Dirk Van Reenen Joins Us On the Steve Jobs Inspired Join Up Dots Podcast
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Introducing Dirk van Reenen
Dirk Van Reenen is today’s guest on the Join Up Dots business coaching podcast.
He is the founder an visionary of an amazing and motivational company Bergflow.
Bergflow is a company that helps other businesses tackle huge obstacles, whilst finding the least resistance.
As the name says “BERG” – Mountain (in Afrikaans – South African).
It’s a symbol of power, magnitude and vastness.
A mountain represents challenges, and challenges represent opportunities.
Whilst Flow – Known as “the zone”, is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, involvement, and enjoyment in the process.
Dirk is an award-winning entrepreneur and sought after international business consultant and speaker.
Launching and selling several startup companies and was also one of the top Brokerage CEO’s for Keller Williams Realty International, leading one of the fastest growing brokerages for Keller Williams worldwide in 2016.
How The Dots Joined Up For Dirk
But as we see time and time again in Join Up Dots, there comes a time when the path starts going in a different direction.
And this happened to our guest, as back in 2016 , Dirk discovered a deeper purpose and re-evaluated everything he was doing and the path he was on.
He made some huge changes including resigning from his corporate CEO position, shutting down one of his businesses, and relocating across the United States to launch BERGflow in January of 2017.
Today, Dirk has been blessed to work with companies in 13 states, 4 countries, and on 3 continents, following his purpose:
Empowering Entrepreneurs, CEO’s, and Leaders to build powerful and productive teams and helping them grow and scale their businesses while giving them a better quality of life with more fulfilment.
And it seems that Bergflow is the legacy work that his life has been building up to.
So when he decided to throw it all in the air and reinvent his life was it truly scary time, or liberation from start to finish?
And looking back what could he have done differently if he had the wisdom of experience at his fingertips?
Well lets find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots, with the one and only Dirk van Reenen
During the show we discussed such weighty topics with Dirk van Reenen such as:
Dirk shares the steps he took back in 2013 to block out distractions and change his outlook to find true passion and mastery.
Why if you really want to find the true passion in your career, you simply must endure the pain that comes with starting something new.
We discuss the importance of knowing yourself, and then surrounding yourself with people who make you better at being yourself.
When you can stop looking and comparing with others how your life can feel light and free.
How To Connect With Dirk van Reenen
You can also check our extensive podcast archive by clicking here – enjoy
Full Transcription Of Dirk van Reenen Interview
When we’re young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be. But somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling. Join Up Dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here’s your host live from the back of his garden in the UK. David Ralph.
David Ralph [0:25]
Yes, hello. Good morning. Good morning and welcome to another episode of Join Up Dots. Thank you so much for joining us on this episode. Now today’s guest who’s going to be this is an interview show is not just me today is an interview. And he’s the founder and and visionary of a company called bird plough. Now bird Pro is a company that helps other businesses tackle huge obstacles whilst finding the least resistance as the name says Berg mountain. It’s a symbol of power, magnitude and vastness. A mountain represents challenges and challenges represent opportunities now I got that from his website I don’t know this stuff myself was flow known as a zone is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energised focus. Yeah, we know what flow is. Now he’s also an award winning entrepreneur and sought after international business consultant and speaker and launching and selling several startup companies. He was also one of the top brokerage CEOs for Keller Williams Realty, leading one of the fastest growing brokerages for that company back in 2016. But as we see time and time again in Join Up Dots, there comes a time when the path starts going in a different direction. And this happened to our guest as back in 2016. He discovered a deeper purpose and reevaluated everything he was doing and the party was on. He made some huge changes, including resigning from his corporate CEO position, shutting down one of these businesses and relocating across the United States to launch Berg flow in January of 2017. And today, he’s been blessed to work with companies 10 states, four countries and on three continents following his purpose, empowering entrepreneurs, CEOs and leaders to build powerful and productive teams, and helping them grow and scale their businesses while giving them a better quality of life with more fulfilment, and it seems that Burke flow is the legacy work that his life has been building up to. So when he decided to throw it all in the air and reinvent his life, was it truly scary time or was it liberation from start to finish? And looking back? What could he have done differently if he’d had the wisdom of experience at his fingertips? Well, let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Mr. Dirk Van Reenen. Good morning.
Dirk Van Reenen [2:44]
Dave, I’m doing amazing. Thank you so much. I’m excited to be on the show today.
David Ralph [2:48]
It is lovely to have you so is this your legacy work? Let’s get straight to that. Is this the thing or is it just another stepping stone on the Join Up Dots timeline?
Dirk Van Reenen [2:59]
Yeah, I think For me, I made a decision in 2017, that this was really going to be the work that I go much deeper in, and the work that I find mastery in, and I really connected with my life purpose. So, you know, we’re three and a half years into this journey now. And, you know, we feel like we’re still just getting started. And you know, we’re starting to make way and catch more traction. But this is absolutely what I feel my calling is and the work that I’m planting.
David Ralph [3:28]
So let’s talk about mastery. First of all, because yesterday I had to take my son to university was his first day at university, and I said,
Dirk Van Reenen [3:37]
David Ralph [3:38]
It was exciting for him. Not so exciting for me. It cost me a fortune on trains and stuff, but still anyhow, that’s what I did. And as I was going up there, I said to him, Dan, I said, you know, don’t just do the bare minimum because he always just scrapes through and I said, you know, get obsessed by it because if you get obsessed and you become a master, your opportunities expand and your earning potential as well. Most people get to a certain point, but they don’t go for the mastery. Were you always like that? Or is this something new to you? But you actually think No, I want to get deeper and deeper into this.
Dirk Van Reenen [4:13]
This is actually something very new to me. I
am typically very scatterbrained. I’m pretty sure I have a DD and I love variety. I love creativity. I love jumping around. And I’ve had a long track record of that. So you know this, this is really one of the first times of my life and I’m 39 years old now that I’m truly saying that man, I want to go deeper in something I want to become a craftsman. I want to I want to find that path to mastery. And so this is actually a newer journey for me. And what I’m learning is because here’s the thing that I was always afraid of is that when I start something, I’m going to get bored, I’m going to run out of opportunities and never truly found depth. So when you Don’t find depth, you have to go wider and you have to do more things and you ended up going really wide and shallow. And what I found is, when you really commit to something, you can actually go much narrower, and then the depth starts, you know, unlocking you sort of unlocking the depth. And in there, there’s as much fun in exploration and discovery in the depth. But the difference is, when when you start finding that depth, your life starts transforming. And that’s what’s been like, the biggest revelation to me is, you know, our lives have in the last two and a half years completely changed a bit on this path of kind of going from the shallow and finding the depth. So it’s very much a new journey.
David Ralph [5:44]
Now you say you bet you wanted to go deep. Why? Why did you suddenly feel that what had changed in you? Was it just the, the sort of emotional landscape of what you’d been doing?
Dirk Van Reenen [5:56]
I think it’s a couple of things back in 2015 13 was the first time in my life that I I really kind of explored depth. And at that time I was running multiple businesses. And I had done that for a couple of years and had some good successes and some really bad failures. But in 2013 is the first time that I really purposefully narrowed my focus and I hired a really high level productivity coach, and you worked with me for two years and for two years, I just started blocking out just about everything in my life. Distraction wise, so obviously not my family, but workwise I really just kind of put blinders on put my head down and just started kind of pulling forward. And in two years, I had some really big gains in my life I went from at that point, I was running a an auction company and selling real estate and I went from selling but 27 houses a year to selling 120 houses a year in two years, and built a team around me and I started experiencing, you know, more passive income more time freedom. And that’s what opened the door for me to start running some of these really large brokerages in the US. And that was kind of my first hint of Okay, there’s something here, if if you stop jumping around, you stop getting distracted. And you really start going deep in what you’re doing. There’s an amazing path that unfolds in front of you. And so I’ve been building on that for several years. But I think the big difference was I was never passionate about what about what I was doing in that time I was doing the work and I was kind of grinding it out and pushing forward, but was never passionate about, you know, selling things at auction or selling real estate. However, I discovered what I was passionate about in all of that, which was building teams. And as my businesses were growing, I was able to work with more teams and as I was going into these large brokerages, you know, we were that was a big part of my my day to day was working with my team working with the the top real estate teams that were in our brokerages. And, you know, that’s what I found. And it takes me back to something, you know that I had that I heard on the podcast several years ago where they were talking about millennials and how so many millennials today want to follow their passion in the key kind of jumping around to different jobs to discover their passion. But the the gentleman the podcast, I can’t recall his name right now. He said, Look, the research actually shows that deeper levels of passion are found in the process. So it’s not that you start off with something you’re really passionate about, and you’re like, Oh, I want to go do this. Because when it gets hard, the passion runs out. I think like we see that all the time. You mentioned earlier that I mean, you guys have been podcasting for a long time and how many people started podcasting doing like, Oh, that’s my passion. I’m gonna be a podcaster and then, you know, 10 or 12 or 15 episodes in there out, because when it gets hard and it gets real in their face to face with the actual reality of what’s happening, the passion disappear, so To discover the deeper passion you discovered along the process, you know, on the path to mastery. And for me, I discovered that and then I was just in a, you know, kind of position and say, Look, we’re gonna make some big changes. And, you know, we’re going to now that I really feel I know what I want to do, you know, like, like, Hey, what do you wanna do when you grow up? Okay. I was about 3036 years old, I kind of had that epiphany. You know, I found man like, this is it. It’s been an amazing ride for us. But man,
David Ralph [9:31]
duck is one of the stumbling blocks, isn’t it? You know, you saw it. Now, I leaped out of corporate land without really a firm plan of what I was going to do. And by hook and by crook, I discovered podcasting. And last 10 years has been sort of terrible and amazing. Now, it’s amazing, but there was there was terrible times. Now, people out there listening, if you’ve got them in a pub and go, what would you really like to do? More often than not, they would say things about But aren’t feasible. They’d like to be a professional football player or they’d like to be a basketball player or whatever. Or they choose things that they don’t want to do. You know, they know what they don’t want to do, because I’ve tried it, but it’s very difficult to find your passion. You can go, Oh, that was terrible. I’m never going to do that again. But actually, what do you really want to do? People are kind of lost somehow, do you think?
Dirk Van Reenen [10:24]
Absolutely. I think you actually said several things that are really significant. You said, Look in finding this path of podcasting for you. You said, Look, there were terrible times and there were amazing times. But I think like that’s the key to it is if you really want to find that deeper level of passion, you’re going to have to go through those kind of terrible times. I think I’ve never met anybody that is highly, highly successful, that hasn’t gone through that at some phase. The challenges I think sometimes too many people jump too early, when things get hard when they go into that, that terrible time where like, I don’t to even know if this is going to work out because I mean, in 2017, when we launched this company, there were several times in that first year that man like I was, you know, at a point where I was freaking out, I didn’t know, you know how we’re going to pay bills. I didn’t know if this is the right thing. I was like, Oh my gosh, did I make a massive mistake. And it could be really easy in those times to stop what you’re doing and kind of jump on to something else. But it’s when you start making it through those times. And you start having the winds on the back side of it, where you get the the reinforcement of like, Hey, I am on the right path. And I think that’s a big part of it. And as talking to a friend of mine last week, and she is massively successful in the real estate world with building brokerages and ancillary type businesses like mortgage and title and things like that, and, you know, she said exactly what you said a while ago to She goes, you know, sometimes I don’t always know exactly what I want, but I can absolutely tell you what I don’t want and that’s I think that’s a good conversation too. But I think people when they think about what they want to do I think they pinhole themselves into thinking that when if they say something like that’s going to be it like that’s the only thing they can do because one of the things that you know I absolutely love is I love the outdoors. I love mountains obviously with with her name workflow. I’d love adventure. So we’ve actually learned how to incorporate that into our business. We just came back from a two week overlanding trip in Colorado.
David Ralph [12:25]
And can I keep on saying we Yeah, but who is the weed that is part of this.
Dirk Van Reenen [12:32]
I’ve got a team so I’ve got a team of eight people that that work together. But I tend to kind of just talk in terms of we so
David Ralph [12:42]
it’s not like some kids that are involved in it. Still professionalism.
Dirk Van Reenen [12:46]
As well, my wife and kids went with us and several of the other clients brought spouses I mean my kids were the only ones that were on the trip it you know, we we all went on the ship lose ourselves in six other business Soldiers that all run multimillion dollar businesses around the United States. And, you know, we went and played for two weeks and had adventure and fun together because those things have to be linked up for me in business. When you do business and there’s no fun or adventure to business, it gets harder, you know, and that’s even ring your shadow said, Hey, we keep it kind of fun and light. No, you have to build that into what you’re going to be doing. Because if you get to business, and it’s just all, you know, kind of like in quotations, Business and Professional and suit and tie all the time. And it’s not relational and fun. I used to do business that way. And I didn’t like it. I would build a business and I’ve built businesses where I didn’t even like the business. I didn’t like who I worked with in the business. I didn’t like the colours of the bit. I mean, like all this kind of stuff and like you can build a business that you actually hate owning. And that’s one of the things when I build workflow said I want to build a business that’s massively in alignment with who I am authentically. And that I can go deeper in and I can, you know, fall in love with my business along the way I can find that deeper passion, and with the people that I work with, on our team and the clients we work with. So, I do think that a big part of what you love to do has to be those are clues about what you’re passionate about, like those are clues about what you’re meant to do. Like I that’s my belief is that we have these internal clues, we just have to explore them. But some people, I think when they look at what their passion is, they start thinking in terms of dollars, oh, well, I could do this. And if I made that much money again, I could do the other things I love and it’s like no, when you do work that you’d love doing and that’s connected with your giftings and your, your skill and you know, it’s kind of like the the work that you would do if nobody even paid you. If that’s the kind of work that if you fall in love with that work, you’re going to give your best time and effort and energy into it. Your creativity. And because of that, you’re naturally going to build a better product or service or experience out of that. And that’s where your higher levels of value come from. because money is just an exchange for value, right? You’re injecting value into the world. And based on the value that you’re injecting, you’re going to get a return. And it’s not always just money. I mean, the return could be your fulfilment, we talked about that. It could be, you know, just happiness. It could be time off, like playing or whatever it is, but it’s a result of the value that we inject and I think too many people do work that they don’t truly care about. And if you do work that you don’t truly care about, you’re never going to get paid the highest level of value, you’re not going to get that that exchange of value.
David Ralph [15:43]
As listen to Jim Carrey.
Jim Carrey [15:45]
My father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him. And so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant. When I was 12 years old. He was let go from that safe job and our family had Do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.
David Ralph [16:12]
Now for everything I’ve created, yes, that’s here for Jim. But from everything I’ve created, I’ve now got a clarity, which I didn’t have right at the very beginning. And I liken it to, when you start building a business, it’s just a big block of ice, and you’re chipping away chipping away chipping away and certain bits Come on certain bits don’t. And then little by little, you start to see what it is you’re actually working for. And you’ve been start polishing it, and then it becomes a lovely structure and everything’s great in your life. Now, if I go back a decade, I would say the first three years of that decade was hustle, hustle, hustle. I’ve been I think the next three years was just health issues and god knows what because of the first three years hassle and been the law Pre was kind of almost getting bored with the process I achieved. And I started looking around and wondering, what was more, could this be right? You know, I could have all the free time I wanted, I can earn as much money as a one. I can you know, I don’t worry about getting clients, I don’t worry about this, um, don’t worry about that. Now, when does passion sort of hit that boredom level where everything was exactly as you planned it at the beginning, but actually, you get to a point anything? I don’t know. It feels a bit flat. Maybe it should feel better than this. What do you think?
Dirk Van Reenen [17:39]
I think that’s going to come down to knowing yourself. For me, I I know that I do get bored very quickly. And I don’t thrive well when I’m not facing a big challenge. So I’ve engineered my world to where my job is to be out on the leading front edge of things to be people part of creating things and bringing them to life to bring relationships together to bring capital together and be part of that initial getting things up and running. And as I do that, I hire people then to come in to essentially manage the chaos and flatten it out and kind of run the process because when I get into that part of it, I get bored extremely quickly. And my team knows that and that’s a big part of the work that we do is know yourself and know the people around you at a really deep level. So I think the big part of the fun for me is working with a team. And I was kind of that lone wolf for many, many years. And, you know, my blueprint was, I’ll just work harder. I’ll push harder. You know, I’ll outwork anybody else. I mean, exactly. I was gonna do yeah, just grind it out. Yeah, just grind it out. And that only works for a little while. There’s bad things. come from that, and you said that like you don’t for from those first two years, the next three years you were dealing with, you know, the consequences of just sheer drive and push and grind. And I was fortunate that and this is part of kind of the the learning that I discovered in 2013, in that I still continue to work work on today, which is understanding what does it look like for a team to work together. And for me, like that’s where a lot of the fun is, is, you know, it’s in going to work and working with our team every day. And I think like that’s part of why it’s fun because sometimes the client work gets a little bit boring. Sometimes it’s okay, what we’re doing on the digital side or building a new programme gets boring, but the thing that doesn’t get boring is like hey, going to work and working with our team and having fun together and, you know, doing things together and seeing how things are changing in their lives as well. And, you know, I think like for me, that’s why I discovered Okay, hey, I’m starting to kind of understand the formula now of how I stay highly engaged in what we do, and where I’m really best suited to serve. Because the truth is, and I tell my team is knows this really well about me, I tell my clients, I tell everybody I work with it. Look, I think that I’m a pretty, it’s like smart guy. I’m a I’ve got some experience in business, I’ve done some things to, you know, to learn how to build businesses, but in the overall scheme of things, like I’m really, really good at very few things. And then there’s a lot of stuff that I like, suck at. I’m really bad at it. And I think what happens is sometimes people spend way too much time doing work in the areas that one they’re not behaviorally suited for. They don’t really have the skill to do it. And they’re having to work extra hard to be mediocre. And I think a big part of this is that you have to find what you are good at, you have to find what is behaviorally a match for you. Because when you do that there’s a higher level of fulfilment. You don’t have to push so hard to get better results. And because of that, you start getting these affirmations back to these results that really help you feel like, wow, I can do this, you know, this is what you’re
David Ralph [21:17]
saying. jumping in there is absolutely a true and I agree it but when anybody is starting to do something, they haven’t got the money in to outsource and delegate. So they do spend that time. Now. That’s the issue. I think, you know, if I could sit there right at the very beginning with a certain amount of income coming in and go right, okay, I’m not very good at this. I get somebody else to do but but they don’t do they they get caught up in the weeds and then that weeds becomes their normal and they can’t see the way out.
Dirk Van Reenen [21:51]
You know, we tell people that a business is like Did you ever see like the I think it was like the early 70s movies called the blob up that movie. Yeah,
David Ralph [21:59]
Dirk Van Reenen [22:00]
Yeah, okay, so the blob is like a business, right? A business is like the blob and we tell our clients this and say, Look, when you start a business, it’s kind of like you have that little blob, and it’s just like the size of a little booger. I mean, it’s just just this tiny little thing, but it has to be fed. And at first you’re just feeding it, you know, it wants to be fed like a fly and then, you know, wants to be fed a bug, and you know, you kind of feeding it in everything makes sense, and you’re kind of living and things are good, but the business starts growing, and that blog gets bigger and bigger and bigger, and it wants to consume more now it wants to consume a cat and then a dog and then a cow, and, you know, all these kind of things. But what happens is in a business, the business starts consuming the entrepreneur, the owner, and a lot of people don’t realise that a business is actually a living organism. It wants to live and it wants to and it has to feed to live and I tell people, you don’t want your business to fail, but your business actually doesn’t want to More than you want it to fail. So because of that, it will feed on you to survive. And when you start looking at the relationship between an entrepreneur and a business in that way, then the number one thing that you have to do is create separation between you and your business as fast as possible. We tell people keep your business an arm’s length away from you. Yeah. Because if you don’t, it’s going to consume you. And I think that’s where people don’t, don’t look at hiring people and bringing other people in fast enough. And there’s a there’s a myriad of reasons why people don’t do that. And one of the reasons is that hardly anybody teaches that they don’t teach you in school, how to hire and train and lead people. They don’t teach you that million University. I mean, we have like MBAs on our team that you know, they never learned how to hire and train people going through MBA type programme. So it’s one of those things that’s just left out in entrepreneurship it you know, our belief is as fast as possible. You got to start bringing people in. Now, that doesn’t mean that you hire somebody in your first month because I get what it means to boots. After business, I’ve done that multiple times. And those first, like you said, those first three years are tough. However, some people as they start experiencing a little bit success, they’re taking that money out, and they’re going ahead and buying that new car or like wanting to get a new house, or whatever the case may be, instead of saying, you know what, I’m going to live below my means a little bit longer, and I’m going to invest in hiring another person to come into my business. And I’m going to start getting things off of my plate that aren’t the best use of my time, because that’s where business becomes fun. And, you know, that’s the kind of work that we do with with companies is healthy entrepreneurs escape that business feeding on them, because a lot of the clients that we work with are typically 38 to 55 years old. And what’s happened is they’ve built multi million dollar businesses and they’re starting to lose their health. They haven’t had fun and adventure in years. You know, they stopped feeling they stopped connecting with why they started a business in the first place. They’re just chatting multimillion dollar business and you know, people listen to that, especially people that are thinking about starting up a business, you’re like, oh, man, I would do anything to have a multi million dollar business. And yet, I’ve seen it so many times where somebody has a multi million dollar business, they have no time freedom at the end of the year, they don’t have much money in the bank. So it is this process of understanding, how can you bring other people in? And how can you get certain things off your plate, and that that isn’t true for every business, right? Especially in the digital type world. There’s a lot of solar solo entrepreneurs that run amazing businesses. But yet the challenge is, if you don’t have a digital automation that can do heavy lifting for you, and you don’t have people that can do the heavy lifting for you, then everything falls on you. And as a business grows, there are certain things that fall outside of the scope of the service that you do anymore, right going in, it’s usually at first it’s all about the service. What am I doing, you know, getting some customers but as the business starts getting bigger and bigger, there’s so many other things that start pulling you in and those things To the things where you have to get freedom from otherwise it is going to get very mundane, it’s going to get boring, it’s gonna feel overwhelming. And then you start asking yourself the question of, do I even want to grow? You know, because if I grow, it’s just it’s going to be more work on me. And that’s where I think the myth changes from going and being self employed to actually being a business owner like Robert Kiyosaki, cashflow quadrant really talks about that. I think like that’s the difference is, you know, going from self employed to business owner and that’s a that’s an amazing leap that happens in that process.
David Ralph [26:33]
When my business absolutely started flying, was when I decided to say, I don’t care about growth. I don’t care about scale. I don’t care about downloads, I don’t care about anything, but you know, makes my life more difficult. And I just looked at how could I free myself up and and that was it. And when you said yeah a little while ago about it feeds on you. I was literally being sucked to dry. And when I realised that I had to put a boundary around myself, you know, and not keep on giving my energy to people that don’t deserve it, or people that just want to connect with, you know, virtual coffee, you get that a lot. And I’m doing that little thing with my fingers, the quality business, you know, why do you really want to connect virtually with a complete stranger to have a cup of coffee? I don’t get it. You know, I wouldn’t walk up to somebody in the street and say, Oh, do you want to spend 10 minutes, but you get a lot of that. And I used to think that I was letting people down. But now I just know that I was letting myself down. And when I put the boundaries around me and become very firm on what I would allow into my life, that was when things happened. Because it’s not about scale, the scales sake, it’s about making the most profitable, tiny business that gives you the lifestyle that that’s where I see it now. What do you think about that?
Dirk Van Reenen [28:00]
I 100% agree, because I think what you’re saying is when I put the boundaries between my business in me, and I stopped worrying about everything else in the metrics that the world says the most important, right, because that’s the thing that we do sometimes is we look at societal metrics of what success is. And, you know, this is where when you can, again, go back to connecting with like, what are the things that you’d love to do? What are the things that innately are authentic to you and you start incorporating more of that, then you get a higher level of energy, you get a higher level of creativity, inspiration, and when you’re showing up in that way, you’re going to give better service anyway. So whether it’s, hey, I’m going to kind of cut off certain things and just kind of keep my business smaller and really focus on you know, building a great profitable business that gives me time freedom. Or you say, you know what, I do want to grow my business, but I don’t want to grow my business just to grow myself. business, a big part of me growing my businesses that don’t want to create opportunities for the people that I’m in business with. And because again, that gives me a lot of joy. So for me, I feel like if I can help create a path for other people, that’s part of my fulfilment and that’s what I’m happiest in and I relate to build businesses before we’re all just about the growth metrics and knows Hey, we’ll turn and burn people and we’ll do whatever is necessary to hit these growth metrics and I was miserable. And from the from the outside world looking at I mean, 2016 you know for Keller Williams Realty International, which they’re by far like twice as big as the second largest brokerage in the world, but there we go, largest brokerage in the world. And at one point, my brokerage that I was running for them, had about 500 real estate agents doing about a billion dollars a year in sales, and we were the second fastest brokerage for Keller Williams second second fastest growing brokerage for Keller Williams worldwide out of 800 offices, and I had ownership In an office, that ownership in a title company, and by everybody’s metric, like the world’s metrics of success, it will say like, well, Derek’s been really successful right now and what he’s doing, and yet there were times when I didn’t want to get out of bed in the morning, like, I wasn’t fulfilled, I was borderline depressed. And that’s when I decided like, something is wrong here. And I I completely retooled my life and I went from kind of, you know, running this big brokerage and this big company, and, you know, there’s always kind of recognition and all these kind of things to just, you know, me working out of, you know, my watch, you know, in this tiny rent house, and, you know, it was hard and you think of all the businesses
David Ralph [30:38]
that started in a garbage No, Dirk.
Dirk Van Reenen [30:41]
Yeah, I mean, some amazing businesses, right. You know, but that’s it. It’s I think, you have to define what success looks like for you. And to the other point that you made about wasting time. I study a lot from highly successful people because I believe They set a model for us to follow. So I don’t want to reinvent everything. I want to find successful models and implement them in my life and great. One thing I’ve learned is that highly successful people are very purposeful about who they spend time with. They don’t just allow anybody to take their time from them. And they realise that because when they do that, at the end of the day, you don’t have time for the people that are most important. Your life, right? Your family, your friends, yourself, you’re giving all your time, either to your business or to people that are just wasting your time. I love what you said about look, is there a real reason for us to have coffee? I mean, can you just send me an email, let me know, you know if there’s something I can help you with, or just kind of even limiting that contact and I know that that that may sound a little bit harsh. But the thing about it is when when you start just freely giving out your time to anybody, you’re going to find very, very quickly that most people out there will waste your time and effort and energy and they have no purpose of why They’re wanting to do that. Meaning that if you have a gift to give, and you’re giving this gift to people that are just squandering that gift, then it’s not helping you carry forward, your work your, your legacy, your, your gift to the world. And that’s why I think a lot of times when I tell people when they talk about finding a mentor, I’m like, Look, if you find a mentor, a great mentor that’s willing to give you their time. Be very purposeful. Go ahead of time to that meeting with all the questions that you want to ask them, and be vulnerable and don’t waste their time. You’re not there to be just chatty Cathy with them. You’re there to just say, look, I want to honour your time. Thank you so much for giving me this time. I want to be purposeful. I’m stuck in this area of my life. I know that you’ve been successful. What can you tell me to help me move through this and whatever they give you implemented immediately and then send them feedback and just say, hey, David, we met last week. You told me these three things are really important. I just want you to know that took action on this, I did this, I did this, I did this. Thank you so much. I’m going to get back to you in about a month or so and let you know how the results are showing up. Because then when that person reaches back out to you and say, Hey, David, it’s a month later, I did all these things. I’m actually seeing some really good results, would you have another five or 10 minutes just to connect with me on something else, what I have found is that people are so willing, high level people that run big businesses that everybody would typically say are very busy. They’re very busy to people that are going to waste their time. But if there’s somebody that’s actually going to make use of their time and effort and energy and knowledge and experience and everything, and create a carry forward momentum from that they create more time. And I think like that’s what people need to really connect with is that there’s so many people that and it’s so easy to waste time. Just think about like aimlessly scrolling Facebook or Tick Tock or like any of these like social sites today and how much time you just sitting there kind of wasting versus being purposeful about your time. And the more purposeful you are about your time, I think, you know, people are going to find exactly what you found. And that is that man, I have more time freedom, I feel more fulfilled, I’m more productive, and I’m happier.
David Ralph [34:16]
I was told a story the other day about a guy who basically sent an email to Richard Branson, and got an email back about two days later and said, What’s your phone number? And so he thought, hang on, is this from Richard Branson. Now? It’s not, it’s just gonna be from somebody. Anyhow, the phone rang. Hi, it’s Richard, how can I help you? And anyhow, Brent’s, and chatted to him for about 45 minutes. And the guy said to him, you know, what makes you phone back? You know, you must have thousands and thousands of millions of emails. And he said, very few people actually asked for my help, but millions of people asked for me to give them something. And yeah, and it was, it wasn’t an eye opener to me because I’ve seen that time and time again, but people But you wouldn’t expect because all were so busy they’re so important. They are actually willing to help now throwing this back at you as he was talking when was the last time that you went on social media?
Unknown Speaker [35:15]
Dirk Van Reenen [35:17]
actually this morning you know
I typically use social media during the week Try not to use it as much on the weekends and our families adopted something called no screen Sundays where okay all technology off. But typically, I’m very aware of my social media now get a every Monday morning I get a report that says my weekly screentime report and I think most phones have that and what I’ve started doing is tracking the time that I spend on my phone, right anything from because it tells you how many hours total you’ve used your phone, each app, how many hours how many times you picked up your phone, things like that. And so I have because probably about six or eight months ago, I realised like man like sometimes I I just waste so much time and I don’t even realise it like the algorithms have gotten so good at. So you know, I don’t know if you’ve seen the social dilemma, the new documentary that just came out on Netflix, about how the social platforms are actually programming you and making your decisions for you. So when you when you really kind of think in that level, you have to be vigilant about the time that you spend on social media and what you do with the time because it’s so easy just to aimlessly scroll and watch video after video after video or read things and most of the time, you don’t feel good after those kind of sessions anyway. So I’ve really tried to limit that a lot. And, you know, I don’t really spend a lot of time on social media anymore. Mainly kind of, you know, I’ve got some people that I kind of follow and kind of really look at, but really the majority of what I do in social media today is actually in private groups. And I’ve got a list of my favourite private groups, we run several of these groups, so You know, interacting with our own clients or communities, and then we’re in other communities too. So we really use it more for a place of connection and sharing knowledge and resources, as opposed to, you know, just kind of saying like, Hey, here’s, here’s what I’m doing right now. And, you know, the food I’m eating or whatever that’s going on. So we’re starting to use it a little bit differently. For just more true connection and collaboration.
David Ralph [37:25]
What about you, okay, I do not use it at all. And I haven’t, I have not touched. Basically, I go on the BBC website and read the news. And that’s pretty much it. I do use messenger just to connect with my clients. One words, but no, I don’t use Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, I don’t use anything anymore. And I found that
Dirk Van Reenen [37:47]
you feel like you’re missing out on anything, or do you feel like something’s I did?
David Ralph [37:51]
I did. There’s a period where I did feel like, you know, Oh, I should be checking. I should be doing this. I should be doing that. And I was, this is the interesting thing for me. I was so minimal on it anyway. But I still felt a kind of cold turkey of withdrawal symptoms coming off it, you know, and and it shouldn’t have been I was literally on it maybe an hour every three days or something, you know, very, very small. But I still felt like something was programmed in me to want to go back on there. So I went back on my Facebook profile, and I deleted everything I’ve ever put on there. It took me ages, delete everything, and just make it blank. Because when it was like pristine, and I don’t want to ever go on there and just start adding crap again, you know, and I, once again, my business has flourished without it. Because the only thing I do is I give quality to people one on one. I don’t do group coaching anymore. I don’t do scale. I just get a client through and we work one on one literally hand in hand. And it just gives me all the free time in the world, but I feel better for it. And this The thing I’m going to watch that documentary I will do when you said that, because I don’t really watch Telly either. I, you know, I will listen to amazon music in the evening, I’ll pass around my garden. I just like to be out and about away from technology. And fortunately, I don’t have a phone and all that kind of stuff where it’s dragged with me. But it made me feel depressed. It made me feel depressed being on it, and it made me feel more depressed coming off it, but now I feel better.
Dirk Van Reenen [39:29]
Well, you know, I read an email this morning from a lady that I love learning from. Her name’s Tony Sanchez, and I got to meet her last year and she does. She does a lot of venture capital business in the cannabis industry, but she comes down to the finance industry and you know, she just thinks about things a little bit differently, but she was talking about that documentary as well. And the truth is that a digital experience like Facebook or Anything else is there’s very, very actual little difference between that and an actual physical drug that you take. So the reason that you know when when we are on social media all the time, and we don’t feel good as soon as we get off that session, but we can’t, you know, you can’t wait to get back on it like, like two seconds later you want to get back on it is because every single time that you get on there, and there’s any kind of a notification, you get a hit of dopamine, and it’s just hit after hit after hit like your phone dings and vibrates as soon as you grab it. You see there’s a message, you get the hit of dopamine, and then you read the message. And it may not even be anything significant. And you can probably recall, like, I know you’ve been off social media for a while, but in the early days of Facebook, you got notifications that were actually meaningful. And then you would check your notifications. You may not have a couple of notifications for hours or maybe even a day or two days and then Facebook figured out that somebody should never get onto Facebook. not have that red.on there, you know, now they will inform you about the most like insignificant thing that really has nothing to do with you. But what they’re doing is they’re programming you to get into the app. And, you know, I heard Gary Keller said this one time, he said, Look, the digital world has one focus, and that’s to overtake the physical world. And what they’re trying to overtake is his actual focus, right? So, how much of your time and effort energy and focus is spent in the physical world versus the digital world? And, you know, I think like, that’s where the battleground is in the lie is if I’m not connected on Facebook, I can’t be successful. I can’t you know, and a lot of the most successful people I know, you know, are starting to do the same thing that you did. They’re, they’re unplugging from, from social media. They’re focusing more on actually having conversations again, and having For you know, talk because we’ve kind of been programmed that you have to kind of do this one to many approach in business. And you know, we’ve we adopt the philosophy that we want to grow through our clients. I mean, that’s, that’s really our biggest goal. And, and the crazy thing is, I mean, since we launched workflow, we’ve probably spent less than outside actual paid dollars for advertising less than $2,000 in three and a half years. And what we’ve really focused on is how can we take our dollars and invest back into our clients and create amazing experiences for them so that they are the ones that bring us more clients. And what that does is it creates more relational business and this is exactly what you’re experiencing, right? You say look, I’m going to turn on the noise off and I am going to get relational with people and do relational business and the dividends are astronomical on doing relational business and I think one of the dividends is a sense of connectedness A sense of fulfilment for doing relational business because from doing non relational business, right, transactional type business, sure you can make money and get a lot of dollars. But there’s a, there’s a sense of emptiness in that. And I’ve experienced that before. And I never want to go back to that.
David Ralph [43:15]
And what I think we’ve doing one to one work as I do now is the depth but you’re talking about, you know, I think when you’re doing scale, you can only sort of touch the surface, but when you’re just dealing with one person, and you’re just talking to that one person, everything goes deeper and deeper, and it becomes more rewarding, and you’re in control of it as well. You know, I do a programme where I teach people how to find business opportunities, and then start mastering SEO and I do a whole caboodle and I can stop people at any time and say, No, you haven’t done enough. We need to hold back. You know what, let’s keep on working on this one piece. But when it’s on scale, it’s literally you haven’t got the control of who’s missing out who’s not doing the work who’s just on a skin of their pants keeping up with you. And that’s what I don’t like, I want to give the value that somebody will say, that was the best a bit money that I’ve spent, you know, and I’ve really understand the ins and outs of it just going deep on the subject again.
Dirk Van Reenen [44:19]
Well, David, I think and like, if you think about how many people have shallow type relationships or conversations today, and most conversations are either like, oh, what, what’s going on with the sports or what’s going on with weather, you know, these days, what’s going on Corona, you know, whatever it is. There’s not depth to it. And social media has trained us to be very short and shallow with each other. And there is something amazing that’s unlocked. When you have a conversation that starts going deep, and two people can be vulnerable and authentic with each other. And in that connection, like I you 100% believe like, that’s where a lot of the foundations of joy and happiness lie in those moments. So if you’re continually having no matter if I’m having, you know, 400 conversations in a week, but every conversation was shallow. That weekend, I’m going to sit there, I’m not going to feel fulfilled, I’m going to feel empty, I’m going to feel like something’s missing. I’m going to be more anxious versus, you know, I could have had five really amazingly deep conversations that week. And that we can, I’m going to feel like man, like life is sweet. Like, you know, life is special life is as as true meaning I feel connected. I feel, you know, joy, and that’s one thing I’ve learned in my life is that the world is telling us like go out and do as much as you possibly can with as many as you can. And, you know, just constantly be trying to kind of sell and connect at a at a shell level. versus, you know, people pulling back and saying, like, stop the freaking madness, let’s start treating each other as human beings again, in creating the space to listen and hear and feel, instead of just constantly going out, and just trying to put out as much content as you can. And I think people it’s a, it’s definitely a mindset switch from doing business, you know, kind of the transactional way to the relational way. And I do think there is this time period of that feeling like, Hey, is this the right thing to do? Am I just isolating myself? Am I setting myself up for, you know, failure. But the other thing I’ve learned too, is that most businesses don’t actually need as many clients as they think they do. Yeah, if they really do great business with people, one is you’re going to find depth, which means that you’re going to have additional value, which means that you can actually, you know, get a higher return for the value that you’re putting out. And then typically, if you’re really actually helping people, they’re going to tell other people and they’ll help you build your business for you to where you don’t have to scream at the top of your lungs, but so many people out there and they’re just constantly shouting about like, do business with me do business with me, here’s why you should do business with me. But they’re not actually helping anybody. So nobody’s out there saying like, Hey, you should do business with this person. And I love what you said about just going deep with your people truly feeling like you are helping them in a meaningful way. And one that creates you know, joy and fulfilment for you and truly helps your clients so it’s changing their businesses and their lives. And then they can go out and tell other people like hey, you should really talk to David I think he can really help you with this.
David Ralph [47:41]
I get about 100,000 people listening to this show a month and in 2020 I’m working with 10 people and that’s it. And I’m not budging from that, you know, I call it my auntie scale. And the more about I closed down, the easier life is and I just looked back At times, and locked down affected me massively, where I suddenly realised that it was time to step back, slow down and assess what was more important. And the importance was not the business. It wasn’t, but it would have been four years ago, it would have been six years ago, it was all about a business. But now it’s about just, you know, sitting in the garden in the afternoon having a conversation with my wife, or just yesterday, my son suddenly needed to go off to university, as I said, you know, for sort of an open day, and I just went, Okay, I go, let’s close off the business. And let’s just go and we jumped on the train and stuff. You can’t do that. You can’t have that flexibility if you are constantly servicing, servicing, servicing, but we could go on many different avenues and we could make this a three hours Director’s Cut, but of course we can’t because we’ve got to hear these words. These were said back in 2005. Let’s bring him on the show again, Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs [48:55]
Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college, but it was Very, very clear looking backwards 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [49:29]
Now, obviously, your dots were quite eclectic at the beginning. Are they on the right path now to think?
Dirk Van Reenen [49:37]
Hundred percent? Yes. And, you know, I was like, man, I was just so you know, tuned into just that hearing Steve Jobs Say that again. And I love that speech. And I think it is like sometimes the dots are really messy. You know, as you’re kind of exploring and starting but I can absolutely see how the dots connected moving you know, looking back. And then today, I really believe I’m on the right path. And really, I mean, that doesn’t mean that there’s not uncertainty or hard times or struggles or anything. But there’s a difference in really just like deep down knowing that you’re not on the right path or knowing that you’re on the right path, even when it is challenging. And absolutely today, I feel Yes, I’m, you know, amazingly good place with one family, with our business with our lifestyle. And we’re still a long ways from where we want to be, but we are on the right path. Yeah.
David Ralph [50:35]
Yeah, I agree. Totally agree totally. But you only get there by engineering. I do think you know, unless you’re incredibly savvy and clued up about what you want to do in life and the skills that you can bring to to the table. I do think that you need to keep on working through until it hits in and when it does hit, it will become simple doesn’t do that. That’s that’s the weird thing. It’s not Not all the hassle, it’s not all the chasing is not all the communication with people, it’s just very quiet and simple. And when it becomes effective.
Dirk Van Reenen [51:10]
David, I think like, that’s the thing is you got to go through that period of uncertainty. It’s kinda like you’re being refined in the fire. And only when you get to the other side, you can look back and be like, well, life is so much more simple today than it was before. But when you’re when you’re in the storm, everything is messy. It’s chaotic. It’s, it’s hard. It’s confusing. And it’s so easy to just say, Look, I’m going to jump out of the storm and just go do something completely different. But then whatever that that different thing you’re going to do, you’re going to hit the storm again. And you know, we refer to them as ceilings of achievement in our business. And we say, look, in every area of your life, you’re going to hit a ceiling of achievement. And there’s going to be times where all of a sudden things are going really well and then bam, you hit the ceiling of achievement and now there’s frustration again, there’s new things you got to figure out In those times, if you learn the patterns of your life and you learn the patterns of the ceilings that are that are coming in, you recognise how to how to how to, you know, kind of know when you’re hitting a ceiling and the biggest indication is frustration. So if you have that underlying frustration in your life for something clued into that emotion and really dig into, okay, where is the frustration coming from, it’s obviously coming from somewhere where my expectation of life is not being met. And as you kind of flew into that, get purposeful, and it may take a week or a month or a year to break through whatever ceiling that is, once you break through it. On the other side, you’re going to experience more of that man life is more simple. Again, it’s, you know, things are moving forward, things are growing things are flourishing, until again, there’s going to be a ceiling that comes right so it’s just this process of recognising the the rhythm and a pattern of your life. But the thing is, if you keep just continue jumping in, you’re not willing to walk through that storm and be refined by the fire, then you don’t get to those places where life just starts making a little bit more sense. Yeah,
David Ralph [53:09]
I agree. I agree totally. Well, this is the part of the show that we’ve been building up to. This is the part called a sermon on the mic when we’re going to send you back in time to have a chat with the young Dirk and if you could go into a room and chat to him. What age would you like to speak to him? What advice would you give him? Well, we’re going to find out because I’m going to play the music and when it fades, it’s your time to talk to each other. This is the Sermon on the mic.
Dirk Van Reenen [53:57]
Right Dirk, you are 18 years old. Old, you’re heading off to college and you’re starting your life as as an adult. And here’s what I want you to know. I want you to stretch your thinking. You’ve you’ve had some some hard things that have happened in your life, you’ve had some experiences. You’ve also kind of lived in a world that you haven’t been exposed to that much. So I want you to really open your my mind about what’s possible for you. I want you to dream big, I want you to know that you have what it takes. You can you can do this. But here’s the thing, get clear about what it is that you want. And that doesn’t mean that you have to choose one thing and stick that the rest of your life but at all times, be clear about the the North Star in your life, what you’re working towards. The other thing too, is it’s not about those big breakthrough moments. The greatest success for you is gonna come from the consistency of you doing this Small things well, so get clear on what are those top five or 10 things that you need to do on a regular basis and track those things get purposeful about the way that you operate, get purposeful about, you know what you do, don’t, don’t always just think it’s going to be about you working hard and using your creativity and kind of just trying to think yourself out of situations. Find the thread and follow the thread and will lead you to bigger and better places. And the other thing too, is like Don’t, don’t be so serious about everything. Have fun, learn how to celebrate yourself, don’t beat yourself up on a continual basis. You are an amazing human being. You’ve got a lot to offer, and you have the ability to also help a lot of other people. So always stay tuned into the people that are around you. And check in with them. Make sure that you know what they need and how you can help them and go out and try serve people on your journey. Right stuff.
David Ralph [56:03]
So Doug, what’s the number one best way for our audience who have been listening can connect with you?
Dirk Van Reenen [56:10]
Yep. Berg flow.com. br gflow.com is our website and you can find our contact info on there.
David Ralph [56:19]
You know, that’s the first time for about 6000 shows when I say what’s the number one best way you only say one. So, so credit to you. I’m gonna give you a round of applause. Normally I get I get about 400 different social media links. But thank you so much for spending time with us today. joining up those dots and please come back again, when you got more dots to join up because I do believe that by joining up the dots and connecting our pass is always the best way to build our futures. Dope Van reenen Thank you so much.
Dirk Van Reenen [56:50]
David, can I can I share one more thing you go for it? Okay, so in the show notes before the show, you said hey, if you got a favourite quote, can you can you share it up Can I share my quote? You go for it? Yeah. Okay, so my, my quote is by Carl Jung, and he’s a really Steen and famous psychologist. But the quote here is, until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate. So, there’s so much to unpack in that quote, but I just want people to think about that one.
David Ralph [57:27]
I’m going to be left with you. And I’m gonna have to look that up and think about it. That was that was a deep one. Thank you so much. And we will speak again,
Dirk Van Reenen [57:35]
David, thank you so much. Appreciate it.
David Ralph [57:39]
Mr. Van reenen. So do you go deep or do you just try to do the sort of bare minimum to get past like my son does, for example, I think most people do. But honestly, that is probably one of the most insightful shows that we’ve done for a long, long wall, where you don’t find the passion. The passion comes to you. It’s that ability to keep digging and digging and digging. And the more you dig down and the more you become a master at something, the more your income will go up. It’s obvious it’s supply and demand, but less people that do something that other people want. Then you you earn a lot all the major sports people that can do amazing things that none of us can do. And a fortune because of that. It’s all about going deep and in deep in conversations deep in life. Let us know drop us an email, Join Up. email@example.com tell us when was the last time you really went deep and try to gain mastery or when was the last time you really had a deep conversation with your spouse or your partner? Instead of the you know what’s for dinner tonight? What should we watch for tea on TV? Let us know. Until next time you look after yourself. I’ll see you again. Bye bye.
David doesn’t want you to become a faded version of the brilliant self you are wants to become so he’s put together an amazing guide for you called the eight pieces of advice that every successful entrepreneur practices, including the two that changed his life. Head over to Join Up dots.com to download this amazing guide for free and we’ll see you tomorrow on Join Up Dots.