Top tips from Shaun Hayes.
1. Constantly willing to learn.
One is business in life is a constant. And I said this I learned this from mentors. All colleges in this country is to teach you how to learn. And if you’re going to be successful in your personal life, you have to and that’s listening to podcasts like yours. That’s reading It’s, it’s devoting your life to constant learning. That’s, that’s number one. And that’s what I love about podcasts because I’m, I can be on the treadmill, I can be, I can jog, I can be in the car, I can be bored, and what I’m doing, and I can listen to things, and I think that’s so important.
2. Surround yourself with really bright people that will hold you accountable.
Number two is surround yourself with really bright people that will hold you accountable. And that’s the key to success. Because when you’ve got somebody who’s around you, who holds you accountable, if you get a better result, it’s like you were talking about boundaries. It’s the same thing. Children want boundaries, children want to be held accountable, you get moundridge held accountable, you get a better result, isn’t always the easiest thing. And I was involved with a roofing company not long ago. And the young man said, I don’t like it, that every time we meet you grade me. And then a few weeks later, he goes, I really liked it that you do that. Because you made me a better person.
3. Take risks
It’s take risks. If you don’t take a risk, you’re not going to better yourself or your company, you’re not going to get the result. And, you know, if you just until you go out in the cold with no code on it, and the rain with no umbrella, or you do things that are, you know, just perceived to be risky in some regard, you’re not going to kick the ball down the field. And you have to take risks.
people, bank, business, write, thinking, years, book, customer, life, entrepreneur, company, bought, talk, person, grew, boundaries, Debra, literally, learned, decisions
Debra Chantry-Taylor 00:00
Welcome to the Better Business better life Show. I’m your podcast host, Debra Chantry-Taylor. In this podcast, I interview business owners, iOS implementers, and business experts who share with you their experiences, tips and tools to help you create not only a better business but also a better life. At the end of each show, you will have three tips or tools that our guest share that you can implement immediately into your life. If you want more information or want to get in contact, you can visit my website, Debra dot coach, that’s D B R A dot Coach, please enjoy the show. Today I’m joined by Sean Hayes, who is a best selling author, a speaker and entrepreneur and a felon. So as you can imagine, we’re going to have some very interesting discussions this morning. Welcome to the show, Shaun.
Shaun Hayes 00:47
Thank you, Debra, I cannot wait to talk to you and your audience.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 00:51
I’m looking forward to it too. So we’ve had a little bit of a chat beforehand. And your story is an interesting one. Because if you read about what you’ve done, you know you’ve had the absolute ultimate highs and then potentially the ultimate lows as well. So would you share with us a bit of your journey please, Shawn,
Shaun Hayes 01:05
I will i There’s a scene in life I’d like to start with, because it’s so true to my life. Seldom do people realize their greatest dreams or their worst fears. And I would say I’m probably one of your few guests. Who can honestly say I’ve realized my greatest dreams beyond them and fears worse than I ever imagined. So thank you. Well, in the States, I like to say I’m a dumb southern Missouri boy, I grew up in the country. And in the only thing I can draw to is Budweiser beer and St. Louis Cardinals baseball’s where I ended up. But as a child, I was an entrepreneur and my fit my parents were just I like to tell business people in this. They never told me what to do. My mother was entrepreneurial. My father was their most successful. But I was a disappointment. Because I became a banker. Eight there’s all if you’re in small business, there’s only two and I see people but two entities who really hold you accountable. The IRS internal revenue, you have to pay taxes, and your banker because they say no a lot. And so when I went into banking, a family friend, so Alicia learn how to borrow money. And I was very fortunate because I started 41 years ago and the industry was changing. It was a sales culture. And before that, as we jokingly said it was called free six, three, you pay 3% on deposits, you charged 6% on loans, and you teed off to play golf at three in the afternoon. By the way I play golf, but but the point is, is that I came into the industry when it was fun. And and we were salespeople we went out, we sold money. That was our primary thing. And of course, it’s all unique and most products or services because we wanted it back with interest. And I spent seven years with a large bank based in Kansas City, Missouri. And after seven years, and you’re gonna learn very quickly, Debra, I’m not the brightest bulb in the tree. After seven years, I realized my last name wasn’t Kemper. And for 76 years before, and 34 years after every CEO has had one last name and it was Kemper. So at 29, I went out and bought a bank with put a group of people together, making in the States is very different than the rest of the world. When I got into it, there were 21,000. Well, today, we still have 5000. So it’s very different than most countries experience. It’s very entrepreneurial. We started out and I love to tell this story to your audience, because this will give you an idea. This teaches a lot I, I have a YouTube video, and I talk about culture. And I told you this story is about cash, and you’re gonna find out I’m crazy. We buy this bank, and it had $1,150,000 in cash. 10 years later, I didn’t have a bank that had 50,000 in it. And the ATMs had more than that. The way things have changed. But we sit down and what here Fed funds, which is overnight investing. Were like 9%. And we’re thinking wow, if we took three quarters of a million dollars and took it to the Federal Reserve, we’d make like five or $6,000 more a month, and we’re trying to make more money. And so I picked up the phone and I call brakes, the armored car people. And I said could you send an armored car? And they said, Yeah, it’ll be $250. Well, I said, I’ll call you back and I went into my partner and I said, you know, they’re gonna charge 10 to 15 hours. Now what I didn’t tell you was it’s October, which for here is late fall to very dark and I drove out 168 miles one way to work, so that you tell your business people, I believe entrepreneurship is about commitment. And so I said, let’s load it in the trunk of my car. So unlike now you can see your face. Unlike in the movies, where they take a million dollars in a briefcase, I had a car. And literally it was like this, by time, we put three quarters of a million dollars in it, I drove 168 miles, about 100 of it on two lane roads, got home, unloaded it, put it in my family room, we slept with it got up the next morning took it the Fed. The point was, when you’re when you’re an entrepreneur in business enough, you have to have a culture that teaches people how much you care about the value of $1 in this country. On one hand, on the other hand, how can you make another dollar, and that was the story of our company. Unlike other banks in the world, we grew 80 fold over over 12 years, but we really grew 50 fold over nine years. Wow. And that’s that’s tech company growth. And along went public. And I as CEO, I every quarter, my earnings were better than the quarter before. And in the States, that’s very important. So we had this darling track record of exceeding expectations, and have astronomical growth. You know, most banks in this country, during that time, were happy growing six or 8%. And we were growing, you know, literally, you know, 50% a year, it was crazy. And it was so much fun. And then as all good things, it came to an end as it should have. When you’re an up when you’re in a any business relationship for 15 years. With the same group of people, it’s hard. And it was just a natural time and one of the largest seventh largest bank in America showed up. At that time, we were a two and a half million dollar bank. And they were 110 billion. And they bought us for a whole lot of money. And I spent four years with a large bank like that being one of the top 35 people in a company of 36,000. And I learned there this in a big company, you don’t have to do anything, right. But God forbid you do one thing wrong. And that’s very counterintuitive to those of us who are in business for ourselves. We get out there every day and we try things we try things. Sometimes we succeed, sometimes we fail. Sometimes we change our minds and make a different decision. In a big company. As I used to tell my oldest son, it’s like trying to turn an aircraft carrier around in a river. It’s impossible. And so I did that for about four years. And then a little thing happened called the 2008, nine recession. And literally that bank failed. And they got bought, they were $42 a share. And they got bought for like $2 a share. Now my world that’s failure in the in the economic world, as we saw Silicon Valley Bank and First Republic, and some other banks fail here about six months ago, they didn’t fail, they just got bought over the weekend for nothing. Well, that’s them. And, and in my terminology I use I caught a falling knife. I was heavily invested in Mehta stock, and I was losing millions of dollars a week. And I’d also made my fortune. Although I made a lot of money in banking, I really made it real estate. And I was in a real estate business. And I owned three large positions and smaller banks. And I just didn’t realize how bad things were. And and what happened was I had seen a man become very successful, I bought my first bank from him. I’d known him from years before that, who had bought defaulted assets and put them in a bank. And so I structured a transaction that was legal and perfectly structured. And at the last at the 11th hour, it wasn’t going to go through because one of the defaulted borrowers I was in a loan that was at one of the banks are selling them to us at a deep discount. And I was a partner excuse me, and in the United States if you own more than in this case, I own 54% of the bank. But if you own more than 10% and I never blamed myself, my own company anyway. Impossible to do business with yourself and that’s a law that I broke and I knew when I did it, I had done it. The reason why I did it was and as I said to you, before we started it, most decisions are made made on fear and greed and greed was, my bank was going to make a lot of money. The fear was that I was losing money so fast, I needed things to go well, and had the transaction run it course, run its course, as it had dozens and dozens of times before. When I done this not with my own, with not with a P not with a small piece that I was involved in, it wouldn’t have been a problem. Well, it became a problem. And, and that’s what, that’s what sent me to prison. And, and what I like to talk about is, you know, your audience are people like myself then and, and quite honestly, as it says in the book and back. And I’ve just had an unbelievable rise again, not like the first time it’s very different. But it’s for me, it’s far more fun. And I told you earlier I like to say to your listeners, I wouldn’t change one thing now. Am I happy that I damaged? My my relationship with my children? No. Am I happy that I lost 37 months of my life and freedom? No. Am I happy that lost millions of dollars? No. Am I happy that I lost friends? And I hurt people? No. But I’m such a better person for it. And what I learned this whole journey is, is that I always knew business was about people. Because I’ve seen 10,000 business plans. And I’ve never seen one fail. You know, I’ve never seen one with a plan to fail. Yet. I’ve seen hundreds and hundreds of companies fail. It’s always the same thing. It’s execution. And execution is dependent upon people you can even be is a man told me when I started. Sean, you’re so talented. When I was 29. Why are you why are you buying a bank? Why don’t you go into another business, you can be in an industry like banking, that’s in a long term cyclical decline, and still succeed if you have the right people to execute. And I was very fortunate that I did. And the key to my success as I went as I got through it, not when I was going through and as I got through it, I realized it was in a it was in having a very diverse and intelligent board of directors. And in particular my case, it wasn’t having four people in myself on an executive committee, one woman and three other men, who helped me accountable constantly, at least two to four times two to four times a month, if not every week, we met. And we talked on the phone in those days, today, we would have emailed a lot more our text. But it’s just amazing when you’re around people who are smart, and who can look at a problem. And I’ve never been someone who’s a fan of groupthink. But I do love when you pull a group, and you get their ideas. And at the end of the day, someone in the in the case of my company, I made the decisions. But it wasn’t without wise counsel, it wasn’t where it’s right. You know, there’s nothing like an entity run by a committee look at our government, we run everything by a committee not beats, it beats a dictatorship or, you know, socialism, anything like that. But you really at the end of the day, someone has to be accountable. And it’s up to people around you to hold you accountable. And, and that’s the lesson I learned from this. And if people don’t take anything else from this, this podcast, but this it truly is surround yourself with really bright people who they don’t have to be from your industry necessarily. But they need to have experiences. And I like to talk about the lovin, she’d been director of of a bank that we ended up passing in size, which was much larger, very successful bank. And she’d been their HR director. And I would let Virginia interview people who reported to me or that I interacted with a lot. And she was in this one of those valuable lessons I learned. And there’s one other one I want to pass along. But this one was, Shawn, you’re going to love Debra, she’s going to do a great job. She’s the person for the job. But you, Shawn, have to get over these two things. Because she taught me I can’t change people. And that if I wanted to get the result I wanted, and I had somebody as talented as you aren’t as bright and as hard working. I had to work around things that might not have appealed to me about your style. Because we all want to change people. And she said you’re going to fail trying to change them. You change yourself because you want that result. That was the best advice. I got the second best advice I got. And this is something that all your listeners when they really think about it. They’ll be right you’re not your own customer. And I said there’s a ain’t here called Northern Trust are the original JP Morgan, not JP Morgan Chase. And if you’ve been to those banks, they’re the most phenomenal wood millwork, stone marble, just just really fortresses of institutions in the third, and I’ve owned 80 or 90 banks, but in the 38 that I sold for half a billion dollars, that we started our first acquisition, we paid 3.3 million. And we sold out for a half a billion. Our we never built a new building. I never bought new office furniture, we turned a Kentucky Fried Chicken and a Hardee’s into a bank because they have drive throughs. But we would buy a bank and we literally went shopping, and I would walk through and if you were one of my senior people, you go, Shawn, I want that table and I go, Debra, I’m taking that picture. And Karen box behind us might say, I want that. So fun, Tom diver would say I want that desk, we had a hodgepodge at first because our, our customers didn’t care what our banks look like they wanted service, and price might have built that bank for myself, we wouldn’t have been so successful. So I always will challenge your audience to look and say, who’s your customer, it’s about your customer. Because once you think it’s about you start making some really bad decisions, and you make bad investments in your business. And that’s what causes you to fail and the execution. So you told me to talk for a little while. And I’m well as I want your audience to know, there’s not one question off off limits in this conversation. So keep leading me down the path, ma’am.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 16:51
Perfect, thank you. There’s a lot there to absorb. And I’ve written a few little notes here about things that have struck me. I think the first thing is, you know, people, you’re absolutely right, you know, people kind of make or break things. And they are the execution. The work that I do is all about helping people harness that people energy and putting in some kind of order. You said that you you got Virginia to kind of also interview these people that you were looking to hire, what else did you do to make sure you got the right people on board?
Shaun Hayes 17:19
Well, my biggest lesson is, don’t be afraid to hire people from out of your industry. Because we all get in this well, they have this experience or that experience in our industry. And industry knowledge is important. But we were a company that grew. And our in our huge growth years were 1993 to 2001. And we had a huge technological advantage that I believe still exists exist. Small companies don’t have to have huge investments in technology. You can buy stuff off the shelf, you can spend less money because you’re agile. And so we hired a tech person who knew nothing about banking, the woman who ran our technology, she was a tech person. So we didn’t have these preconceived notions, our larger competitors, it would be many times our size, they had hundreds of millions of dollars and antiquated platforms that they kept perpetuating, because they couldn’t afford to write them off. We could change that, you know, the biggest, the biggest investment we made was in 1997. And that’s one of my favorite failure stories. And I and I write the book, but we the most fear has been at one time was 1,000,007. So you know, we didn’t have these big investments. We know we might buy a $40,000 piece of software or a $400,000 piece of hardware. And we did things. The other thing we did, and I’m not a fan of consultants, and I was I was talking to a business owner last week and who lives in Chicago. And I said, I only use consultants on this basis. You give me your advice, you track it, and I’ll pay you based on what I make or what I save. I’m not paying you for your time. And I was three for three in that. Because in this country, forget before snail mail as your generation calls it went away. We quit mailing stuff. We didn’t send bank statements. We didn’t so we first didn’t send checks. Then we did things. We were given out debit cards in the mid 90s Before every now that that’s the only way to transaction. I went to a football game last night American football and they didn’t take cash. We adapted to technology very well. But we did those things because the people that ran our technology weren’t bankers. They were taking people and I was with my girlfriend today and we were we saw some Britannica encyclopedias, and I’ll never forget in 1994 I Got my first PC at home and it had the Cyclopedia on it. And it was just blew me away that it was all just on a disk. And I got that because the IT people weren’t bankers. And the I said, I want to buy a computer, what should I buy? What kind of software? And it changed my mindset. So you’ve got to, you’ve got to hire people outside of your industry for you to be successful. Because you get that that group think that everybody, you know, we did it this way. And I mentioned to you before we started, if I ever told my board, when they said, why do we do this, if I ever said it’s because the way we’ve always done it, that generally meant we changed it. In changes, good. Change is hard. But you know, I like to tell your listeners this. And I know they know this, if you don’t adapt and change every day. And by the way, human beings are the most adaptable species ever. If you don’t do those things, you’re going to lose, you have to change every day, you have to look at how you do things. And that’s just part of it, you know, make champion change leader have a change culture. And I also believe those who are owners, or CEOs or whatever moniker they put on themselves, they’re the chief culture carrier. And I told you to culture I created by putting three quarters of million dollars in my trunk. But one time we acquired a bank, and they had a fortune and stationery. And I parked in the back of the building by the back of the building by the dumpster. Because I wanted a culture where everybody knew that I went didn’t have a special parking place. And all this, I went in the back door, it was misty and all in those days, there were so many smokers, and they could only smoke out in the back. And I literally crawled in a dumpster and started handing stationary out. Because it was going to ruin we’re going to throw it away. And I wouldn’t I wouldn’t buy anything but post it. I don’t like the joke was for your birthday, your coworkers would give you posted and for holidays, you would give him posts. But I had made into notepads. You know, it was that culture of we don’t throw things away, we’re not wasteful. And those are things that made us successful.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 22:07
I love it. I love the encyclopedia thing to actually have in my session room, I actually have a whole set of encyclopedias, just to remind us about the changes that we see in the world. And then you’ve also talked about, you know, you’re not your own customer. And I think that’s a really valid thing. I used to do a lot of work around market validation with various companies and, and you know, they would, they would, they would often base the decisions on what they wanted. And you’d have to say to them, Look, you know, if your target audience is a 23 year old male, I’m not a 23 year old males, I cannot possibly think like a 23 year old male. And so I’d encourage them to actually go out and talk to customers and really get a sense of what those customers wanted and not, not lead them down a path either actually allow them to come up with what they genuinely wanted, and then see how you develop things for it. How do you How did you keep that front of mind and your business? How do you make sure that you don’t fall into the trap of what you would like to say,
Shaun Hayes 23:01
To for one anecdotal, constantly talk to your customers. Second, I think investing in peer group and in data, where you know where you can, I’ve said behind many smoke glass wall and listen to people sit around a table. And when at when the company I was with, which was the largest bank in Kansas City, and in St. Louis, we didn’t have much market share. And we sit there night after night. And they never mentioned us, that told me everything. When you when the people in the market don’t even when the facilitator finally has to bring out in the name of the company, not who’s hosting it. But have you thought of this institution or not? That does not so yeah, that’s that market data is so important in because we do that, you know, it’s it’s anecdotal things, it’s it’s having. And you said this, I’m not a 23 year old male, you’re not a 20 year old male. It’s also having a diverse management team. I hit I mentioned, my HR was a female, it was a female. At the same time, when I bought my second bank, because it’s when I came into the metropolitan area, I immediately put blacks and women on the board. Because if you’re not diverse, you don’t understand your customers. You know, in St. Louis, you about 20% of your your your market are African Americans, if you have nothing but a bunch of forget that there’s over 50% females. But if you’ve got boring white men like myself, you’re not going to understand either one of those markets. And, and that’s you’re not your own customer. The other mistake people make is they worry about what their competitors doing. And I never cared what my competitor did. I didn’t follow them. I didn’t chase them. And I was listening to a man speak an excellent speaker a few months ago, and he’d been hired by by Apple to consult him. And he said the entire time. They didn’t ask one question about Microsoft and they competed directly in this space. They were focus on customer, customer customer. He said a few months later, he went to Microsoft, in the whole day they want to talk about Apple. That’s my argument. You stay focused on the customer, not the competitor.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 25:16
Yeah, I completely agree. And there’s a lot of authors who agree with you as well. I just, it makes no sense. It’s like there’s plenty of opportunities out there, do what your customer wants or needs. I’m really curious because I can ask any question 37 months? And I get that, right. Is that how long you were incarcerated for? Yes, ma’am. Tell me a little bit about that. Because that must have been lots of time to reflect I should imagine
Shaun Hayes 25:41
it literally 16 hours a day. And it’s in this in the US. Each unique in my experience was unique to any other people. I’m what’s called a white collar criminal. But I spent 17 months in a county jail. In the US, the Feds don’t the federal government, they put you the housing and county institutions. In most people, they go straight from the courtroom to a white collar camp. I spent months in a county jail, where literally every day I and you never sit down to eat other than breakfast, because you had to be able to move to either fight or flee. Because it’s not a pretty place. But it was a time where I literally walked down a 54 foot hallway 1000 times a day. That’s how I didn’t watch TV. I didn’t play cards. I read because I’ve always been a reader. And I saw myself and and what was I going to do with my life? And how was I going to change it? And it was, it was a humbling. But then again, I wouldn’t trade any of that. Because I’m a better person for it.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 27:00
So tell me you said you did a lot of reading was was it mostly business books? I mean, you said your mom and dad were entrepreneurs, you put up an entrepreneur, what did you read while you
Shaun Hayes 27:11
was before prison, I read, you know, banking kinds of things. But I only read Napoleon Hill thinking Grow Rich, which I think is a must read for anyone. I don’t know if you’ve read it. The greatest book, but I read all those other ones, you know, I read, you know, you name something out there, I’ve now read it, including war and peace. And in some other very, I’ve always been a student of history. And I I think in business you have to be, I think you have to understand, because it does repeat itself. And and I always I have five children and my number two son, I would always say there hasn’t been a new thought in 10,000 years. And I’ve now lived on old enough to see pleats come and go and men’s clothes, cuffs and pants, ties narrow and wide and in return. And so I think in history. But all those books that everybody recommends, I read one that I would encourage your business owners to read. That’s not a business book. It’s called boundaries. It’s about three. And it’s been it’s sold millions of copy copies. It’s by two psychologists. And it’s about boundaries. Can I’m a better business person now. Because I read that book. And a lot of those read those reflective things in interpersonal things because I always said, started about 20 years ago, my undergraduate degrees in finance, my graduates in finance, I’m boring. If I had it to do over, I would have had psychology and finance. Because it’s all about getting in people’s head. It’s understanding organizational behavior, person. And boundaries teaches you a lot about that. And I think that’s important because how we set boundaries, it cost me freedom on one hand. On the other hand, I’m now a better business person because I set much better boundaries.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 29:13
I agree I actually, I use this a lot in my sessions with people when I actually explained that humans enjoy having boundaries, right? It gives us some structure, it gives us something we know when you’re going to work within. And I use the example of a little seedling kind of growing in the middle of a paddock full of cows. And what happens to that seedling if you haven’t got some fencing around that that seedling it will never get the chance to actually grow into what it needs to be. And then once it reaches the stage of being a big, fully grown tree, it’s protected from those cows but those boundaries are the things that actually enables it to to grow into what it can become. So it’s a topic I love in terms of I just think you know, people don’t like to put boundaries in thinking that people might not like them because of it. But mostly we genuinely appreciate having knowing where those boundaries are.
Shaun Hayes 29:58
This is and then you touched on it. I agree completely agree with everything you said, a few years ago, I was in a meeting. And, and someone basically said I wasn’t a nice person. Until them, they call me an SOB. And all days, I would have immediately challenged attack retaliate. And I said, Let me think about that. And I came back to the next monthly meeting. And I said, you know, you’re right. And it’s because I can say no. And it’s because I make decisions that people don’t like. But I think I’m making the best decisions for my organization, or for myself. And that’s why I think boundaries are just what you said that they give people the opportunity to not make everybody happy. But I think successful, you can’t try to make everyone happy.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 30:50
Yeah, absolutely. Gotta go for the greater good. It’s kind of why I have a number of soft toys in my room as well I use one was the elephant in the room was like the elephant The room was actually we’re here for the greater good. And we can’t keep everybody happy. And sometimes it’s not decision by committee. It’s actually about what is the best thing for the organization. And that’s how you have to make decisions. The next thing I wanted to ask you was around, you know, so you, you got put into prison. I don’t if you knew at that point when you were released, or what that would look like, but did you have any idea what you were going to do when you came out? Or was that something that developed over time?
Shaun Hayes 31:24
Well, I want I knew I didn’t, I never in my mind, and I love this. And I know your audience can read or resonate with him. I’ve never felt like I had a job in my life. I spent seven years with a big company. And then I ran my own company, even the four years I’ve been in a much larger company. I didn’t feel constrained, and I had a quote job. So I didn’t want a job. And, and while I was in prison, I actually started a business outside with some people. And so it’s one of those things where I think you’re either an entrepreneur or you’re not. And I think that you can make a choice to be one. But most people don’t. And that’s okay, too. It’d be a very boring world if they didn’t, you know, if we were all the same, but once you’re an entrepreneur, how can you not want to get back in the fight and love the game? You know, it’s the things that are important to me now are different than what were important before. But it’s still winning the game. And, and I think it’s important, and I thought it was important when I was incarcerated, to, you know, how do I redefine myself? Well, I redefined myself by what I do when I get out. And if I just go be a drone that I’m not, and do something that I’m not, I won’t ever redefine myself.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 32:47
Yeah. Okay. And so you, you were in prison, you were reading a book. So you were thinking about sort of what came next? Did you have any kind of epiphanies, because I think one of the things we talk about is like, actually taking time out. And being still and having the time to allow things to settle can actually give you a real clarity of thought. And I know when I did Outward Bound, when I was in my early 40s, it was really challenging in terms of I was the oldest, fattest and fitness person there. But we had to do this or today, with a solitary confinement, where they make you kind of sit down and write yourself a letter. And it was probably the first time in a long, long time that I actually got to sit there. And just be and there was no distractions from technology, there was nothing going on. And I had these most amazing kind of thoughts come to my mind, because I had the time to actually be still. You had a lot of time do I have two days you had 37 maps, you had a lot of time to kind of potentially be still and think
Shaun Hayes 33:45
It’s ironic, yes, that no one else has, but you are on target. And I, one of the key things I came away with, and if you know me, I’m an unbelievably fast thinker. And that’s good at it, good attributes. But what I learned was to think about my thinking, and it doesn’t slow me down, but maybe a second or two. But I make such better decisions. When I think about my thinking. I’m much better relationships, when I think about my thinking. And that was the epiphany is just take those milliseconds or seconds. Keep being a fast thinker, but think about your thinking and analyze your thinking before you say it before you think before you tape it, before you text it before you write it down. And so I’m a much better decision maker. And I’m much better in relationships, because I think about my thinking better. And I I believe that’s a segue to what I learned is you hear life’s a journey. You hear it’s a marathon, but when you have 37 months to think about everyday life, and he’s you get to know me. I’m one of those people that can kind of tell you what I’ve done every day in my life. You realize it is a marathon On. There was a study in the States 30 years ago, and it was octogenarians. And one of the things, only four things came to the top and the one that rose relative to me is, they would have done things differently had they realized they were going to live so long. And I don’t think when we’re younger, we think that we’re going to be 41 Day and 51 day and 61 day, and in their cases, 81 day. That’s a, that’s a real driver. And when you have that in mind at one end, and you think about what you’re thinking and the other, you make much better decisions, and you’re much better individual.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 35:38
Completely agree that’s fantastic. I’ve got written that down, think about my thinking. Like it’s a really unfair point for because most entrepreneurs tend to be sort of reasonably fast paced reasonably quick in their thinking, I have to say I, as I’ve grown older, and hopefully a wee bit more mature, I’m not too sure how mature but I can catch myself now. I used to be a bit of a keyboard warrior. And if somebody would send me an email or a text message, I would respond almost immediately. And often the responses that I had, were not necessarily the best responses. And now I catch myself, you can tell when I’m really bashing my keys, you know that you’re not in the right state of mind. And so often, I’ll still bash it away and put it there, but put it away for 12 hours and then come back to it and decide whether or not that was actually the right thing to do.
Shaun Hayes 36:18
There were that’s such good advice. And that is so true.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 36:21
Yeah. Now, I’ve been caught a few times. Okay, so you came out of prison. And then what?
Shaun Hayes 36:31
One I mentioned, I started a business, I was active in sales. And then I got really ill. And I had lymphoma in 2000, late 2011, and 12. And I got it again. In April of 21. I knew on Easter Sunday, I was really sick. And I went in on Monday. And of course they kept me for a week. And then I started chemotherapy the next week. And I had known from the depths of my trials before I went to prison. I was going to write a book. And load who runs a large speaker’s bureau said, You should write a book and I said, Gail, I’m not that interesting. And then when you’re in prison, you read a lot of business books you go. And I when I reached back to her, I said, Yeah, I’m still not that interesting. But I’m a lot more interesting, a lot of these other people, you know. And so when I was so sick, and literally for a period of six weeks, I didn’t really get out of bed i i credit for men was say it was keeping me alive, because I was so well. In fact, if you talk to them individually, they would say they never thought I would make it through that only went to cancer, then I got pneumonia. And so I wrote a book, I dictated it into an iPad. And that was I knew what I was going to write. I just didn’t know how and when you’re so sick and you got nothing but either you sleep, or you wonder and I’m not a TV watcher. So rather than spin, you know, dozens and dozens of hours of thinking about things I thought about for years in prison, I started writing. And that was the book.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 38:13
Okay, wow. And so the book is called, I wrote it down with a great choice. Yeah. And sort of just looking at what the tagline was big time banking to the big house and back. And that you can obviously get hold of that on Amazon and all the usual places. Is that right? Yes, ma’am. That is true. Yeah. And so writing the book was a cathartic. I’ve always wondered about, you know, writing these things down does it does it also because you obviously do it with a desire to help other people. Was it also helpful for you?
Shaun Hayes 38:42
Well, it may desire was, and I put this above it, I wrote it so that hopefully those who read it will never make the mistakes I made, and experience the highs without the lows. But I didn’t write it for what came out of it. And this is an irony. Two men one I’ve known for decades, and other African American man at the time, I don’t for about three years. Both broke bread with me a few weeks after I came out here, they both read the book. And they said this and they were right, a cleansed me. I finally felt like I was it was behind me. It felt like I was, you know, clean. I was ready to move forward. And that was not why I did it. But it was that was a consequence. It was ironic that I had two people telling me that from two different walks of life, both in business so and I’m like, wow, you all are right. But I didn’t think of it that way. And and the other thing is, is I talked to friends that I grew up with, if you want to ask I was always voted, you know to be successful. But if they would have said who’s going to write a book in my class, I would have not been the person and I tell people and a lot of there’s a saying there’s an inner book and everyone, but there’s a lot of people who really should Write them that choose not to. And it’s not as hard in today’s world as you would think. And, and you can make a difference in people’s lives. And I’ve seen it from all kinds of I’ve gotten the most wonderful emails. And it’s one of the questions that somebody asked me early on, and I said, I’ve gotten hundreds and hundreds of emails and responses. And only two of them were negative. And they were both girls I dated in college and didn’t marry
Debra Chantry-Taylor 40:27
But have an ulterior motive.
Shaun Hayes 40:30
Obviously, it’s been framed, but it’s nice to have people. And I have people obviously that I don’t know that have nothing to do with banking or finance. Just write and say thank you. And, and I would have never thought that would have been a consequence.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 40:43
That’s fantastic. I want to go back a little bit as well. Because I know that in the beginning, you said that you actually lost friends and family and hurt friends and family, obviously, with what happened to you? How did you repair those relationships? Did you have you been able to? And what was their? What was their judgment? Like? Why did the relationship even break down in the first place?
Shaun Hayes 41:06
Oh, one thing, I was told all my life, and now I’ve lived it, you really can count all your friends on one hand. And that was one thing. The other thing is, is that my children had only seen success after success after success. And so I’ve had to deal with that. And it’s repairing in some cases, has been easy. And in other cases, it’s, you know, it’ll be the rest of my life or certainly be on but I know it’ll happen, I have no doubt that it won’t be. But what’s been the the ironic part of that is, is once you’ve been down the road, I’ve been done, you become a little gun shy of, you know, what’s your response going to be is how many people who I wouldn’t have call friends who’ve risen, just to unbelievable levels of acceptance, and help and kindness. And it gives you a real good feeling about mankind. And you talked earlier about doing the greater good. And we all like to do that every day, we try to do it and our business life and our personal life. And when you’ve been through what I’ve been through, you find a whole lot of people who really are out there doing the greater good. And it’s very refreshing. And so the the ones have damaged, it’s a long road, but it’s worth it. And and the ones that I haven’t, they’ve just been unbelievably welcoming.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 42:32
Fantastic. Yeah, I think you’re absolutely right. You really have got those people around you who you know, are there for you come hell or high water? I haven’t been through what you’ve been through. But I’ve certainly I’ve lost everything in business. I’ve lost my house, I’ve lost my car, I’ve lost, you know, literally gone. And and as you said, I don’t know why. But I had to go back and start another business because that was part of my makeup. And I couldn’t bear the thought of going back. You know, my, my husband was asked me, why don’t you go and get a real job with somebody? Yeah, actually, I prefer a real job of employing other people, if you don’t mind. But yeah, it is just it’s interesting that the people, your your true friends, no matter what you go through, are there for you. Even when you’ve made some bad decisions, they will be there, they’ll support you. And others, I suppose you can work on overtime if you’ve done something to hurt them, which I think is probably where the biggest challenge lies. Is that fair?
Shaun Hayes 43:23
It’s very fair. And I think you’re in a bit of as your story. Because you’re you’re only proof living proof of what I believe. When you get knocked down. It’s not failure until you quit. Yeah, we do it again. You will succeed. I always love the books. I read the Thomas Edison story. He failed 9999 times. That’s a light bulb.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 43:47
Yeah, that’s right. I think there’s some certain things we’d like to help people avoid doing. I mean, I certainly would never recommend selling your house or your car to fund your business. But anyway, I did it. And what I do love about it is that I think that I think that sometimes as you said, if you’ve always had successes, it’s really hard to necessarily appreciate it as well. The one thing that I learned from being on literally the bones of my eyes was that I now have a lot more gratitude, I think for the things that come into my life. And I appreciate things like I never did before, I might have been a bit of a spoiled brat in the old days, whereas these days, it’s like I’m really grateful for for everything that happens. Hey, look, we can probably talk all day because you’ve got such a fascinating kind of story. But I want the listeners to kind of walk out some things they can actually use in their life. So do you have like three top tips or tools or things you’d like to share that we could actually share with the listeners?
Shaun Hayes 44:40
Yes, I am. One is business in life is a constant. And I said this I learned this from mentors. All colleges in this country is to teach you how to learn. And if you’re going to be successful in your personal life, you have to constantly be willing to learn and that’s listening to podcasts like yours. That’s reading It’s, it’s devoting your life to constant learning. That’s, that’s number one. And that’s what I love about podcasts because I’m, I can be on the treadmill, I can be, I can jog, I can be in the car, I can be bored, and what I’m doing, and I can listen to things, and I think that’s so important. And that’s, again, back to technology. So, number one, number two is surround yourself with really bright people that will hold you accountable. And that’s the key to success. Because when you’ve got somebody who’s around you, who holds you accountable, if you get a better result, it’s like you were talking about boundaries. It’s the same thing. Children want boundaries, children want to be held accountable, you get moundridge held accountable, you get a better result, isn’t always the easiest thing. And I was involved with a roofing company not long ago. And the young man said, I don’t like it, that every time we meet you grade me. And then a few weeks later, he goes, I really liked it that you do that. Because you made me a better person. And in the intent was to make him feel bad it was to constantly be trying to help you improve. So surrender, to get people, I talked about that all the time, is it, people want to help you don’t be afraid to ask them to help you. But don’t get Yes, people. If people who are counted in the best people I’ve had in my management, were people who were the world would be very boring. If it were all Shawn’s is getting people who think differently, act differently, talk differently, walk differently. And that’s, that’s number two. And number three, and you’ve already said this, it’s take risks. If you don’t take a risk, you’re not going to better yourself or your company, you’re not going to get the result. And, you know, if you just until you go out in the cold with no code on it, and the rain with no umbrella, or you do things that are, you know, just perceived to be risky in some regard, you’re not going to kick the ball down the field. And you have to take risks.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 47:10
Yeah, measured risks, perhaps. But yes, absolutely. And I’ve made some I can just say, I’ve been sitting here as grad school demand, my remarkable update summary notes of things that you’ve actually shared it or summary things that have been really sort of eye opening. And I think one of the things that kind of struck me is, you know, the whole thing about history, you know, as you said, there’s been no new ideas and 10,000 years. So the ability to kind of keep learning from, from people and just listening and learning about history, I think is absolutely fine. And that the grading thing, I just wrote that as well, we actually, when I work with clients, so I actually get them to grade every quarter that they do. And the idea is that it’s not about you know, making you feel good or bad. It’s just about actually, well, where are we? What have we learned from it? How do we improve and that’s the way that you keep moving forward is to keep learning from the things that you could be doing better. So, thank you. Thank you so much for all of your beautiful wisdom. Obviously, we’ve talked about the book, you can get hold of the book, which is the great choice on Amazon and other places. In terms of getting hold of you Shawn, how would people get in contact with you if they wanted to talk to you?
Shaun Hayes 48:12
I still Shaun right, Debra? Sh. Is Sean hayes.com. He’s anyway yes. I love to say that because in college there were three Sean’s in my fraternity, one a w one and E AE and I was a you. So I like to joke. If I’m if I’m on the phone and somebody’s name, Shawn. I say he says bye. So what you spell your name wrong. There is no wrong way. Ha U N. So it please feel free to have people reach out to me. And as I will always tell you, if I can ever help you in any way, don’t hesitate to shoot me an email and we can get on a zoom or whatever. And, and I’m there because business is about helping others succeed. Because usually, if you help someone else, you benefit more than they did in reality.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 48:57
Absolutely true. I completely agree. I look thank you so much. And I know it’s Sunday evening there for you. So again, thank you for for giving up part of your weekend to spend time with me really appreciate it.
Shaun Hayes 49:06
Well, thank you and have a wonderful, a wonderful Monday and I look forward to staying in touch with you and thanks for sharing with me. Good night.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 49:14
Thank you. Thanks for listening to the podcast show better business better life. My name is Debra Chantry-Taylor. I’m an EOS implementer family business advisor, business and leadership coach podcaster and speaker. However, I’m also a business owner with several current business interests. I’m fortunate to have lived the high life with all the lifestyle, the toys, you name it, and then I’ve lost it all. Not only once but twice in two spectacular train wrecks. I know what it’s like to experience the highs and lows. I came across EOS when they launch into New Zealand using my entrepreneurs playground at an event center in Parnell Auckland. I love the simplicity of the tools and their philosophies fitted my personal brand statement perfectly. The brilliance is in the sun Velocity. I’ve always been passionate about seeing entrepreneurs live the life they love. And now I help them live that EOS life, doing what they love with people they love making a huge difference in the world being compensated appropriately and with time to pursue other passions. If you want more information or want to get in contact about using ELS and your business, you can visit my website at Deb Debra dot coach. That’s dub dub dub Debra D B R A dot coach. Thanks for listening
Professional EOS Implementer | Entrepreneurial Leadership & Business Coach | Business Owner
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