experience that Charly actually makes a difference for people. You can learn more by visiting https://www.lifeandbusinesssuccess.us but please read this interview first!
Charly, I think we’ve known each other for around ten years. We first met through our mutual friend Big Don Prior (who I’ve interviewed in the past). One thing that comes through in your words and actions is how important the people in your life have been to you becoming who you are today. I’ve seen how committed and focused you are, and you’ve talked many times about the connections between your past and what you do.
As I prepare to host Permission - The Event, I’ve been researching what makes some people feel they have permission to thrive, and what makes other people feel they don’t. It can be parents, loved ones, peer groups, the media, society, or just the voice inside their heads, but it turns out that, whatever the cause, a lot of people end up feeling that they don’t have permission to live the lives they wish they could, to excel, to lead, to be happy, or to pursue their dreams.
You spend much of your time helping others achieve their goals, both personal and professional. I know you haven’t always had the same high-performance, helping mindset that you do now. Can you set the stage for our readers? Would you share a bit about where you come from and how it has impacted your world view? What were the circumstances growing up that formed your view of what was important and what was possible in life?
My earliest memories in life were being surrounded by lots and lots of love, primarily through two VERY important role-models in my life, my grandparents, Bob & Bernice.
Later in my life, I came to know the type of love I was blessed to be surrounded with as ‘unconditional love’ (definition: Unconditional love is known as affection without any limitations, or love without conditions.)
My grandparents, my mom, my dad, and surrounding family also showed me that at the end of the day, we feel most fulfilled, content, and purposeful, when a big part of our day helps improve others lives somehow.
In the bigger sense, improving others lives, through the lens of ‘unconditional love’ is accomplished by genuinely, and continually, showing them love, care, support, as well as helping them define, and live, into their life’s ambitions.
Truly helping people ‘dream bigger’ and helping them build the mindset, motivation and actionable steps to go boldly after their dreams.
I’ve noticed that there are very few of us on this amazing planet we live on who boldly, purposefully, and passionately live into these ideas of truly asking, helping, and supporting others toward living into their ambitions, consistently, each and every day.
Up until my early 40s, I did NOT give myself permission to step into helping others improve their lives the way I discovered I am truly capable of.
As a matter of fact, I got side-tracked a few times - one of which was during the 5 years we created & operated Internet Services of Michigan, Inc., and fell into a very limiting belief of “only I can do this” which resulted in losing harmony (or as many say, balance) in life, gaining over 70lbs, and not living into myself - helping others.
Looking back, I realized I didn’t live into the saying “You have to love, and take care of yourself, so you can love and take care of others”.
I didn’t realize how important self-care was, and felt as though “I’ll get to that when I can”.
I feel the biggest reason for these things was lack of clarity on what a life of harmony, that truly helps, supports and serves others exactly looked like — I never discovered a role model doing in a profound, all-encompassing, consistent way that really resonated with me, showing me a path I felt I could follow.
That all changed, though, in late 2011, on my continual self-improvement, personal development journey - one of my coaches mentioned that I should check out a guy named Brendon Burchard.
At the time Brendon was promoting his latest book, “The Charge", and offered an upsell if you bought his book, called “High Performance - The Charge Edition” which was a recording of one of his 4 day events called "High Performance Academy".
Not only did I jump in and devour the amazing material in his High Performance Academy replay, but I bought his "High Performance Masters Course”, too.
That decision changed EVERYTHING for me…
I found that role model who continually & consistently CRUSHED helping others improve their lives, and who showed me a very specific and achievable path I could follow, too.
YES! I feel my work with Brendon unlocked my limiting beliefs and mindset - giving me permission and a path to truly step into my best, most purposeful self.
Through my High Performance journey, I was able to finally get out of my own way and truly connect these dots:
- UNCONDITIONAL LOVE - Stepping into and owning ‘unconditional love’ for myself and others, courageously.
- MY PASSIONS - Helping others create, build and maintain consistent success in life, business and online (especially through the use of today’s delightful technology, wow!)
- MY PURPOSE - The very reason I believe I’m on this beautiful planet of ours, now defined (thanks to Session 11 of my High Performance Coaching journey) in my Purpose Statement:
"The Purpose of my life is to be fully present, authentic, abundant, caring, compassionate, and inspiring;
to improve peoples' lives by helping them from where they are at - to where they want to be;
so that they can live their life passionately, and intentionally — full of clarity and purpose — while continually working toward their life's ambitions."
~ Charly Caldwell II
This not only defines my WHY (something worth fighting & loving for!), but my HOW (the unique way I do what I do) and WHAT (helping others via coaching, consulting and training), too!
As long as I’m living into my Purpose Statement each and every day, I feel I’m living my MOST purposeful life, and leaving a tremendous legacy.
At some point I imagine that things started to change; that you found yourself believing in opportunity more than limitations. Was there a particular event or experience (or set of them) that led to that kind of change? Did you just wake up one day believing in yourself, or was it a gradual process? Were the changes caused by one particular intervening event or person?
When I was young I would get in trouble A LOT for “doing things my way” :), and many times I was told, directly, or indirectly, I was being bad for doing it that way.
I’m not referencing doing bad things, here, as much as doing things differently than teachers & leaders thought something should be done.
Later in life, I discovered that the trait of ‘being creative in how you do things’ is one of the highest quality traits of entrepreneurs today - ‘thinking differently, and taking action!’
As I progressed in my self-improvement journey through my 20s, I was introduced to the idea of the “abundance vs. scarcity” mindset.
To me, abundance is ‘being creative and expressive in how I do things’ - as long as the end goal of those things is about helping others improve their lives somehow.
I also realized when I was at my best, I was in an abundant mindset, and my feelings, words, and actions aligned with that mindset.
In the harder times in my life, I’ve come to realize that I essentially was ‘shutdown’ and was in a ‘scarcity mindset’.
The big change for me came in my 30s when made the conscious choice to develop a ‘system’ (a series of behaviors and actions) to course-correct when I was feeling scarcity vs. abundance.
In an abundant mindset there are very little limitations and opportunity is EVERYWHERE!
I think I’ve always been opportunity focused, but over the years, developed ways to see what made me feel limited, and course-correct my mindset.
I never really had times where I didn’t believe in myself, but definitely times where I saw a LOT of limitations, and not so much opportunity.
You’ve talked a lot about the challenges created by the people in your life, both in the distant and not so distant past. Without necessarily naming names, would you mind sharing a few of those challenges for our readers who haven’t heard you talk about this?
The big 3 challenges I’ve faced recently are that are created by other people are:
1) When someone I love, care for or serve, is, or feels, threatened by someone else AND I’m either part of the reason that they are being or feeling threatened. When I say “threatened” in this way, I typically mean their freedoms - ‘personal freedom’, ‘freedom of opinion’ or ‘freedom of choice’ are being hit, limited, greatly reduced or even taken away.
2) When those I’ve delegated responsibilities to have ‘dropped the ball’ or fell out of alignment with the level of presence/quality of service they’ve traditionally provided.
3) When the purposeful & positive work I do is attacked, negatively, specifically by those close to me.
Over the last few years, I feel I’ve become much more masterful at letting go of these kinds of things, and this beautiful thought from Charles Swindoll is a life-changing theme that helps me when those feelings come up —
"I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you...we are in charge of our attitudes.”
What “inside stuff” do you think you’ve struggled with because of those challenges? By “inside stuff” I mean internal assessments, self-doubts, thinking habits … the things that go on inside your head that are maybe less than helpful to your happiness and achievement?
There is ONE BIG thing here that was the ‘inside stuff’ that held be back for over 40 years of my life.
The amazing news is that I figured it out, AND I’ve worked diligently over the last 12 years to get masterful in overcoming it.
Finally, through my constant learning journey, application, and practice of High Performance I’ve ‘cracked the code’ for me!
I recognized that the biggest, most influential role-models in my life, my grandparents (Bob & Bernice) had one characteristic that I ended up adopting through simplicity of seeing it in action since before I can remember, and that is:
Taking things others say personally.
I remember, dozens of times, where my positive mindset, the actions I was committed to taking, the ways I’d serve, etc., were completely altered by the simple thought of how others might perceive me - typically, from a negative or neutral place.
A common example of this with the thought-leaders I coach (as well as myself) is postponing doing “Livecasts” or “Live videos” online because of what others might think!
Today, I’m at my happiest when I live into the beautiful 2nd Agreement of the Don Miguel Ruiz’s book, “The 4 Agreements”:
Don’t take anything personally.
I love the way he illustrates that peoples energy, thoughts, and what they share/influence you with - are their ‘dreams, illusions or reality’ and many are trying to influence you to change to how THEY perceive the world (or what you’re trying to do in the world).
Today, as soon as I have that conditioned response of ‘I’m not sure if I should…’ which is my one of cues for ’taking things personally', I typically jump in, double-down, take action, and make it happen as soon as possible.
This has single-handedly changed the trajectory of my life, and thousands of others, in amazingly purposeful, positive and inspirational ways!
Do you have any regular practices to help you keep your inside stuff under control?
Do you just function on cruise control, or do you find that you still have to actively work to maintain an opportunity mindset?
Absolutely, every morning I spent at least 10 to 20 minutes in my morning mindset routine — which starts in complete gratitude for me being alive, healthy and able to serve, support and help others!
As I progress through my morning routine, I slowly bring my attention to how I want to feel, in each of my scheduled time blocks for the day.
Most of my time blocks promote opportunity based thinking - helping me, and others, improve lives and/or grow businesses.
During that time I also assess my emotions and feelings, and have a very specific practice in play to assure I see things from the big picture - the bigger perspective of life.
If during the day, ‘things go sideways’ or I’m feeling off - like my ‘inside stuff is not exactly in control’ I have very specific practices that help course-correct.
A very simple example is taking a 20 minute walk around the grounds where I love listening to either Frank Sinatra ("Come Fly With Me" is amazing at restoring my opportunity mindset!) or Lana Del Rey (“Ride" is an incredibly powerful song for truly taking me away, and recognizing the opportunities in living a simple, purposeful life).
I’ve analyzed hundreds of songs and how they make me feel, and those two are absolute tops for restoring a sense of harmony in life for me.
My final practice which I discovered helps keep an opportunity mindset is OWNING my sleep! It’s so easy for me (and so many I’ve coached have said this too) to fall out because of low energy, being tired, or just not feeling well.
You’re someone who has done at least a few things right. By most measures, you’re pretty successful. Do you ever struggle with taking advice from others about things in your profession? If so, why do you think that is? If not, what’s made it possible for you set aside pride or ego to be able to take advice from others?
The simplest answer here is that through being High Performance coached (AND coaching hundreds in High Performance) I’ve developed a cue, and follow up routine that helps me recognize and respond when I feel this is happening.
This practice not only helps me recognize what this is when it happens, and then respond from a well-thought (more intellectually intentional, than emotionally impulsive place).
My cue is sensing the MOMENT I feel a ‘hit’ on something I believe I’m doing well at, and someone questions it, challenges me on it, or even negatively says “That’s a stupid way of doing that!”
My routine is simply telling myself - “I’m always the student first, where’s the lesson here? Is there truth in what’s just been said? Let’s find out AND challenge them in a positive way, too!” :)
And then framing the conversation, and my mind, for positive growth, and asking this powerful set of questions in a joyfully curious way:
“Wow, your response is a surprise to me! Tell me why you believe, or said, that? In your mind, what can be done better? How could I have been my best here?”
It’s taken me years to really own this, and although this happens very rarely in my life nowadays, it DOES happen, and I’m ready for it. :)
Based on what I see coming from your channels, it’s clear you’re still learning. What are some resources you use to stay informed, inspired, coached, or guided?
One of the MOST important things we coach & teach in High Performance Coaching is brought to light in our COMPETENCE coaching session - build your own learning curriculum based on skills you need (and want!) that will change your life, as well as those you care for, love, and serve, too.
Keeping that in mind, I’m always learning more about my BIG 3 - my big 3 skills I need to learn to advance myself, my businesses, and/or others and building learning goals for those big 3 skills.
The BIG 3 change periodically (typically every 6 to 12 months).
Last year, one of my BIG 3 skills was getting more masterful with investing, as I self-manage my Roth IRA, and I’m so happy to report that that was a huge success (many many years in the making)!
Another goal was simplifying my life (and mind) even more than it already is, and that resulted in doubling profits through sheer focus on the needle-movers for growing income AND reducing expenses.
I’m a HUGE follow of Darren Hardy, and he challenges us in his trainings to go deeper with fewer teachers/experts that truly resonate with you - which I’ve worked diligently to do in the last few years.
Going deeper simply means re-reading books, re-taking courses, repeating curriculum & training because typically there’s always another level for you in there. ;)
That said, I actively learn from 3 experts (notice the power of 3s in this answer!) and they are:
- Our High Performance Master Coach, Brendon Burchard
- Tim Ferriss (specifically his tremendously powerful podcast!)
- Warren Buffet
And the resources I continue to use and learn from are online courses, YouTube, podcasts, and reading their books.
Another resource I LOVE —
One of my ABSOLUTE favorite apps for receiving the highest inspiration, and best highly curated/topic based material is “Flipboard”, I dedicate time each day to “Flipboard” and often find 6 to 12 very inspiring articles.
In a total sidenote, I’m completely intrigued with the YouTubers “Riley & Elayna - Sailing La Vagabonde” right now. They’ve gotten incredibly good at documenting & sharing a truly amazing life through exploring, adventuring and sailing the world (4.5 years now!) They’ve inspired me to consider to learn to free-dive, spear-fish, and sail (all 3 year goals).
Do you work from passion, from discipline, or a mix of the two? Do you have any advice for other people who want to rise beyond their circumstances, on either or both of those sources of accomplishment?
This is SUCH a great question and connects directly into my 5 P’s - Purpose, Passion, Positivity, Productivity & Profitability.
A few years back I finally discovered a hidden truth about myself - when I’m incredibly passionate about something, I get intensely disciplined to either move it forward, or grow it.
My passion actually fuels my discipline.
My passion stems from helping others improve their lives and/or grow their businesses, and when I structure my day to do just that, my discipline is on fire!
For example, I typically have tomorrow’s plan laid out a day in advance, which may have 3 to 8 ways I’m helping people in general, or specifically improve their life or grow their business (or both!)
The visualization of living into that plan, fully engaged, joyful and confident, pulls me out of bed in the morning, typically before my 6am alarm goes off!
I’m incredibly blessed to have our powerful High Performance Productivity framework for structuring my day, so I’m living purposefully, positively and profitably as a by-product of structure & discipline fueled by my passion.
How about some words of caution? What are some mistakes you see people making, whether in their thinking, in their approach to life, or professionally, that might not be serving them well?
The biggest mistake I feel people are making are living into routines, habits and behaviors that are not supportive of them having a positive, vibrant, engaged, adventurous, energized life especially for the long term.
Easy examples of this are:
- Watching the news vs. playing a game, or simply taking a walk with someone you love sharing your dreams & ambitions, while listening to theirs.
- Complaining about pains, struggles, challenges vs. focusing on those being gone and what they did to overcome them.
- Thinking “I’ll do that someday” vs. trying it now.
Another mistake I see people making is not developing the skill to ask GREAT questions toward helping others grow, while truly being present, caring and compassionate.
This is single-handedly the best thing I’ve ever done for myself, and the reason I High Performance Coach 10 or more hours a week (and have for the last 4 years) - after 3,000 sessions of facilitating coaching you get very masterful here!
So often, both personally and professional, a single question can completely change the lives you care for, love, serve, and support!
A great, quick example is when I used to walk into meetings with customers and saw they were semi-upset (not necessarily with me or us but just in general), distant, or not connected to what we were about to discuss, I’d simply work ‘around it’.
I’ll joyfully say “Hey, this isn’t on topic for what our meeting is today, but are you up for little bit of fun?” Typically, they’ll refocus and say “Uh, I guess!?” And I’ll say “Tell me something you’re excited about, right now!” And I bring my enthusiasm and love into what they share.
It’s amazing how that completely shifts the energy in the room!
Is there a way to distill your approach to helping people today to a few key points? What are the actions and outlooks that have actually made the difference for you?
Absolutely! In terms of helping people, I love to work from my 5P’s framework (or my few key points).
Each of the P’s provide very clear outlooks and actions for living a fully engaged, joyful, purposeful and well designed life - I love to use the 5P’s as a self-assessment to assure the people I’m able to help, serve and support are clear on exactly what they’re doing in life, and business, so they don’t have any regrets.
The 5P’s are:
(In each area, simply rate - 1 - “not at all”, 10 - “CRUSHING it!”, if any ranking is below an 8, ask “What can I do to level this up, just one, over the next week?”)
How purposeful have I felt in the ways I’ve approached my life, and business, in the last day/week/month/year?
Typically, the world’s highest performers connect purpose to helping, serving and supporting others to improve their lives and/or grow their businesses.
How passionate (emotionally connected & enthused) have I felt in my life, and business, in the last day/week/month/year?
The world’s highest performers have morning routines that reconnect them, emotionally, with their passion - diving deep on how THEY want to feel throughout their day, and how they want OTHERS to feel throughout their day.
How positive (feeling joy, engagement, connectedness) have I felt in my life, and business, in the last day/week/month/year?
The world’s highest performers have very clear practices, almost a systems operation manual, for resetting, recharging, and rejuvenating when neutral or negative emotions, thoughts and feelings surface (which they often do, because we’re all human!)
How productive have I been in my life, and business, in the last day/week/month/year?
When we teach and coach productivity in High Performance, it’s not necessarily about getting ‘more done’, it’s about getting the right things done - moving forward with our well defined ‘life’s work’, and ‘life’s ambitions’ - just as much as getting the tasks done that need to be completed on a daily basis.
The world’s highest performers have incredible clarity and focus on what they need to do, delegate (and know what to say ’no’ to, or delete from their life).
How profitable have I been in my life, and business, in the last day/week/month/year?
In its simplest terms, we define profit has having income that:
a) pays the bills, and meets our break-even requirements for living (mortgage/rent, car payment, groceries, power, water, utilities, etc).
b) provides for experiencing life (fun with loved ones/friends, spending money for shopping, hobbies, fun, etc)
c) gives the ability to save at least 5% toward the future (typically invested)
The world’s highest performers are always on the hunt to reduce expenses, increase life experiences, and are diligent about wisely saving and investing for their futures, too.
One more question for today. What does the world need more of in the spheres you inhabit? In other words, for people who want to thrive in business, in outlook, in life ... what should they be looking for as far as ways to serve the world with distinction and compassion?
This is such a great question, and I believe the world needs to focus MORE on the 5P’s and how to create a life (and if they’d like, a business) living into helping others improve their lives/grow their businesses, purposefully, passionately, positively, productively and, if applicable, profitably, too.
One of the most important topics we coach on in High Performance is “Creative Expression/Self-Expression” and in this session, we teach people that the only real uniqueness they have is themselves, and they need to whole-heartedly, courageously, and compassionately express their true self in a open, vulnerable and transparent way.
The presupposition here is that they’re coming from a place of positivity and ‘unconditional love’ toward the human spirit, a feeling best described as “the human spirit needs to be constantly nurtured along the path of love, growth, support and positive framing - it’s my purpose on this planet to help humanity thrive”.
Typically, I can ask a few very powerful questions, and we’ll find a way for any person to create their unique, distinct, and compassionate way of helping, supporting, and/or serving humanity with either the talents they already possess, or a purposeful mission they’re passionate & positive toward.
The #1 way to serve the world is to assure they’re taking decisive action on their purposeful mission, which is why the 4th P - Productivity is so very important.