Being an entrepreneur can take a toll on your mental health. On this episode of the ROI Online Podcast, author and entrepreneur Michael G. Dash shares the highs and lows he’s faced during his career—and how positivity helped him break the cycle of addiction. Michael was always exceptional at sales and being an entrepreneur. He could start, grow, and sell businesses with ease. But in the past, he struggled with communication and emotional intelligence.
After making millions managing a book business, he started a business with a former co-worker. The company quickly grew to a half-million-dollar business. Unfortunately, while the business succeeded, he and the co-owner started butting heads. He wanted to grow it to a 20 million dollar business and sell it. She wanted to leave it as-is. He was working 10-hour workdays. She worked 6 hours but wanted the same pay. He bought the company from her, but she violated their agreement. The legal fees and settlements ended up costing him $1.35 million.
At the same time, Michael was struggling with addiction. When he was 11, his uncle showed him how to gamble and the worst thing that could happen happened: he had his first win. He chased that high for years. When he got to college, his addiction to gambling morphed into an addiction to drugs. He was constantly busy, selling and working non-stop, all while smoking marijuana and popping pills outside the office.
Everything turned around when he went to a conference in Bali. He signed up for a course. He went through a process of clearing away limiting beliefs through tapping and EMDR, and then inputting positive beliefs. Slowly, he was able to cut ties with the life that left him feeling trapped. He wrote his book, Chasing the High: An Entrepreneur’s Mindset Through Addiction, Lawsuits, and His Journey to the Edge, to share his story and help other entrepreneurs escape the trap of a fast-paced, action-packed, nonstop lifestyle.
Today, Michael is a CEO and an executive coach who helps other CEOs run their companies. He also has a nonprofit called Activated.Life that focuses on mental health within the entrepreneur space and entrepreneur communities. He does a lot of work in the prison system and is working on setting up temporary housing as people transition out of incarceration and back into civilian life.
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I remember I was totally against spending money on this these courses, I thought they were all a scam. But I remember flying back from Bali to Utah, with this one line repeating over and over and over in my head, which was would it be so bad to live a different way. life wasn't working out for me the way I was living, even though from the outside in, it looked like I had everything. You know, I had this company, I had a boss or, you know, I had multiple houses, all this stuff, but I was a miserable human being. So after I sat with, would it be so bad to live a different way? I immediately felt this like, heaviness being lifted off of me. And I'm like, Alright, I got to take this course. Hi, everybody.Steve Brown:
Welcome to the ROI online podcast where we believe you. The courageous entrepreneurs of our day, are the invisible heroes of our economy. You not only improve our world with your ideas, your grit and your passion, but you make our world better. I'm Steve Brown. And this is a place where we have great conversations with winners just like you while we laugh and learn together. Welcome Michael g dash to the ROI online podcast, brother.Michael Dash:
Thank you, Steve, super excited to be here had some great coordination and collaboration working through my technical inabilities but I overcame and persevered. And I feel great.Steve Brown:
We did it together. So then that I think is going to make our conversation even better. Now. So Michael, Iran, I met you through a zoom call through scribe where some other authors were sitting there learning how to use LinkedIn to connect better with our audience. And so that's how you and I got connected, but also the title of your book, chasing the high an entrepreneurs mindset through addiction lawsuits, and his journey to the edge. And so I thought, hey, this will be an interesting conversation, and how far to the edge can we push it? And so trying to figure out these technical issues, I was impressed at how you kept going closer to the edge for us duration, but it didn't. We didn't. We didn't throw a fit. And here we are.Michael Dash:
Yeah, I you know, I've learned a lot of lessons along the way. And one of those is getting frustrated, only hurts yourself. It doesn't hurt people around you. It really does, it hurts you. And you end up taking two steps backwards, versus embracing the process, as frustrating as it might be, and actually integrating patience into your life. It took me so long to learn such basic concepts, and actually integrate them I would get frustrated very quickly, especially with technology and trying to solve like any AV AR type equipment and try to set anything up, forget it like a disaster. But I've learned that getting frustrated doesn't do it's not going to help solve the problem. So why exert your energy in that negative manner and create that negative space for yourself. Because we're the creators. So I actually was kind of impressed with myself. Going through that process with you this morning.Steve Brown:
Good. I'm so I'm glad I wanted this conversation because I think it's going to be really interesting. So tell me What in the world happened that you needed to write a book to talk about a train wreck that you were having for a while, and and what you brought back to share with others to help us?Michael Dash:
Yeah, absolutely. Great question. I really didn't want to see other people, especially other entrepreneurs, but other people in general, you know, make it so challenging on themselves, to get through life, to be successful, to be fulfilled. Because that's what I did for the majority of my life. I made it as difficult as possible for myself to achieve peace, fulfillment, acceptance, you know, all these all these different things that I was chasing the whole time, but for unknown reasons, undefined reasons, just because I was kind of like most of us are brainwashed into believing there's only one way to achieve things in life. And that, you know, you have, you know, convinced you the conventional ways the right way, because that's what your mom dad tell you. That's what all your friends do. So you know, you got to go to college, you got to get the degree, you got to get the corporate job, you got to work your way up the corporate ladder, you got to get the promotion, you got to get the condo, you got to get the spouse, you got to have the kids, you got to buy the houses, you got to get another promotion, you got to get more, you know, and it's just like, for what, like, are those things actually providing you number one value, but number two fulfillment? Are they fulfilling you to a point because I'm a big believer in fulfillment versus happiness? So I choose to use the word fulfilment. And are they getting you to a place where you feel fulfilled on a daily basis? And if not, why are you doing these things? Just because conventional society tells you to, well, that's a terrible reason to be doing them. So define. So that's what I learned along the way.Steve Brown:
Yeah. So define the difference between fulfillment, and happiness.Michael Dash:
So for me, I believe in what I've call a bucket system, right? That we all have these buckets in our life. And we want to fill these buckets up because they light us up. So it could be, you know, something around health and fitness, it could be something around meditation, it could be something around, obviously, work entrepreneurship. It could be, you know, hobbies, right? It could be tried, that you have throughout your life, I go on a lot of retreats and stuff. You know, it could be different things that you enjoy doing, that you want to fill those buckets up. Because when those buckets are all filled, and I'm not saying you fill all these buckets, up, 100%. But if you fill each bucket up on a daily basis, 50%, then you're getting that level of fulfillment across the board. So each of these buckets are filled a certain level, and then you get to fulfillment, right? It kind of just comes all together so and it lights you up. To me happiness is one of those subjective terms, that what happiness to you is different than happiness, to me is different than happiness to the next person in the next person, anybody can say they're happy, but do we really truly know what they actually mean? When they say that, like, I feel like when I say unfulfilled, I it has a greater meaning the word itself, and it really does mean something to me at a much deeper level than happiness. So that's that's kind of how I just have a distinction between the two of them.Steve Brown:
I heard this comment from Jordan Peterson, a while back, and he was talking about the size of our brains and why our brains are so big, it's because they, we have the capacity to process vision way better than most other mammals. And but consequently, that makes our brain really big. But our eyes have a tilt, they're more of a binocular setting where we have two eyes in the front. And it's because we needed that to have survival upgrades or, or gave us an advantage in the survival because we're not big, we're not fast. We don't have claws, and, and whatever. But because we could see far away we could see threats. But also we use that for aiming for hunting. And so when you talk about fulfillment, we're we're designed mechanically, to always be aiming at something and moving forward or going towards a goal, or a target or something. And so fulfillment comes from making it through challenges and you feel a sense of fulfillment or accomplishment when you make it through, even though it wasn't easy. So it's different than being happy. Happy is just this. You know, you got a you saw your kid and you got this really big smile. You're happy at that moment. But fulfillment comes from overcoming lots of challenges along a long time. So that Yeah,Michael Dash:
I love that.Steve Brown:
That's what I was wondering what your definition was. And it's exactly it makes sense to me. So, so the entrepreneurs mindset to addiction lawsuits. That's like, that's a lot of things to be having to go through at one time. So what Tell us about your business? Tell us about what this addiction is. And tell us about the the lawsuit. How did all that fit into the subtitle?Michael Dash:
Wow. So that's a lot to tell. So I'll start with the business I. So I was in the staffing and recruiting business focus mostly in the technology sector but across all industries. So I basically would partner up with organizations who are looking to hire software engineers. That's the easiest example to give because these are duplicatable positions, and most companies need a lot of them, especially in the fields. I was working financial services, e commerce. So I started my career in New York City. Working for years at a sports advertising company. I was actually selling advertising and Game Day football and basketball publications for 500 colleges across the universe across the country. After that, my best friend was in staffing. He asked me to join him and his firm because he thought I would be a great fit. He was a president time he brought me in as director. in between there I worked one year at another company, so I could learn on their dime. at that company, I had met my soon What would be my ex business partner 911 happened. So she went back to Utah. I stayed in New York, teamed up with my buddy worked there for years. At the same time, I had a side hustle going on, because I had landed a big account called e trade financial. You're familiar with the trade? Yeah. And they needed to hire. You know, they were looking to hire 200 financial service reps in Salt Lake City, Utah, of all places, in three and a half weeks when I had called upon them. And my company didn't want the business because it wasn't in New York and New Jersey. So I said, Well, I know one person in outside of the metropolitan area and staffing she happens to be in Utah. This is meant to be I called her up, we put a proposal together, they accepted it. We filled all 200 positions in three and a half weeks. And from that I got projects in Alpharetta, Georgia, Jersey City in Tampa, Florida. So in one year, we filled 800 full time financial service rep positions for each trade. And I was doing this as a side hustle. So you know, I would basically take like 30% and her team would fulfill all the orders and I would manage the client side, I still had a $4 million book of business I was managing in New York. So it was an exciting time I was building my career and everything. And one thing led to another and I ended up going out to Utah for six months, I left everybody I knew she's offered me 50% of the company to come out there and help her start a company. So I did that. And we built this company, and we're building it up. And within five years, we were doing five and a half million in revenue. And we had about 25 employees. And so we were cranking along 30 employees. And me and her just started butting heads. She was really content that where the company was, and you know, I wanted to build it to a $20 million company and sell it. And she wanted to spend more time with her kids and didn't really so she was working six hours a day and I was working 10 hours a day. It just wasn't working. And she wanted to split everything. 5050 So, at the same time while all this was happening, I had battled addiction throughout my life. Starting at 11 years old, I was introduced to gambling by my Uncle, uncle Joel. Thanks, uncle. Big shout out. And I won the first bet I ever made, which was the worst thing that could happen to me because the rush of adrenaline I got I just wanted to hold on to and in every aspect of my life. I wanted to duplicate it. So I gambled from 11 years old 1213 1415 I was gambling. I was my Dad, I'm the son of an entrepreneur. So my dad had me working in his warehouse and his retail store and all the guys in the warehouse gamble. So that's how I was able to gamble at 12 and 13 and 14, but whatever I made working for my dad, I would give to these guys to gamble they would take me to the horse a horse racing track or gamble on the sporting events. My literally Coach in New Jersey. He was a bookie because that's how we do things in Jersey. So you know, so it was all around me. And then when I went to college, other than that I was pretty straight laced, you know as a President of Student Council in high school, played three sports, all that stuff, but when I went to college, I was introduced to drugs and I was very you know, I was always chasing something I was always chasing that high of money chasing that I a gambling drugs was the next natural step. So I said started doing cocaine and marijuana and mushrooms and all these different drugs and stuff. And I had the entrepreneurial spirit in college. So I always knew I'd be an entrepreneur. I just never visioned in my mind that my first foray into entrepreneurship would be in college as a bookie and a drug dealer. But that's exactly what happened. And so I got, yeah, I got involved in that in college, and I was still working, I was going door to door selling home improvements, and going to school and doing all that stuff. So I just create always was in that in action is what we'd like to say. And I always had a lot of action going on, that was what stimulated me and it was all around money. But it was all based on addiction. And one thing I was always good at was selling I was a great salesperson. So I could always like make a lot of money selling. So despite and I and I loved it. So I never allowed my drugs, my gambling, my all that stuff to like, take away from me missing work or anything like that no work was like action also. So it all kind of fed, it all kind of fed itself. And it led me to just become completely focused on chasing any high I could get, especially when it involves making money because, you know, making money allowed me to gamble making money allow me to do drugs allowed me to party allowed to be the big man on campus led me to show off allowed my ego to run my life. And then once I started building the business with my ex business partner, my ego became more and more and more out of control. And you know, I invested in a bar. So, you know, now I had this bar, I was a big man, you know, there and I was sitting, you know, running the company and me and her. I didn't have the emotional intelligence at that point to take a step back and realize that we're better together than we were separate. And if we could have communicated more effectively with each other and been a little bit more mature about the situation, things would have turned out different but but that just wasn't where I was in life. And so the loss who so when I bought the company from her five and a half trying to tie it all together, when I bought the company from her after five and a half, after doing five and a half million a year about five years in, she violated our agreement within the first six months and kind of started a competing company. And that led to me holding back an additional payment I owed her then she sued me then a countersuit or, and it started this six year legal mess, which was all over 350 K. But it ended up costing me $1 million in legal fees for my own attorneys. For my own attorneys, a million dollars that I had in the bank that it took me all those years to save, boom gone. And and then obviously having to settle with her eventually, we settled for the same amount and odor six years prior after we went to trial. And the jury ruled actually in my favor. But there was it was just all complicated that she was going to appeal. And I just wanted to get out at that point. So I agreed to pay on 302 K. So basically, it cost me six years of my life 1.3 5 million all together. And in order to actually pay all that off, I sold my business. And I took the proceeds paid everything off and basically started fresh.Steve Brown:
So what was the breaking point? What was the event that caused you to reevaluate and start to address what was really the real things that were going on in you?Michael Dash:
Great question. It was when I took a trip to Bali, of course everybody's got to have a Bali story, right? I mean, Eat Pray Love, baby. So I, I mean that bunch of entrepreneur groups, and what I call tribes in different areas of my life, and somebody had posted in this entrepreneur group on Facebook, you know, if anybody's interested in going to Bali, there's this really cool retreat going on. Excuse me, and I didn't even know what the retreat was about. I just saw Bali. And I just wanted to go to Bali. And you know, I had an office in India. So I would go and visit my Indian employees once a year and I would always tie a new travel adventure to that trip because it's 16 hours over there. So I'm like this perfect. I'll go see my in the office and then I'll go to Bali. And I did that and when I went to Bali and I was completely miserable at this time at This time I felt trapped. Okay, it trapped in us at the time five year lawsuit, I was running a company that was running me, I was not a happy camper, I felt there was no way out and I was miserable. And every day, I would go home after work, smoke my brains out, eat a pound of sushi, you know, wake up in the morning, pop Adderall in the morning. And, you know, I had moved past gambling and past cocaine, I stopped doing all of that. But I then integrated with these other you know, I learned about Adderall when I moved to Utah. Never heard of Adderall before. And I got really hooked on it. And I was still smoking weed the all throughout this entire time, so. So I was really an angry human being, I was angry all the time. And Adderall will do that, it will put you on edge. So it'll take whatever you're feeling to the nth degree. So if you're kind of bothered by something, you'll be really, really pissed. And if you're happy about something, it'll be the best day of your life. And it'll be unicorns and flying towns and everything. So it had a real negative impact on me. And and that really drove me to treating others poorly and treating myself poorly. So when I went tying this back in to the turning point, when I went to Bali, and I went to this retreat, I found myself in a room with 30 strangers, listening to two people talk about living in a state of flow consciousness, and making decisions in your life based on your intuitive guide, and not your conscious mindset. And if it's not a hell, yes, in life, it should be an ethno in everything that you do. And this was new to me. You know, I didn't think this way. You know, they talked about how you're, they were able to manifest their futures and manifest this and manifest bad and all these synchronicities in their life. And, you know, I thought it was complete BS. I'm like, this is ridiculous. I'm like, you know, manifestation. I'm like, No, if you work hard, good things happen to you. And they're talking about synchronicity. I'm like, I've never even use the word synchronicity. It's called coincidence. Things happen in life. Okay. And so I'm saying this, I literally raised my hand and called bs out. And they were just telling me with all these different things that had happened to them throughout their life, to get them to that point, and they created this course. And they've helped hundreds of people and law, law law, and identify it, but I spoke to them for an hour afterwards. And they had convinced me that they would, they could help me get out of this lawsuit and get out of my misery and all this other stuff. And so I remember, I was totally against spending money on this, these courses, I thought they were all a scam. But I remember flying back from Bali, to Utah, with this one line repeating over and over and over in my head, which was would it be so bad, to live a different way. life wasn't working out for me the way I was living, even though from the outside in, it looked like I had everything. You know, I had this company, I had a boss or, you know, I had multiple houses, all this stuff, but I was a miserable human being. So after I sat with, would it be so bad to live a different way, I immediately felt this like, heaviness being lifted off of me. And I'm like, Alright, I got to take this course. So I decided to take the course in a chant. It really changed the trajectory of my life. We went through this whole process of clearing, limiting beliefs, through tapping, and EMDR if you're familiar with any of that, and then in putting these positive beliefs, and slowly I was actually able to start manifesting my way out of this life I created that I felt trapped me live slowly, but surely, I was able to manifest my way out of it. And one thing led to another and a year later, I settled the lawsuit and sold the business within the same week, paid all the debt off and decided to move out to California and kind of started new. And that's what I did. And that's when I when I wrote the book.Steve Brown:
I want to pause here just for a moment and talk to you about a program that we have just released called ROI quickstart Academy for authors every day. I talk to business owners just like you who struggle with quickly getting their fundamentals in place. We want to create a great foundation and we want to grow our business. But the things that are in our way, our lack of knowledge about the specifics, we should put in place, what kind of technology, what kind of messaging and what kind of campaigns. And that problem exists for authors as well. And we just chill so good with authors because, well, I'm an author, and I understand everything that you struggle with, you have a great idea, you have a great book, but what do you want to do, you want to get your book in front of more people, you want to make it easy for them to find you learn how they can schedule a time to talk with you hire you for a conference, or maybe sign up for the services that your book promotes. So what is the Quickstart Academy for authors maging, working with a small group of like minded authors, and the experts from the ROI quickstart team, it's a great way to get your message in clear to be confident with the technology in your marketing automation, and how to run a strategic campaign to get you more of what you want from the investment of your book. To learn more about the Quickstart Academy for authors, you can visit ROI online.com or click in the link in the show notes below. And now, back to this episode. So, tapping in EMDR, tell us a little bit about that.Michael Dash:
Yeah, so I'm by no means an expert. But it's a process. It's like this emotional release with that you're.Steve Brown:
So what am I saying the acronym right. EMDR is?Michael Dash:
Yeah, exactly. It's like this rapid eye movement, where you're moving your eyes to the right and to the left, at the same time that you're releasing these limiting beliefs and tapping. So you're like tapping on the back of your neck. There's a gland back here. I don't know the exact name of it. But it's basically between your spine and your right side of your neck. So right there. So you're tapping and you're moving your eyes back and forth. It's really weird, by the way, Yeah,Steve Brown:
sounds but it sounds really hippie dippie. But, but the essence of it is you're training your brain to expect something else other than what it's been anchored on. Correct?Michael Dash:
Yeah, to release these beliefs that you've wired, your brain was similar to what you were saying. So for instance, it would say it would say Sorry, sorry about that. You would say a limiting belief would be changes difficult. Most people believe change is difficult. And that's a limiting belief. But change is actually the easiest thing on the planet. Like, if you want to change something like today, we could commit. All right, I want to lose weight, I'm going to change I'm not going to eat after 8pm. That's it, I'm gonna make that change today. And I'm just going to commit to myself, when I wake up in the morning, I'm not going to eat it AP after 8pm. And I'm going to do the same thing tomorrow. And the same thing after that change is very easy. But for some reason, we, we go automatically to the end goal of Oh my God, I want to lose 20 pounds, it's going to be impossible to lose 20 pounds, I can't lose 20 pounds, I can't change. Mm hmm. Instead of breaking it down into these micro events that actually will end up leading to you reaching your goal. So you know, you're you're tapping the back of your neck, you're moving your eyes back and forth. And you're saying out loud for like a minute straight. Changes easy. Right? So changes, easy changes, easy changes easy. And so first, you clear the changes difficult, then you do the opposite, and your input changes easy. And you're rewiring your brain, and you're also writing this down as well.Steve Brown:
So here's the so I read this book by Scott Adams it's how to fail at everything and still win big Lee and so he talks about in there that goals are for losers systems are for winners. And this is a form of a system that you're actually here's the steps I'm going to take to get to that goal but if I just say I want to lose 20 pounds, that I don't have a system in place to achieve that then I'm not going to reach my goal and therefore I've created a limiting belief because later I'll go Yeah, my goals don't work.Michael Dash:
Yeah, 100% you know you you like we tend to overcomplicate everything as humans and we if we just dumb everything down We would get a lot more accomplished, we'd be a lot more successful. And we feel a lot better about ourselves. But we overcomplicate everything.Steve Brown:
So, so up to this point, before you go to Fiji, it seems like and correct me if I'm wrong, you were like this hard charging bull in a china closet. Just, I'm going to, I'm just going to power through this stuff, and somebody may get a fat lip on the way, but that's just the direction I'm going. And then you show up in this, this class where everyone's like, wanting to have this peaceful thing? How shocking was that to it? how uncomfortable did you feel?Michael Dash:
I felt Well, first off, I made a promise to myself not to judge anything and just to do it. Is that hard? So I that hard to do? No. Okay. It wasn't hard to do at that point in my life, because I was so miserable. So when you get to a point of being completely miserable, and like wanting to basically kill yourself and not live and not deal with it, then it's, then it's pretty easy to give something else a shot. Because, you know, you're just like, it was like, I was throwing my hands up. I'm like, all right, I surrender, like something has to direct me something has to be there has to be a better way to live. So at that point, it was not difficult. However, it would have been difficult at any other point, had I, you know, attempted to do that. Because before that my ego was not in a place of being willing to accept that others knew better ways to go about things than I did. Because, you know, I was supposedly successful. I mean, you know, so, so yeah, but at that point, I was accepting it with open arms. And it was difficult even though I made a promise myself not to judge it was still difficult along the way, like, Alright, yeah, this is she, she, this is weird. Okay. Like, if any of my boys I grew up with saw me doing it, they'd be like, what the hell happened to you? But, so along the way, I just kept reminding myself, there's a reason you're doing this, like, just do it, see what happens. And so I just maintain that positive thinking throughout.Steve Brown:
So are you comfortable telling us what was the last crippling blow to your ego, that ego that made you go, Okay, I've got to do something here. What was the last thing that really pushed it over the edge?Michael Dash:
I think it was, it's not It wasn't like one of those, this was the tipping point, it was an accumulation of being felt of feeling beaten down emotionally. Like, by and not wanting to fight anymore, I was fighting and fighting and fighting, if it wasn't fighting with myself, it was fighting with an employee, if it wasn't fighting with employees, fighting with a, you know, with a client or fighting with a family member or fighting with, you know, a, a, you know, somebody at my bar or fighting with, you know, it was just exhaustion, I was mentally exhausted. with myself, wasn't anybody I was causing all of this, I controlled all this, I created all of it through the choices that I made. So it was just to a point where I was like, at a point of giving up. And I just like, I was over all of it. So it was easy to accept.Steve Brown:
So you start to you start to make your way out of the pit, so to speak. And you go along for a bid. What in the world motivates you that I need to write a book to confess all my train wreck? And what compelled you to go I you obviously you didn't to help others? What's going on there?Michael Dash:
Well, I felt like I was in a different mindset at the time and I was in this manifestation mindset and like all these other things, and I just had so many people like man, you should read a book. You should write a blog, man, you're stuck. this story's ridiculous. You have to tell this person. And at first I was just going to write a book about like the lawsuit and everything because that could be a book in itself. But it just I had a lot of other mistakes I made along the way that I could, that I felt could serve as Lessons For others, and an inspiration possibly. So I decided to write the book and I actually started writing it before I left the company. So I was writing it for six months before I left the company. So I had started it there and everything. And I knew this was what I was going to do. And it seemed like a natural transition for me. And give me something to do after I got out of the company. So, so that's kind of how it happened. And at that point, most people didn't know any of this stuff about me. SoSteve Brown:
has the book accomplished what you were hoping it would accomplish.Michael Dash:
I didn't go into it with, you know, having hopes of it, doing anything in specific specifically. And, you know, maybe I should have, because I've always had a right to the goal. And here the steps of going to achieve the goal. But it was more important for me to get the book out and to help other people who are going through other entrepreneurs who are battling these things, because I see a lot entrepreneurs who deal with addiction and depression and isolation and things of that nature to make sure that they knew that they weren't alone. And that I could be somebody who could be a resource for them. And at the same time, anybody who's dealing with addiction, in general, because there is a way out of addiction and addicts are some of the best entrepreneurs in the world. Because, you know, when you're an addict, you get real creative, to fill your need, right? You go above and beyond to get your fix. You never take no for an answer. And just those three traits alone are very important traits to be a successful entrepreneur. So if you can take those attributes and point them in the right direction, and keep somebody on the road of sobriety than, you know, addicts are some of if not the most productive people on earth. And I noticed because I have an interview series called fate, SAP from addict to entrepreneur. And I've been interviewing, like dozens upon dozens and dozens of former addicts who are now very successful entrepreneurs. So I was wonderingSteve Brown:
about that, if that was just priests cliche, or general generalized thinking is that I've noticed that I've known people that were addicts or drug dealers or whatever, at some point in their life. And then later you see them in successful positions in business. And I was curious at what are the connections that they're able to flip and apply that makes them navigate very competitive, tough environment as running a business or being an entrepreneur?Michael Dash:
Yeah, well, they have innate ability, because of what addiction does to you. So if you have these raw skills, and they can be developed and mentored, then, and you can be laser focused, like you've been with your addiction, then you know, you can become extremely successful.Steve Brown:
So what's. So someone that's dealing with some of these struggles, and they read your book? What are they? What do they walk away with? What are some of the tools or some of the things that they can leverage from that?Michael Dash:
Well, I talked about flow earlier, and understanding the premise of flow and following your intuition. And there's a chapter on that in this book. And I think where I've gotten the most feedback, positive feedback from the book is the chapter called the habit of habit making, which talks about the importance of having solid habits in your life, and then as you evolve as a human being, because that is the goal, that we all continue to grow, and become more efficient, and just better humans, that your habits need to also evolve with you. So the same habits that were productive for you five years ago, may not resonate with you now, because you've hopefully, evolved over that five years. So, you know, trying new things, tapping into your curiosity, right, like you had when you were a child, and we seem to lose and abandon as adults, like really tapping into that curiosity to bring so much fulfillment into your life. And, you know, trying things you've always wanted to try but never did for whatever reason. You know, because we would convince ourselves we didn't have time. We have time for anything. We want to have time for the things we don't want to do. We don't I find for me, and it's that simple. So everybody has time. It's just a matter of how you prioritize it, and what you prioritize. So. So yeah, I really think that, you know, by following that kind of guide, and that premise that you can really, you know, achieve anything that you want.Steve Brown:
So it seems like this book is also good for, would you agree with me that some people are addicted to certain limiting beliefs?Michael Dash:
Hundred percent? So this, I mean, they're addicted to negativity. I mean, I was addicted to drama, I would always let drama find me, in an office in my personal life, I was just one of these people. And now I'm just like, No, I don't want to eat, you have something to say about somebody else? Tell them not me. Don't tell me, like, I don't want to be involved in that. That is not a good use of my energy, and my focus, so being able to kind of identify some of those things, you know, again, it just allows you to remain in a more elevated state of positivity and, you know, influence and things of that nature.Steve Brown:
So what are some what's what's one question that nobody ever asked you that you wish they would so that you can answer it?Michael Dash:
What's one question that somebody hasn't asked me? So I could answer it? That's a good question. I've been asked that question before, but I answered it a lot easier. Last time, I would say, maybe the, you know, the the most I mean, the possibly the most humiliating moment in my life.Steve Brown:
Yeah, talk going through all of this. Yeah.Michael Dash:
I mean, I, you know, I would say is when I when I got arrested, you know, for sure. It was, it was really, actually there's, there's multiple songs, either when I got arrested, or when I ended up in a hospital because I took too much of a drug, this drug called ghp, and I completely blacked out. And I woke up with an IV in my arm. And no pants on in a hospital. I was, I was just so humiliated. And myself, it was the same thing. When I got arrested, and I was in jail here. I'm a CEO of a $5 million company. And I'm getting arrested for possession of drugs. When I have 35 employees, and thinking that if I had got in, like, if they found out, it would all be over, and they didn't find out, and I was lucky in that sense, or maybe I wasn't lucky, maybe things would have been different if they did find out but I lied to them. Like I lied to everybody else. And I told them, I lost my life. And I didn't lose my license. But I didn't have I didn't have a car because my Audi was getting a part ordered from Germany, it's gonna take six months to come in. So I needed them to drive me around to meetings until that happened. But it was just foolishness, right? But But I would say yeah, I was I was truly humiliated and embarrassed of myself in both of those instances.Steve Brown:
So what's the future for Michael dash now?Michael Dash:
The future is endless. And that's what's so great about it. And, you know, right now, I am an executive coach, I work with other CEOs to help them run their companies. I have one role where I'm an acting CEO of the organization. I have a nonprofit called activated dot life where you see this is the hat. We focus on mental health within the entrepreneur space and entrepreneur communities, do a lot of work in the prison system and working on some projects about setting up temporary housing as people transition out of incarceration and back into civilian life and providing programs around that to put them in a position to be successful. Because these programs are very limited out here. And you know, people you can't just throw the key away on people People make mistakes. Yes. Quick them to be able to integrate into society be productive citizens again, but you have to give them the tools to do that. You can't just let them out and throw them back in the streets. This is why we have rampid problems going on, at least where I'm living in California, in Venice, with homelessness all over the place with drug addiction all over the streets with mental health. You know, they don't have the proper programs in place to help these people, what do you expect is going to happen? So these are a lot of the areas that I'm passionate about. And then I'm involved in, and I also do some speaking, and we'll be speaking in national sober day in two weeks. So that'll be, that'll be great. So yeah, so I keep myself busy. And at the end of the day, I'm an entrepreneur at heart, and I do angel investing, and I love business. So between all those things, I, I have a feeling the future is going to be very exciting.Steve Brown:
Awesome. I love that. So Mike would be a great guest. This has been super interesting. And I really enjoyed it. How do you? How should people reach out to you? Or how should they connect with you who you're looking for? That's, that's a good question, I think.Michael Dash:
Who am I looking for, I'm not looking for anybody in particular, I feel like I'll attract the the energy that it put out will attract the right people. To me, this is now how I live versus before. But I would say you know, any entrepreneurs who are looking for potential coaching, I'm glad to you know, provide a free hour consultation call for them to you know, let them know my approach and see if there's anything I can help them with. But otherwise, I would love for people to check my book out, it's on Amazon and audible. It's called, you can just do chase www chasing the high book.com. Secondly, to that, you can reach me at Michael at Michael g dash calm. And my website, I give away a free alignment assessment. So basically, it's a tool that allows you to track all your daily activities, and then measure how aligned those activities are with how your with what your mission and goals are in life. And then it gives you an average alignment score of how you're living and a process to increase that score. And it's completely free. So if anybody's interested in that, you can find that at www.michaelgdash.com/alignment completely free. And I've gotten some great feedback from that.Steve Brown:
And then that's activated.life as well. Correct? Correct. All right. That's it's been a great conversation Michael Desh chase chasing the high an entrepreneurs mindset to addiction lawsuits in his journey to the edge, Michael, thanks for being on the ROI online podcast.Michael Dash:
Thanks so much for having me, Steve.Steve Brown:
That's a wrap. Thanks for listening to another fun episode of the ROI online podcast. For more be sure to check out the show notes of this episode. And feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn where we can chat and I can help direct you to the resources you're searching for. To learn more about how you can grow your business better. Be sure to pick up your copy of my book, The Golden toilet at surprise, that golden toilet.com I'm Steve Brown, and we'll see you next week on another fun episode of the ROI online podcast.