How To Develop Mental Toughness ft Brad Weimert

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How to Develop Mental Toughness

In endurance races, you are called on to push past the pain, to push past what you think your body is capable of and achieve on a new level. Being an entrepreneur is no different. It requires mental toughness to face the challenges as they come, setting the bar higher and higher as you build a business that surpasses other’s expectations—and maybe even goes beyond what YOU thought possible for yourself.

Brad Weimert is an entrepreneur and adventurer based in Austin, Texas. He founded Easy Pay Direct in 2009 to help small business owners process online payments, and the digital financial services firm has since become known as the best tool on the market for high-level eCommerce. Brad is also an endurance athlete: He crossed the country by bicycle in 2007, giving speeches to at-risk youth along the way, and in October of 2017, he completed the 29029|Everesting challenge TWICE in the allotted 36 hours.

Today on the podcast, Brad joins Oliver to share the experience of climbing the vertical distance of Mt. Everest two times in three days. He discusses the commitment he made to himself before the climb and describes how he prepared physically for Everesting with just seven weeks to train. Brad walks us through the most challenging stretch of the race, the moment he wanted to quit, and the remarkable final stretch when he nearly doubled his pace! Listen in for Brad’s insight on the most important lessons he learned from the climb and learn how this special breed of mental toughness translates to his business life.

Here is how the interview breaks down

[2:31] What inspired Brad to climb the vertical distance of Everest twice in 36 hours

[8:35] Brad’s confidence level going into the climb

[9:40] The most challenging stretch of the climb

[13:44] The moment of truth when Brad wanted to quit

[20:23] Brad’s nutrition and sleep during the climb

[23:16] Brad’s experience in the final stretch of the climb

[29:20] Brad’s top lessons learned from the Everesting experience

[31:59] How Brad’s Everesting (x2) translates to business

[38:58] Brad’s upcoming Unplugged Fiji adventure trip

[42:19] How Brad went viral with the ‘worst job post ever’

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Key Takeaway:

Being a successful business owner requires the mental toughness to face challenges as they come and surpass expectations. Today, adventurer and entrepreneur Brad Weimert joins Oliver to share his experience climbing the vertical distance of Mt. Everest TWICE in 36 hours and discuss how developing this kind of grit translates to business.

Interview Transcript:

Intro: Welcome to Founders Club, the show for real estate entrepreneurs.

Oliver Graf: Out here today backstage at Traffic and Conversion Summit, so this one might get a little bit loud, but I’m excited to be sitting with the founder of Easy Pay Direct, Brad Weimert. We’re going to be talking about mental toughness and how this man climbed the vertical distance of Mount Everest two times in a 36-hour period. Let’s jump in.

Oliver Graf: Really wanted to have Brad on because I think that your story is A, really inspiring, and two, the mental toughness that you exhibited on the journey that you went on is something that most people probably don’t believe that they can do themselves, and so I think there’s a lot to be learned on just pushing yourself beyond your limits. I just want to get right into it with you, because you climbed the vertical distance of Mount Everest twice in 36 hours. What possessed you to want to do that?

Brad Weimert: There’s a specific story around that. I think that there are kind of two questions there. One is what possessed me to want to do that one, and then the other is, why does anybody do stupid endurance stuff, right?

Oliver Graf: Yeah.

Brad Weimert: I think that there’s a special breed of crazy that likes to do things like that, and at the core, I think that in all activities, athletics is just one area, and endurance athletics a really clear example, but in all areas, we have this idea of what we’re capable of. When you push past that baseline, you find out how much more is there. And what’s crazy about endurance athletics is that usually that line is way, way, way before when you actually fail physically. That space between your baseline and what you can actually do is this learning ground. It’s area where you get to know yourself, where you get to be alone with your thoughts, where you get to understand things differently and gain a different paradigm, so I’m seeking those out.

Oliver Graf: I’m very curious to see how you ended up wanting to do that, first of all, but before we get into that, we’re going to crack a couple of beers and have a great conversation around mental toughness. I’m going to be drinking these Saint Archer Mosaic IPA, and Brad went with the high-class Miller Lite, and we’re going to enjoy a couple of beers and kick this thing off.

Brad Weimert: Time and a place for shitty beer, man.

Oliver Graf: Cheers.

Brad Weimert: Cheers.

Oliver Graf: Okay. I’m going to set the scene real quick. There’s a contest called Everesting, or a race or a challenge, whatever you want to call it, where people go up a mountain 17 times?

Brad Weimert: Yep.

Oliver Graf: And that’s how many feet, 36 …

Brad Weimert: 29,029, so the height equivalent of Mount Everest.

Oliver Graf: 29,000 feet, and you decided to do it twice in the same amount of time that everybody else was going to do it once. So you got 36 hours, and I think I read somewhere that that was the equivalent of like 44 miles-

Brad Weimert: Yeah.

How To Develop Mental Toughness

Oliver Graf: … all uphill.

Brad Weimert: Yeah.

Oliver Graf: What possessed you to want to do that?

Brad Weimert: I think that what initially possessed me is different than what I got out of it. What initially possessed me to want to do it is I got challenged. I was talking to one of the organizers, this guy Mark. We had scheduled the call way in advance, and I was at a bar in Denver at an event, seven weeks out from the Everesting event, and I was talking to Mark.

Brad Weimert: I’d had a few Manhattans, and I said, “So, are you seriously giving people three days to do this?” It’s 36 hours total, but it’s from Friday through Sunday. And he said, “Yeah, yeah. Do you think that’s not long enough?”, and I said, “Motherfucker, I could do that shit twice in three days.” And as soon as I said it, I heard myself, and he said, “Oh, yeah?” And I said, “Well, I’ve had a couple of Manhattans. Maybe I’ll think about that and tell you in the morning.”

Oliver Graf: Let me sleep on it.

Brad Weimert: Yeah. And he said, “Yeah, or you can get your foot out of your mouth and step the fuck up.” And I was like, “Well, okay, then.”

Oliver Graf: Okay, then.

Brad Weimert: Yeah. That was actually the catalyst. That was the beginning. And I think that obviously, all good decisions start with alcohol.

Oliver Graf: Clearly.

Brad Weimert: Yeah. But seriously, there was pressure on from that moment. It was seven weeks out, and like the next day I went into sober land and training mode.

Oliver Graf: Seven weeks. Think about how short of a window it is to train for something that extreme in such a short amount of time. I want to read a quote from Jesse Itzler who is the guy that put on the event. Great guy, founder of several very successful businesses. When he found out that you were doing this, he said, “Not a chance in hell. I said, ‘Brad I love you. I want to see you do it. You’re out of your marbles. It’s not going to happen. There’s not enough time.'” I’ve sure you’ve heard that from a lot of people, and I would call that the naysayers, even though obviously Jesse’s always full of encouragement, but how do you respond to that? How did you overcome that, because I’m sure you heard that from a lot of people that you’re crazy, you can’t do this, it’s maybe not even possible?

Brad Weimert: It’s the adage of, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time,” and it ultimately came down to math. I looked at it, and I was like, “Okay, well, 36 hours. How long does it take to go up? Roughly an hour. There are 34 laps, so that gives me two hours to spare.” Now, what’s crazy is two hours seems like a lot of time to spare, but across 36 laps, that is four extra minutes per lap. Four minutes per lap that I had to spare, roughly.

Brad Weimert: That was the beginning. That’s how I started looking at that. So I thought, “Okay, what are the variables I can control?”, and it was like I wanted my tent, which is where I stored my gear, to be as close as possible to the entry point of the mountain. I wanted to optimize fuel. I wanted to optimize charging of my battery, because I wanted to have my phone to listen to stuff and track things. I was not allowed to go to the bathroom ever. That happened at some points. But that was the thing, like four minutes.

Oliver Graf: Yeah, it’s a quick four minutes.

Brad Weimert: You want to monitor that stuff. And then at night, the mountain closed, and it was pitch black. So the deal was, we were running up the mountain, taking a gondola down, and the gondola took seven and a half minutes to get down unless it stopped. But like clockwork, seven and a half. I knew that. What I didn’t know is in the middle of the night, we would take an SUV down, and the SUV is heavily dependent on the driver. Some of the drivers would fly down, and it would be a seven-minute journey down or a 10-minute journey down. Some of them were like … and it’d be 20 minutes. So those variables the whole time I’m calculating. How you deal with naysayers, I think, is breaking it down into little pieces and say, “Okay, well, is it realistic?” But that was the beginning.

Oliver Graf: Yeah. So based on the math, that’s what made you feel like you could do it? You’ve thought, “I have enough time to make it possible.” Now, how do you make sure and prepare physically and mentally to actually now go make it happen?

Brad Weimert: Yeah, so the physical component’s a whole nother question as to is it possible. I know that people operate based on the references points that they’ve had in their life, and so somebody that’s run in a ultra marathon of any kind, somebody that’s run 50 miles, 100 miles, 200 miles, if you ask them if it’s possible to run a marathon they have lots of reference points saying it’s possible, right?

Oliver Graf: Totally.

Brad Weimert: If you ask somebody that’s never run at all if they can run a marathon-

Oliver Graf: It’s definitely not possible.

Brad Weimert: Exactly, right? Totally different reference points. So I was fortunate in that I had done some longer activities before, endurance activities, I rode a bicycle from Los Angeles to Boston at one point, and so I had something in my head that was like, “Okay, I can do endurance things.” But I’d never climbed a mountain for 36 hours, so I think a little delusion is the answer to that. But yeah, that was the big challenge was, do I have time to do this?

Oliver Graf: How confident were you that you were going to be able to make it happen?

Brad Weimert: What I knew was that I was going to push for the entire 36 hours. That was my commitment. And I had made a decision on the front end that it was okay to get hurt doing it, and in fact, it was likely that I might get hurt doing it, because I knew that was going to be a variable, and that was it. That was the commitment.

Brad Weimert: Now, whether or not I was actually going to be able to do it wasn’t really the question. The question was, what effort was I going to put forth to do it, and I think that that’s a really important distinction, because what you commit to ahead of time determines how you behave in the moments of insecurity, of fear, of doubt, that inevitably happen in the middle of a tough journey. You hit a point where you start to question why you’re doing it, and if you’ve made a choice ahead of time, when you get there, it’s easy. It’s, “No, no, no. I’ve already decided.”

Oliver Graf: So, take me through what that process was like for you.

Brad Weimert: I think probably the best example of that for me in this journey was I was at about hour, maybe like hour 17. Everything’s going smooth. I’d gone straight through the night, it’s 7 a.m. and I’m still moving, and then all of a sudden, on the 18th lap, I start to get this shooting pain in my right knee. Like shooting pain. Every step. It’s, I don’t know, thousands of steps up, and every step, it’s … and I’ve got pain in other areas that is soreness, my shoulders, my neck, my back, but the knee, it started to feel debilitating. I go up 18, I go up 19, and my pace starts to slow. The sun comes out, it goes from 40 degrees to 85.

Oliver Graf: And the pain’s there the whole time?

Brad Weimert: Pain’s there the whole time, and I’ve got long, black sleeves on, the sun starts to beat down on me, but I don’t want to stop because I don’t want to lose any time, so I just keep going. Lap 22, I start to get delirious. Like, full-blown delirious. I’m passing people, and I would say things, I think, and I would pass them, and I’d think, “Did I say that out loud just now?” Then I’d keep going, and then I’d say, “Did I say that to myself out loud just now? Am I talking right now?” It was a very weird. It was delirious, and in retrospect, it was dehydration, malnourishment. I wasn’t fueling properly.

Brad Weimert: But I bring it up because what happened in that moment is I had all these thoughts, or in that lap I had all these thoughts around this pain. That was both of my knees, but my right knee in particular. Some ankle stuff, too. But I had this thought of, “How stupid would it be if I had to go to the hospital? How stupid would it be if I tore something right now, went to the hospital and did permanent damage to my body? Then when I was at 80, somebody was like, ‘Oh, you can’t walk,’ and I was like, ‘Yeah, I felt like I needed to climb this mountain 34 times, and I permanently damaged my body.'”

Oliver Graf: Because I got dared.

Brad Weimert: Right. And by the way, super-logical thoughts. That’s a really rational argument to stop climbing the damn mountain, but I had made a decision before I went into it that injury was not only okay, but it was likely, and so that choice had already been made, so I just kept pushing. That’s a big thing. You have to plan for the worst that you know how you’re going to handle it when you get into that situation.

Oliver Graf: And how are you talking yourself through that in your head? Because I’m sure the pain got worse and worse every lap, or at least persistent. How are you talking yourself through that to keep going?

Brad Weimert: I think that you have to at some point … I was talking somebody actually last night who was an Ironman competitor, and Ironman is I think for a lot of people sort of the pinnacle of endurance. It’s a tremendous feat. But all endurance is the same thing, and Ironmans take 15 hours for most people. Competitive people do it much faster. But the deal was that that initial baseline of “Oh, this is going to start to hurt,” or, “Oh, this hurts a lot,” that’s where most people quit.

Brad Weimert: Endurance athletes, once you start living in this space, you recognize that the rest of that journey is going to involve a lot of pain, and you’re just going to be in this place of pain. And so I think that there’s a huge realization of the pain is okay. The goal isn’t to avoid pain, it’s to understand how to work through it. Some other parallel analogies are like in business, the goal isn’t to avoid challenges. It’s to learn how to solve the problems. It’s to learn how to get better.

Oliver Graf: Yeah, that just triggered a thought in my head. That pain that you’re going through, that’s actually the growth. That’s you moving the needle on what you believe you can do and just pushing through it, and the hitting that wall and being able to push past it.

Brad Weimert: Yeah.

How To Develop Mental Toughness

Oliver Graf: Did you ever want to quit?

Brad Weimert: Yeah. At the end of probably the end of the 24th lap, it became clear to me … end of the 24th lap, I had 10 laps to go, and I only had 8 hours, and each lap was taking an hour. So the map no longer worked. I’m doing math the whole time, the whole-

Oliver Graf: Recalculating and recalculating.

Brad Weimert: Yeah, exactly. Recalculating. I’m like, “Can I go get food right now? Can I go to the bathroom? Where am I?”

Oliver Graf: So at this point you’re thinking to yourself, “I don’t even have enough time to actually make this happen.”

Brad Weimert: You got it. Yep. It’s mathematically impossible. In fact, I was riding the gondola down and I did a Facebook live and I’m talking to people. First time I’d actually done a Facebook Live, and it was a really fun experience because I had all my friends that were chiming in.

Brad Weimert: 26 hours, 30 minutes of exercise today. That shit’s no joke. I am coming down the gondola after my 24th run. That puts me at I think around 42,000 feet of elevation. 24 runs up a mountain that’s 1,750 feet, and I think that’s about 42,000 feet total. The cutoff to take one more run tonight is 5:00 p.m., which is a few minutes from now. I will not get down in time to do that, which, to be honest, I’m pretty relieved about. But the bad news is that that’s 24 total that I’ve done, and the goal is to do 34, and there’s no way that I can do 10 tomorrow. It’s not open. I only have access for 8 hours, and I would have to be flying tomorrow to do that, and I’m pretty beat up right now.

Brad Weimert: All these people are like, “You can do it, don’t quit!”, and I was like, “It’s mathematically impossible. I’m not quitting, it’s just not possible anymore.” So I started to talk about, “Do I keep going at all?” Because now I know I can’t hit the goal, so why bother pushing, right?

Brad Weimert: That was another example of how important it is to make the decision on the front end, because while I made the decision it was okay to get hurt, I did not make the decision that I was going to push no matter what, so I hit this point where I was like, “Okay, well, I can’t do this.” I was fortunate enough to have a couple of really good friends reach out in both text and voicemail and give me this barrage of encouragement, and one of them sent me a text, and he said, “Hey, so, I know that each lap is taking you an hour. If you just did each one in a half hour, you can do it.”

Oliver Graf: Simple enough.

Brad Weimert: Simple enough, right? So I get this text, and I remember thinking like, “What a dick.” I just totally dismiss it. Then I started thinking about it, and I’m like, “Okay,” and so the next lap I’m like, “Let me see how hard I can push,” and I just push. I get up to the top of the mountain, and I’m just dripping. My heart’s thumping faster … It’s more intense than any other lap I’ve done. I look at my watch; it was 33 minutes.

Oliver Graf: So the next lap you did in 33 minutes?

Brad Weimert: Next lap, lap 25, I did in 33 minutes.

Oliver Graf: Wow.

Brad Weimert: I looked at my watch and I thought, “Okay, well, I can’t do that again, but maybe I can do one more,” and I pushed again. Next lap I did in 31 minutes, and I was like, “Damn, that’s crazy.” I’m like, “All right, well, I’m going to crash here at some point, but maybe one more.” I push one more and I do it in around 30 minutes again, and I’m like, “Damn. I am flying,” and it starts to energize me and I’m like, “Man. Okay, maybe one more.” I still didn’t have any expectations of being able to do the rest of the laps in time, but “maybe one more” was my mantra.

Brad Weimert: I was like, “Just one more,” because in endurance, if you talk to anybody who does endurance sports, there is a moment when if you crash, people call it bonking, and when this happens, it’s actually your lactic acid threshold. You hit a point where your body just shuts down, and that’s it. I’m waiting for this thing to happen, and I’m like, “All right, at some point, this is going to be over. One more. One more. One more.”

Brad Weimert: And I get to lap 31 and I have about two hours left, and I start calculating. I’m like, “Oh, shit. I can finish this,” and I’m actually, I’m in the gondola, and I break down crying coming down, and I’m just not a crier. It’d be awesome if I was, there’s some emotional release there that’s cool, I just can’t. I’m not good at it.

Brad Weimert: So I start thinking like, “Why am I crying right now?”, and the answer that comes up is that I was proud of myself. I was like, “I’m proud that I pushed in this moment when I didn’t think it was possible, when I had this narrative of it’s mathematically impossible, and I pushed anyway.”

Oliver Graf: I think that’s a huge takeaway, because there’s so many people out there that will hit that point and give up and quit, and the fact that you had that shift to not only not quit, but double your pace and go even faster, is a huge testament to just what’s possible when you believe you can do it and when you put the desire behind it.

Brad Weimert: Yeah. It’s unreal to me. It was really unreal, and what’s crazy about it to me is that it’s not like I had climbed the mountain once and thought it would take an hour or twice and thought it would take an hour. I had climbed it 24 times at this point. I had a lot of reference points. I had a lot of data.

How To Develop Mental Toughness

Oliver Graf: And just to be clear, everyone else in the contest was doing it 17 times and then done. They were doing one climb.

Brad Weimert: Yeah.

Oliver Graf: And you’re the only one that said, “I’m going to do it twice.”

Brad Weimert: Yeah, and as a frame of reference, of the 140 that set out to do it, roughly half of them finished. Roughly half finished the 17th. So it’s a tough thing. Yeah. But I had a lot of reference points telling me it was impossible, and I think it’s really important to, in a lot of areas of life, step back and say, “Okay, well, that’s great. I’ve got data saying that’s not important, but why, and is that right? Is it worth accepting it at face value?”

Oliver Graf: And reassessing the problem-

Brad Weimert: 100%.

Oliver Graf: … coming up with new solutions, and hey, if I just do it this much faster, I can still make this happen.

Brad Weimert: And what’s crazy is that thought, all it was was somebody planted the seed of, “What if you just did it in a half hour?” Like, who knows if he had said, “Just do it in 20 minutes”? What if you do it in a half hour? Okay.

Oliver Graf: That’s really crazy.

Brad Weimert: That’s nuts to me.

Oliver Graf: Did you sleep?

Brad Weimert: No. I did sleep at one point. When I talk about the break at the 24th hour, they closed the mountain overnight so I was forced to stop. That was when I questioned whether or not I should continue. Actually, after lap 24, I immediately went and took an ice bath, which was brutal. Took a shower, and then I slept in a tent. What’s interesting is that they had hired a band, because everybody else was partying and socializing, and I go and I crash in the tent, and I crash for about six hours, and I don’t sleep because there’s a reggae cover band, which was great. It’s like a Bob Marley cover band.

Brad Weimert: So I’m kind of laying there feeling the vibes, but the bass from the band is rocking my sleeping surface. I can literally feel the bass. Eventually it turns off, but there’s so much fatigue in my body that when I wanted to roll over or turn, I would grab my arm and pick it up so I can rotate my body. I wake up at 5:00, 5:45, and started going.

Brad Weimert: The best thing that happened that day was, as I walked out, that was when I made the decision of, “Maybe I’ll just see what I can do in this moment.” But I ran into the organizer and he was like, “You need to eat.” I was like, “Yeah, yeah, yeah. I got it,” and he was like, “No, no,” and he started to break down the math. He said, “You’re burning at least 800 calories every time you go up. You need to at least be consuming that to maintain it.” He said, “It’s like eight bananas.”

Oliver Graf: That’s a lot.

Brad Weimert: Yeah. He was like, “Are you eating eight bananas every time you go up the mountain?” I was like, “No, I’m not eating eight bananas every time I go up the mountain.” That’s when again, breaking it down and looking at the math, I was like, “All right,” so I would go up, and as I came down, I would just crush food. I would jam a banana down with some almond butter, I’d eat a bar, I’d pound a liter of water. And really, I think that that was a big part of what kept me alive. Anybody that does endurance, you don’t want to eat anything when you’re at that-

Oliver Graf: Yeah, I can’t imagine trying to shove food in while you’re all jacked up like that, like, in the flow of it.

Brad Weimert: You hit a point of nausea. You hit this point where you just, anything that you eat just makes you nauseous and it’s gross, and that’s really your body’s cue, probably, telling you to just stop altogether.

Oliver Graf: Like, hey, you might want to relax for a minute?

Brad Weimert: Yeah, why don’t you chill out for a little bit? But you need to eat anyway. You need the calories.

Oliver Graf: Crazy, man. So, tell me about your last lap.

Brad Weimert: I think that the last lap was sort of a victory lap. The third and second to last lap was where the push was, because the third and second, I could see that it was possible, and at the same time, you never know when you’re going to bonk. You never [inaudible] that things could happen, so it was, “Hey, I need to push as hard as I can to make sure that I’m making up as much time as possible, so that if something happens, I can still keep going.”

Brad Weimert: And I was down to the wire. When I started at the gate for the last lap I was out of time, and I knew I needed to get through it and go. So lap three and two, it was finish strong. The final lap, I actually ran with the organizer, who had not done a lap the whole time, so he had fresh legs and was like, “Hey, let’s go,” and he wanted to talk. It was … it was okay. It was nice.

Oliver Graf: Yeah. Wow.

Brad Weimert: It was actually very cool to get a chance to talk to him, but I was just in grind mode and knock it out.

Oliver Graf: Then the last lap they let everyone have a flag, and they plant their flag at the top of the mountain as a sign of finishing and victory, and they gave you two flags, and you planted both of them in the ground. Tell me about that feeling.

Brad Weimert: Oh. It’s really good, man. It’s a really good feeling. The end of the mountain was a super-steep pitch. The beginning, you could sort of jog. You can’t really full-tilt run and stuff like that, because it’s still that pretty steep grade, but you can jog. But very quickly, it starts to escalate to … you can’t jog. You’re hiking.

Oliver Graf: Right. This is like a ski slope.

Brad Weimert: It is. It’s a black-diamond run on a ski slope. So you get to the top, and the top is like vert, straight up. So you’re hoofing it to go up, so at the end, your heart rate spikes like crazy and you’re pushing like hell to go up. I hit that point, and I just start cranking. At this point, the organizer’s like “Hey, we’re going to get some footage of you. I’m going to break out to the side. I’ll see you up there,” and I can see the film crews starting to zero in.

Brad Weimert: Nobody else is on the mountain, so I am the only person left that’s going up. They’ve already started to break things down. And so I go up, and I see a bunch of other flags that have been planted up there, and some guy runs up to me, and I grab both flags, and the wind is like ripping. The treeline stops at about 80% of the mountain, so now you’ve got exposure. The wind comes in, it’s like … and he hands … he has these flags. The flags are big, so I hold the flags, and mind you, I’ve been pushing for-

Oliver Graf: Completely exhausted.

Brad Weimert: … Totally exhausted. Totally exhausted, and so I hold the flags and the wind catches them, and it’s like … It almost blows me over, so the pictures and the video, everything is just taut. I’m just trying to hold it up, and they’re like, “Yeah, raise the flags for a picture,” and at this point, I’m just, like, victorious.

Oliver Graf: Running on adrenaline.

Brad Weimert: Oh, yeah. Hugging people, and … And so I do that, and I go down in the gondola, and Mark’s wife, Mark is one of the organizers, partners with Jesse, had brought sandwiches, hot sandwiches, which was like delicacy. Most amazing thing ever in the moment. I’m like, “Oh, my God, sandwiches.” It’s like … eat the sandwiches, and I go down and I have a few minutes of … probably only five or six people left there, almost everybody had departed.

Brad Weimert: I talk to Jesse for a little while, and Jesse’s like, “Man.” He’s like, “You had a lot of naysayers,” and I was like, “Did I?” And he was like, “Oh, yeah. A lot of people were talking shit.” And he was like, “But, you know, they can’t talk shit now,” and what was interesting in that moment for me was I didn’t hear any of it. When I was going, I even met a bunch of people that now I’ve connected to later, but I had blinders. I would have quick conversations on the way up the mountain, but I just was, I was in my own world. I crashed in a little hotel that night, went home, and went to work the next day.

Oliver Graf: That’s insane.

Brad Weimert: Well, I think that one of the things that sunk in with me about that was huge, huge activity for me, something that challenged me tremendously in my life that I got tons of lessons for. It’s a chapter in life, and the rest of life immediately kicked in, and I went back to normal life. It’s like, “Okay, I did this thing, and now I’m working in the office the next day.”

Oliver Graf: Crazy.

Brad Weimert: Yeah. It’s interesting because to prioritize things like that in your life, there’s no parade, there’s no celebration when you’re done. Nobody really gives a shit. I did this thing, I did it for me. I was fortunate enough to be able to raise a good amount of money for a really, really cool non-profit called Explore Austin that takes underprivileged kids on adventure trips.

Brad Weimert: One the biggest takeaways for me, and kids being one of these things, is that the number of people that I know that were with me in that journey, that watched it, that got inspired by it, was of more value to me than anything else. It connected me to them in a way and helped me understand things in a way that I don’t know another vehicle that would allow me to do it.

Oliver Graf: Yeah. We can say firsthand that you inspired someone in our office, Allison.

Brad Weimert: Yeah.

Oliver Graf: Ended up doing it the next time around.

Brad Weimert: And crushed it.

Oliver Graf: And crushed it, and was the first girl to finish on that set, so she killed it, so shout out to Allison. It’s cool to see the way that what you did inspired a lot of other people. Looking back on it now, what would you say was your big lesson that you learned from the whole thing?

Brad Weimert: There’s a lot of stuff there. One of the major ones for me personally was how valuable your actions can be for other people. To me, I always had this consistent underlying thought of like, “Nobody really cares, really cares what you do. You’re not going to make that much of a difference, you’re one person.”

How To Develop Mental Toughness

Brad Weimert: The reality is that whatever your narrative is in your life, whatever path you’re on, there are people that can learn from it and that will grow from it, and the likelihood of that happening increases radically when you are being the best version of yourself. The best version of myself in this context, in this challenge, was head down, break down the numbers, focus on what I can do, and push like hell.

Oliver Graf: And take one bite at a time.

Brad Weimert: And take one bite at a time. One step at a time, in this case.

Oliver Graf: Such a cool story. What was the biggest thing you learned about yourself from the whole thing?

Brad Weimert: Man.

Oliver Graf: Because I’m sure you had a lot of time to reflect as you were going up and down, and I’m sure afterwards a lot of reflection as well.

Brad Weimert: It was the timing thing, the sense of it took an hour. I knew it took an hour. Every lap was an hour. I know that’s how long it takes. I have 24 data points telling me that it takes that long. And by the way, most of us make decisions based on one data point or two data point. “Hey, did this thing, and this is the result I got. I did it again, I got the same result. I did it again, I got the same result. Three data points, done deal. I’m not doing that thing anymore if I don’t like that result,” right. 24? That was an eyeopening thing of, “No, no. I can just do something different, and I can get a different result. Doesn’t matter that it didn’t work that way before. I can try again,” and that was a really, really strong lesson, because it applies to everything.

Oliver Graf: Yeah, and the lesson of just changing up your approach, right. Like when you had that realization of, “Oh, man, I’m running out of time. I need to make a change,” and then you doubled up your pace even though I’m sure you were completely exhausted, is a huge takeaway. So putting yourself through something like this is a growth experience, and I’m sure obviously in your personal life that’s helped you in many different facets, but how has that translated for you in business?

Brad Weimert: You know, it’s really hard. It’s one of these things, it’s like billboard advertising. It’s very hard to make a direct correlation between those things, but I think that the power in it is that you start to build this muscle of, “I’m tired, I’m done, I can’t keep moving, I can’t focus right now-“

Oliver Graf: I can’t make another phone call, I can’t do another meeting, I can’t show another property.

Brad Weimert: … Yeah. And so I think that one of the major things is I start to … this is actually an interesting one, but I start to realize these little moments where something is telling me to stop and I tell myself that no, and one of them is I have to pee. That’s a funny one, right, but if you’re standing at your desk, the reflex of I have to pee very often is just a distraction.

Brad Weimert: It’s an excuse to do something else, and if you shut that down and say, “No, no, no, I’m focusing right now, or I’m trying to focus right now. I’m going to stay here where I am,” an hour might pass if you get past that moment. An hour might pass where you found great focus for an hour because you shut down that initial physical response, and that’s probably one of the biggest things for me. Or, “I’m hungry,” or, “I’m thirsty.” No, no, no. No, no, no.

Oliver Graf: Wait a minute. We’re doing this right now.

Brad Weimert: Yeah. Telling yourself, like, get control of your mind. So all these physical activities are this reminder of no, I have control of my mind. I clearly broke this today, but I haven’t been drinking for the last few months, and I stopped drinking caffeine for about a month. I like both of those things, alcohol and caffeine, but I stopped, and people frequently say, “Well, why did you stop?” Or, “Why did you stop caffeine?”

Brad Weimert: The answer for me is when something pops up, I realize that I’ve got this sense of, “I need this.” I want to stop it. Or when I have this sense of, “I can’t,” I want to push that and see if I can change it. Those are opposite ends on the spectrum, but it’s the same reflex. It’s a lack of control over myself. Those moments when you’re working and you feel like you can’t make another call … Yeah, you can. And when you do it anyway, that’s where the power is.

Oliver Graf: And the crazy part about that is many times that next call is the winning call.

Brad Weimert: Totally. Yeah. And my background is grinding on phones. The phones are where the money is. The presentations. You’ve done tons of presentations. Everybody likes doing the presentations, right? Or you learn to, if you’re in sales. The phones, that’s what you have to learn to like.

Oliver Graf: It’s getting to the appointment. That’s the hard

Brad Weimert: Totally. Just got to grind out the phones, and it’s numbers, right. You need a no, make the calls. Do the work. And for me the calls were the stairwell, so I was doing hours on the stairwell every weekend. Two hours, four hours, six hours, eight hours in the stairwell. Stairwell. Just [crosstalk] stairwell.

Oliver Graf: What he means by that is for his training he was literally going in his building, which is how many stories?

Brad Weimert: Mine’s 35, and the one across the street was 65. I was doing both.

Oliver Graf: 65 stories, and he’s just going up and down and up and down and up and down and up and down to train for this Everesting exercise.

Brad Weimert: Yeah. Alone in the stairwell, and by the way, I would come out of the stairwell, and I did a lot of it with a weight vest because I knew that I was short on time, I only had seven weeks to train. And so I had this, it was 10 to 40 pounds depending, but I’d have this weight vest, just be running up, and I would pop out every once in a while, and people would be like, “… So what are you doing?”

Oliver Graf: Just cruising.

Brad Weimert: Yeah. Just going for a walk.

Oliver Graf: Yeah. That’s awesome, man. Cheers to that.

Brad Weimert: Oh, yeah, man. Appreciate you having me on.

Oliver Graf: Cool, man. I’m almost speechless, because to your point, initially it seems like something that I would never be able to do or would even want to do, but after this conversation, I kind of feel like you need to do these things that get you outside of your comfort zone to push the limits of your comfort zone into bigger and better areas.

Brad Weimert: Yeah. Yeah, and I really think that A, I believe that anybody is capable of going out and doing … the example that I tend to use is a marathon, and a marathon is a really weird thing, because it’s a totally arbitrary number. First of all, it’s stupid, because we’re doing a number that somebody … the history of the marathon is somebody ran to bring the announcement of the end of the war, and ran to the city of Marathon, and then promptly died after he did it. Ran 26.2 miles, dropped dead afterwards.

Oliver Graf: I didn’t know that.

Brad Weimert: That’s ridiculous. But 26.2 miles, why is that the pinnacle? Why isn’t 25 or 30 the pinnacle? And the reality is that it’s a self-imposed line. And so people, when they run marathons, there’s this common narrative of, “Oh, mile 18 is where you start to hurt.” Well, in a 30-mile race, do you still hurt at mile 18? Or do you start to hurt at 22?

Brad Weimert: It’s all what we tell ourselves, and so I think that it’s really important to recognize A, that anybody could do that, anybody could just go out and do it, and it’s mental toughness. That’s what it is. And B, your baseline, when you start to feel the pain, start to hurt, on some level it’s irrelevant because you can push anyway, but on another, the conditioning just moves the baseline. So A, you know you can push forever anyway, and B, know that the training is going to move the baseline up to change the point at which life starts to suck a little bit.

Brad Weimert: So my choice in life is to live in a way that keeps me conditioned that I can go out and do things at a moment’s notice, and I think that’s the goal with everything, right?

Oliver Graf: Yeah, which I also witnessed firsthand. We took a trip to Napa for brunch at French Laundry, and Brad last minute decided he was going to run, what, a half-marathon-

Brad Weimert: Yeah.

Oliver Graf: … or a full marathon?

Brad Weimert: It was a half-marathon.

Oliver Graf: … the day before, and just did it last minute, no training, no nothing, just went out there and ran a half-marathon.

Brad Weimert: With a bottle of sake, a bottle of red wine, a bottle of white wine, and a bottle of bubbles the night before.

Oliver Graf: Yeah.

Brad Weimert: Yeah. It was also my personal best on that one.

Oliver Graf: See? So, just very powerful thoughts on mental toughness, mindset, expanding your comfort zone, pushing yourself, and I think one of my favorite lines that Jesse always says is once you hit your limit, or what you think is your limit, you actually got another 40%-

Brad Weimert: Easily.

Oliver Graf: … that you can push through, and it’s that 40% that causes all the growth. So, great thoughts. Very excited to have you on, really appreciate it. One cool thing that you’re doing now is you’re doing adventure trips.

Brad Weimert: Yeah.

Oliver Graf: And the one that you have coming up is a trip to Fiji, where … why don’t you tell us a little bit about that?

Brad Weimert: Yeah, one of the through lines of my life is alignment, and I think that it’s really, really important that whatever you want to do, if you want life to be easier for you, having everything work in alignment is important. I don’t buy into the notion of balance being a good thing. That means that you’re trying to be fifty-fifty on things all the time, and you’re never a hundred percent in. What I wanted to do is go all in with things, but have them work together.

Brad Weimert: So Unplug Fiji is an opportunity for entrepreneurs to unplug from their day-to-day without losing alignment with what’s important. I don’t want people to go on vacation and ignore their business, I want them to get out of their office and connect with other entrepreneurs where they can talk about challenges, life, business, whatever’s going on. We’re all on the same journey. They’re different, but we have a lot of similarities. So, we’re getting on a plane in L.A., I’m capping it at 40, we’re maybe half-full right now, and we’re flying out to Fiji for a five-day event and doing some awesome stuff in Fiji.

How To Develop Mental Toughness

Oliver Graf: Awesome. Adventure trips I think are a very cool idea because I think that when people get out of their office and have these conversations, they go a lot further. People are a lot freer with what they say and how they share, and just being able to connect with people outside of the professional everyday environment, so to go to Fiji with 40 entrepreneurs and just immerse yourselves in where you are and have great conversations with people is huge. So if someone wanted to learn more about that, where can they find more info?

Brad Weimert: Yeah, unpluggedfiji.com.

Oliver Graf: Unpluggedfiji.com.

Brad Weimert: Yeah, and I think that people in general build relationships fastest through unique experiences. Emotional engagement is a big part of that as well, but anything that is different stands out in your head, and that helps people forge a bond. We can have brunch somewhere, but the French Laundry brunch is going to stand out because it’s unique.

Oliver Graf: You’ll never forget.

Brad Weimert: Very unique, very different place, right? If I had picked up my coffee cup and smashed it on the wall in The French Laundry, it would be even more unique. And that’s a small thing, but it’s unique to all the experiences you’ve ever had. So Unplugged is an opportunity for me to challenge myself to create a really unique experience where people aren’t going to forget it, ever.

Oliver Graf: Speaking of not being able to forget it ever, I just want to share a funny story. Brad and I had a great conversation the other day, and he had posted a job ad, and I actually thought it was a fantastic job ad. I thought about using it for our own business. It was very strong in the way it presented what he was looking for, and I think that was by design to filter out the people that aren’t going to be a good fit.

Oliver Graf: I saw him at this event, Traffic and Conversion Summit that we’re at right now, and first thing I said to him was, “Brad, I loved your job ad. I want to use it for my own business.” I’m sitting there with him and his sales guy, and his sales guy looks at me like, “Are you being serious right now?” I’m like, “Yeah, I’m being serious. I thought it was a great ad. Why?” And then Brad proceeds to say, “Why don’t you Google Brad Weimert New Zealand or Australia and see what comes up, and why don’t you tell me about what comes up?”

Brad Weimert: About a month ago, I woke up to an email that was a Google alert. You can set these alerts that Google will tell you when something’s mentioned. I had one on my name and one on my company, and so I get this Google alert. It’s a Twitter post, and it says, “This is what people think of your job post.” I click it, I go through it, and it says, “Worst job post ever,” and it is then a copy of my job post.

Brad Weimert: It turns out, some kid in Melbourne, Australia ripped the ad, posted it on some Australian job board, seek.com, and got so much backlash that he took it down. But people were so irate about the job post that they tracked it back to my ad, and then they were confused about whether or not I posted the ad or what happened. Anyway, I saw the surface level of this, and I was like, “I have so much going on the office.” We’ve got this huge spike right now in volume for a variety of reasons, [inaudible] CBD business, but we’re one of the only providers that will accept CBD as a product line, so we got this spike in volume.

Brad Weimert: But I see it, and I’m like … I just sort of ignore it. Wake up the next day, and I have 86 Google alerts that are all the same thing. There are Facebook posts that have gotten thousands of shares, it’s on a whole bunch of different news outlets. Then I started getting hit up by reporters in Australia. The Daily Mail in the UK hits me up, news.com hits me up, the New Zealand Herald. It’s crazy, and before I even see any of that, I have a friend in New Zealand and one in Australia that both are like, “Hey, so, it looks like people don’t like this. Ha ha ha.” And I was like, “What?” That’s when I really dug in and saw it.

Brad Weimert: I didn’t know what to do with it, because it was so foreign to me. I was like, “Do I take the interview?” And what I realized was I had all this dialog in my head about what could go wrong. Are they going-

Oliver Graf: Oh, they’re going to put me on blast-

Brad Weimert: You got it.

Oliver Graf: … or they’re going to put me in a trap.

Brad Weimert: Yep. Who fucking cares. Who cares? And what did it is a friend of mine said, “You run around Austin with a mohawk, and you’re worried about what people think?”, and I was like, “That’s a fair point.” Anyways, it was actually that moment when I thought, “Okay, I’ll take the interview, sure.” And so I take this interview, and the reporter is very nice, but opens with something to the effect of, “So, how are you going to defend yourself?” I said, “Defend myself? I’m not going to defend myself at all. I posted a job and I got hundreds of really good applicants. It did exactly what it was supposed to. The people that I didn’t want to apply didn’t apply.”

Brad Weimert: And I said, “What’s confusing is why people are spending so much time and energy thinking about it. It’d be much better if they would rout their energy towards,” and I pointed her towards the everestingx2.com, which is the fundraising site for the Everesting thing, “or anything else I’ve done ever. Anything I’ve ever done you should look at instead of the job post.” But of course that interview happens, and when the interview happens, it hits every job board, every major news outlet in Australia and New Zealand. Now, I probably only know five people in Australia. All of them hit me up, and they’re like, “Oh, my God. Your face is on the front page of every news outlet. What’s going on?” It’s crazy.

Oliver Graf: Anyway, Brad’s probably the first guy in history to go viral over a job post. But you know what, really appreciate it, man. I’m very impressed with the things that you’ve done and just how you’ve been able to really push, and you’re always looking for new physical activities to, again, always expand your comfort zone. One of the things that we get coached on a lot is just doing things that make you uncomfortable, with the specific intention of growing your comfort zone.

Oliver Graf: If you’ve never been to a ballroom dancing, go ballroom dancing. If you like Everesting, go Everesting. Just try new things, and always be focusing on making yourself better. So get out there, get off your butt, go do something new, and have some fun with your life. Cheers on that note, Brad. I appreciate your time, and we’ll see you on the next episode of Founders Club.

Brad Weimert: Yeah, buddy.

Pullout Quotes

“What you commit to ahead of time determines how you behave in the moments of insecurity, of fear, of doubt that inevitably happen in the middle of a tough journey.”

“You have to plan for the worst [so] that you know how to handle it when you get into that situation.”

“The goal isn’t to avoid pain, it’s to understand how to work through it. In business, the goal isn’t to avoid challenges, it’s to learn how to solve the problems.”

“I’m proud that I pushed in this moment when I didn’t think it was possible, when I had this narrative of ‘it’s mathematically impossible’—and I pushed anyway.”

“The number of people that I know that were with me in that journey, that watched it, that got inspired by it, was of more value to me than anything else.”

“Whatever your narrative is in your life, whatever path you’re on, there are people that can learn from it and that will grow from it, and the likelihood of that happening increases radically when you are being the best version of yourself.”

“When something pops up, and I realize that I’ve got this sense of I need this, I want to stop it. Or when I have the sense of I can’t, I want to push that and see if I can change it. Those are opposite ends of the spectrum, but it’s the same reflex: It’s a lack of control over myself.”

“My choice in life is to live in a way that keeps me conditioned that I can go out and do things at a moment’s notice. And I think that’s the goal with everything, right?”

“People … build relationships fastest through unique experiences.”


Key Takeaway

Being a successful business owner requires the mental toughness to face challenges as they come and surpass expectations. Brad Weimert has pushed the threshold of mental toughness with his experience Everesting. Get out of your comfort zone, push your limits and use this mindset toward your business endeavors.

Connect with Brad

Brad’s Website

Brad on Facebook

Easy Pay Direct

Unplugged Fiji

Everesting x2

Connect with Oliver

Big Block Realty

Oliver on Facebook

Oliver on LinkedIn

Resources

Jesse Itzler

29029 | Everesting

Explore Austin

Brad’s ‘Worst Job Ad Ever’ Response

Traffic & Conversion Summit

Other episodes:

Roland Frasier – How to Grow Your Real Estate Business Fast and Maximize Profits

Kevin Markarian – How to Close Real Estate Internet Leads

Thank you for watching!

If you’d like to see more episodes go to: www.OliverGraf.tv/FoundersClub

If you have any questions, comments, or ideas contact me here.