What’s holding you back? That is the question Ray Higdon will help answer in this episode with host Christin Collins. Ray is the CEO of The Higdon Group, a keynote speaker, and a best-selling author. Today, he shares insights from his most recent release, Time, Money, Freedom: 10 Simple Rules to Redefine What’s Possible and Radically Reshape Your Life. In addition, he offers advice that will help you overcome whatever is holding you back and help you charge toward personal growth and success. Join in on their conversation to get insight into adjusting your mindset and managing your time and energy to focus on your goals.
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What’s Holding You Back: Overcoming Doubt In Pursuit Of Success And Freedom With Ray Higdon
I’m very excited to have a conversation with my friend, Ray Higdon, and his beautiful wife, Jess, is also a friend. Ray, welcome and thank you for your time.
Thanks for having me.
I want to first let folks know that I have had the pleasure of getting to know you guys through your charitable work. You are so generous to the community. You are living that balanced life of giving back. I want to make sure that we talk about your vision for giving back and what that means to you, Jess and your family.
Before we go there, I would love to have you share with folks in our shared space a little bit about your journey that you have been through, which is very interesting because you are wildly successful. You are extremely successful but you have had your share of ups and downs. Can you share a little bit about that path?
I have been here in Southwest Florida and different parts of it for many years. I’m originally from Indiana but I have been here in this area. I went to high school in Cape Coral. My wife and I live in Naples. I have been in Southwest Florida, and I had worked my way up in the corporate world to a pretty high-paying salary. I felt like I was making all the moves to do what you are supposed to do. I came to the realization that I didn’t like what I was doing.
I didn’t feel like there was ever going to be freedom there and that the harder I work, the more they would pay me but the more they would demand. I was looking for a way out and I had friends that were doing well in real estate and this was back in 2004. Real estate in Southwest Florida 2004, what could go wrong? I left the corporate world in 2005. I ran with real estate for several years, flipping homes, doing contract assignments, buying rental properties and I was just rocking and rolling.
I thought it was genius. When the market crashed, I realized, “I knew how to do it in a hot market but I don’t know what to do now.” When the market crash, I’ve got wiped out. I went through a divorce, went through foreclosure. At one point, I was living on my buddy’s couch and I was super depressed. I had a friend invite me to a home meeting, which I knew was network marketing, which I had actually sworn off of because I had had some bad experiences but I’m like, “What am I going to do?”
My credit was shut. No one is hiring. I’m out of money. I’m like, “Fine.” I go and I’m like, “I’m going to make this thing work.” Long story short, I went on to become the number one incomer of that company and I didn’t intend to. I built a coaching and training company, and then now a software company. We now coach and train people on how to better use social media, how to make more sales and mindset. Our main clientele is network marketers and network marketing companies. We have been able to turn around, built an Inc. 5,000 company. As you were talking about, we raised a lot of money for charity all these years and we have been having a blast. We are loving what we do now and having a lot of fun.
Thank you for your transparency and the authenticity of your journey. Folks make the mistake of seeing someone as successful as you are and they think, “He has it all figured out. He has it all,” which you do but it has been a journey. As we both know, it’s often in the struggle where we have our truest growth.
I’m very attracted to the mindset that you have. I know that you and I have our mutual friend, Heather Christie, who was a guest a few episodes ago. Many folks know her from my book, and she’s the main character. I love your positioning of mindset in your book. When you refer to, “What is holding you back?” You simplify a very heady concept.
I spent all this time in La La Land about mindset. You drill right down and you say, “What is holding you back?” You were on your knees on a friend’s couch, you accepted an invite that you didn’t even want to go to and now, look at you. Can you talk a little bit about mindset and helping people embrace it? What is holding them back and then what do you do about it?
Even since the book came out in 2020, I have learned so much about this topic. I’m a very consistent guy. I show up every single day and I’m a lunatic. For example, when I decided that I was going to do internet videos, I did a video a day, every day for many years. The only time I broke that was this July 2021. I was at a meditation retreat and I’m like, “I’m not going to do it.”
After all that time, that’s why you walked away for a day.
It’s not enough to alter just your time management. It’s also energy management.
What fascinated me was, how come others aren’t consistent? I would teach daily routine and people would like it, but they would never follow it. I teach consistency. I taught having a vision and that would help a few more people but what I have learned is I just tie consistency and mindset so close together. Often, we at least have an inkling of what it is that we want, but to get what we want, we have to be consistent.
If you are consistent at meditation, you will gain peace of mind, but people won’t be consistent even though they know that. If you want to make more money, you’ve got to be consistent at certain action steps. If you do those things, it will happen but why don’t people do that? What I learned is when people aren’t consistent, it’s almost always to be nice, but it is always. It’s because they are drawing the wrong conclusion to success in that thing based on previous observations.
I have now coached many people around this and these have many different stories. If you saw your mom has always stood up for herself and always been in massive fights, trauma and bad relationship after bad relationship as a kid, you might conclude, “I better not defend myself. I better not stick up for myself.” A lot of people that are people pleasers, that’s not a DNA thing that you are born with and you are just, “This one is deemed to be a people pleaser.” It’s because of an observation you made. Sometimes, that has you going toward that thing. Sometimes, it has you going away from that thing.
Mindset is the willingness to look at, “What are the possibilities of why I don’t have that fame or why I’m not getting that fame? What’s in my way?” It’s rarely a tactic, a routine, a checklist, and the things that we want to seek that are outside of us. It’s us looking inside and saying, “What caused this? What was the root of this?” That’s the deep work that people don’t like to do. In fact, your body is designed to attack you doing that work and try to prevent you from figuring it out. The only way I know that is because I have done that and I continue that work.
There are a million goodies I get to dissect from that paragraph from you. I couldn’t agree more. The whole getting into the rut and the defense mechanism of staying in the rut, it’s so interesting to me. I love your comment, “If people want this to be like an overnight thing, here’s the checklist. You do these four things.” That’s not what this is and that’s why this show is called Find the Spark Within. The tagline to my company is, “Find it within yourself.” What’s holding you? Your journey is going to be different than mine and the answers are going to be different for each of us.
What you inspire, which you inspired to me and I inspire in tens of thousands daily is this opportunity to be aware of this and create your own pathway out of it. Are there 1 or 2 goodies if someone was like, “I’m hearing this probably for the first time, even though it has probably been said before?” What is the first step that someone can take to go ahead and start moving themselves to shift their mindset?
I would start to become aware of your reactions and emotions. Without that awareness, you are on autopilot. When you are on autopilot, you have nothing to say. One of the first programs that I discovered back in 2009 was that I had a trigger that the thing that would drive me was doubt. “I will show you,” that was what Landmark Forum would call my act. If someone said, “There’s no way you could do that.” I had lots of people tell me this over the years, “I will show you.” I had people say, “There’s no way they are going to hire you. There’s no way you could do that.”
On the surface, that can push you to do things that you otherwise might not do, but the long-term is not that great. Once you prove yourself to everybody and you are used to running off doubt, you are like, “What don’t you think I can do? What else?” I need it like, “Fire me up, guys.” I had careers that went like this. People said, “There is no way you can do it.” I would do it. I become successful at it to some degree, and then no one was doubting me so I go start something else.
You don’t think I can weave? I will show you. No rationale, it’s just wherever there was doubt, that’s where I would go. It’s like, “I’m on autopilot. I’m just a passenger in the car careening off the cliff to whatever someone doubts me at.” First, I had that happen with my coaching and training company. I’ve got enough times where someone said, “You do a great job. You are good.” I remember this feeling and I was like, “Why am I feeling that?” It’s because I have established some baseline of belief in this thing and it is now my choice. With awareness, there’s a choice. With non-awareness, there is no choice.
Your emotions are firing without your assistance or awareness. You are even making decisions. The person that maybe didn’t feel enough love as a kid from the person they wanted the love from, they very often can go through their entire life locating evidence that the person doesn’t love them. Once they locate enough evidence, “Final straw. On to the next one,” even if that person did love them.
Another one of my programs is I had been betrayed as a kid. I grew up in a very abusive home. I had a guidance counselor betray me in the third grade. I didn’t know it but that was the day that I decided I wouldn’t let anyone else in because I didn’t want to have that feeling of betrayal ever again. Literally, my whole life, since third grade, I have kept people at bay. I have kept people from them getting close to me. I have still been able to do business, make money, have somewhat of relationships but none that are that close, that if they betrayed me, it would hurt. That’s a program I had to become aware of. Before it, I was on autopilot and I was projecting it on every relationship I ever had.
You and I have had a similar journey. I don’t think I found my heart until I was 50, which is sad. I’m living with that open heart, irrespective of other people’s hurt or betrayal has been quite a little journey. You are helping inspire people to be aware of this default and sharing that you have to have challenges that you have had to overcome. It’s not a light switch, a pill, a Three-Step program. It’s a journey but it is something that we can do.
Another thing that you shared that resonates, and I literally had this conversation with my little brother. As I read your history through your sharing in your book, I’ve got this, “I’m not going to stay here and get stuck in this role,” whether it’s because someone doubted you or that was the job you were doing at the time, including your boss at the grocery store. I love that story. You wanted more from life than just a paycheck. I find lots of people, including myself in my former role, I make this money and I can’t possibly walk away because I don’t have clarity on what else I’m supposed to do. I now have done that.
I’m very blessed that I’m able to live every day on point. I have never been happier or healthier. I’m so lit up most days often. You did that many times. To support people who may want to transition from the, “I can’t stand my job,” then they go home, and then they are cranky pants, that whole cycle. What are 1 or 2 takeaways that you can share for folks to navigate that discomfort and make a change?
There are a few things. Number one is focusing on what you want. What is it that you want? If you don’t know, a trick that I have done is taking time before I go to bed to say, “Thank you for my guidance.” Whatever you want to think, thank God, the universe, inner self or whatever you want to thank about, “Thank you for my guidance.” What’s interesting is I have never had that go unanswered.
There was a time where we were unsure if we wanted to live in Downtown Naples or a different area. We had pros and cons. We were torn. It was three nights of me saying, “Thank you for my guidance.” We had an amazing experience in the area that we live now that was like, “This is the answer. This is clearly it.” When you don’t know, “Thank you for my guidance,” is a very powerful place to be. Focusing on what you want and what that looks like.
One quote that helped me that I heard from Oprah, which is, “Life is not a dress rehearsal.” “I’m going to toil my life at this thing,” that’s so not 2021. It’s like waking up with the internet, social media, podcasts, with all these different things, you have so many different weapons at your hand than people had in history, and you can choose to do whatever you want.
I had a friend who was in a job that she hated. I’m like, “What is it that you want?” She’s like, “I want to have fun. I want to do videos.” She started doing videos on Gen X on TikTok. She now has a humongous following. She coaches people. She’s totally having a blast. There are unlimited possibilities but you do have to focus on what you want. The next level version of that, which I learned from Dr. Joe Dispenza, who was a huge mentor to me, says, “You want to live with memories of your future more than memories of your past.” The next level of it is you, seeing yourself doing the things that you want and you feel the feelings of doing those things.
That’s the next level, so when I wake up, my conscious mind is constantly, “What is it that I want to achieve? What would it feel like if I already had it? What would that wish fulfilled look like? What would it feel like? What would people say to me? What would be the backup evidence?” I’m way more thinking about things to come as if they have already happened versus, “My mom could have done this.” Most people are focused on what they don’t want, so they get more of what they don’t want.
I know that you are close with Dr. Dispenza. I was at the gym and there were these four young guys that work out together and I marvel at that. I love their little tribe and support of one another. They are on the equipment next to me. One guy is like, “I listened to this thing by this guy, Joe Dispenza, and he was talking about if you feel the emotion, then you are going to attract it because you attract what you feel. That’s energy.”
I’m trying to stay on my machine and not fall off because I wanted to be like, “My name is Christin. I live for this stuff. Can we go hang out for a week and talk about it?” It took me a while to understand that. I love that you brought that into the space that if we feel the negativity, we are going to get that. By going to bed at night, expressing gratitude, welcoming guidance, and then feeling how you want it to feel, that’s exactly how you attract it. Thank you for bringing that here.
I do know and I have disagreed with other folks who are like, “You just have to declutter, get everything out of your way and go for it.” I’m not the family breadwinner, so I’m blessed that I have a partner who we can figure out together, “How can I make a shift to do something more on point?” I’m very cognizant of that. I don’t advise people to blow up their existing life.
When I was reading what you had to say, you were sharing the same thing, which is why I want to bring it here because I agree with you. Walk us through a little bit about how you can shift from that unhappy, unhealthy mundane existence to this thing of dress rehearsal people and, “I want to live my true purpose but I have children to support our bills.” Take a minute to walk us through that.
Most people are focused on what they don’t want, so they get more of that.
Most people have time restraints. They are like, “I want to quit my job but I’ve got three kids.” It’s not enough and it’s interesting. You said declutter but it’s not enough to alter your time management. It’s also energy management. I will give you some very basic tactics that I did but also give you some maybe weirder stuff too.
The basic tactics. I’m working at this job, I realized this is not where I want to be. I’m like, “I’ve got to go to this job because it’s what’s paying me but how can I question my time? How can I use my time more effectively?” Instead of music, I started listening to audio CDs on the way to work, on the way home. At break time, instead of goofing off, I did something quickly if I was eating and did whatever. I made phone calls sometimes.
At lunch, which was a big one, we all were used to going offsite with everyone and complain about the job, the boss and the project. I’m like, “I can’t make it now.” I started bringing my lunch, eating it in a few minutes and then working my side business. If you don’t have a side business yet, maybe that’s the time you spend researching your side business to find what is best for you. I started being crazy about my time and not trying to create a new time but using what time I have, “Do I need to go with the co-workers if I know I’m not staying here?” That makes no sense, so let’s utilize that time better.
Now, energy management is a little different. We have moved and I saw it as an opportunity for me to question, “What do I need?” I basically came to two categories. What are things that helped me toward my purpose and what are things that bring me joy in anything else I don’t want? I sold all my watches. I don’t care about it. I’m using my phone and I don’t need these fancy expensive watches.
If I had a thought about a certain thing, then I wanted to either get rid of it, utilize it or whatever. We have had a storage unit for five years and I don’t even know what she’s put in there. I have a few things, but she’s got a ton of stuff in there. I don’t know what’s in there. I’m like, “It’s on my mind, and I’ve got to clear this up.” I go to the storage unit and I donate a tractor-trailer full of stuff we haven’t used in five years. We don’t need it. It’s not necessary. Some of it is good stuff, good enough to store.
I’ve got rid of all that. I’m looking around, I’ve got all these empty cabinets, empty shelves and everything. To a degree, we have a finite amount of mental energy of what we can think about and what consumes that time. If you can eliminate some of the things that you are thinking about that are taken up that mental creation space, you can get more into creation, whether that’s your past or things. I have been on this massive mission to trim out anything that I don’t need.
That’s either not contributing joy or helping me with my purpose, and so it has been freeing. I don’t know what we all have donated to Goodwill. I have sold probably about $70,000 worth of stuff on eBay. I have had six humongous boxes of books for a million years, literally decades. I haven’t opened any of them in many years. Why do I have these things? I don’t need them.
I like the idea of decluttering. I don’t like the idea of blowing up your life and I will figure it out. Most people aren’t ready for that. They may do that knowing that they will have a reason for failure saying, “I went too fast.” They are actually pre-empting their excuse. They are not doing it consciously but they are pre-emptively, “Here’s why I failed.”
I love that you and I agree with that. I get really worried when I hear someone be like, “You’ve got to let go of that.” You have to walk up to the cliff first. You don’t want to leap from way back there because you are going to fall flat on the rock. You have to work your way towards, and then let the winds lift you off. It’s timing.
You said before too when you and Jess are thinking about where to live. For me, it’s when you don’t know what to do, don’t. Breathe and then you will have your opening if you sit in a discussion. One other thing I want to touch on with before, I would love to hear a little bit more about your community support. Another thing that we are in alignment about is I’m outside of self-creator. I’m not a contemplative like, “I need to go sit by myself in isolation to create, move, grow or expand.”
I find, as I look back, that I like to have a creative space where I can put stuff out, and see what sticks and resonates. I don’t even know half the stuff in my head. I’m blessed that I have some people that I can be in that creative space with to not only did I hear what I had to say but sometimes I don’t and that other person can be reacting to it. Instead of ready, aim, fire, where folks spend all this time preparing for their launch, preparing to jump off the ledge, and I can see how that can get in the way.
As I have created my own business, I’m like, “My website, this, I don’t have this.” Thank goodness someone smarter than me said, “Christin, even when you have all those things, there are going to be other things you don’t have yet.” I have learned to be comfortable with ready, fire, aim. I would love you to talk for a few just about that concept because I love it, and that’s how I live.
To help someone, if you are a perfectionist, it’s often because you had a parent that was too tough on you and that you never felt good enough for, or you had good siblings and you were never made to feel that good. Everything you do has not been good enough to earn what you were after. That can create overthinkers, procrastinators or perfectionists as they like to call themselves. It can create that gun-shyness or that feeling of, “Why bother?” It’s because, “I have tried my best in the past and it didn’t get me what I wanted, so why bother?”
There is a lot of stuff that goes with that but the concept of ready, fire, aim is, “Nothing I have ever done has been perfect at first, ever.” Putting it out there and ask yourself, “If you have this idea that would impact your life, your family’s lives, and the lives of others, what good is it doing in here?” Nothing. It’s not helping anybody, the world, the society, any charity, yourself, your family, nobody.
Brendon Burchard said, “Version 1.0 is always better than 0.0.” I have met a lot of people that have amazing ideas but they are in the 0.0 stage. They haven’t done anything toward them, “What can I do now? What is my next step?” I will give you an example. This comes from our reality show. I had a lady on there. I was coaching and I said, “What’s one thing you would love to do and would be meaningful to you?” She said, “I have always wanted to buy my parents a home to thank them for what they did. I would love to buy them a home.” I’m like, “How long have you had that as a goal?” “Ten years.” “How much have you saved for that?” “Nothing.” “How much do you need?” “I don’t know.” “Do you know where they want to live? What do we know? We know nothing.”
When we have meaningful goals, and we don’t make any steps toward them, it hurts our integrity. It makes us feel like we are not worthy of the things that we truly want. I agree, I believe it was Emerson that said, “Nothing is so capricious in nature for us to be able to see it without the ability to accomplish it.” I probably didn’t say that perfectly but that’s the gist. If you can see it, you can accomplish it, but you still got to take action.
That day, I gave her the steps. I said, “Start a separate bank account. How are you going to pay for this?” “I’m going to pay cash.” “Great. Where do they live?” “California.” “How much a month can you put toward it?” “$100.” They are going to be 183 years old when we get them that house. “No. We are probably going to have to get a loan.” “You are right.” Now, we are taking steps and we start to feel good because that’s a victory.
When we take a little step toward our goal, what it is that we want? That’s a victory. Do we have everything figured out? No, we don’t have everything figured out but we are at least moving toward it. That’s a big difference. You wait for everything to be perfect, it never happens. Let’s move toward it. What can we do now? What’s the next step? That’s how you want to show up if you want to change in your life.
That resonated because when you are hanging out with other entrepreneurs or people who are trying to make that shift and they are like, “I’m not there yet.” I’m not there yet. You are not there yet. We are on a journey. It’s through the journey that you could be like, “That was an epic fail.” Note to self, not the avenue. What did I learn?
I think too, as a society, we’ve got tired of the perfection that we saw and it is through that transparent authenticity of not to overexpose laundry but at the same time, it’s like, “It’s not perfect.” I have had lots of trials and tribulations but what did I do with that trial? What did I do with that tribulation? That’s where the ‘ready, fire, aim’ allows you the opportunity to quickly adapt and adjust because you are like, “That hurt,” or that was not, “I lost money or whatever it is,” instead of never actually showing up in life. Thank you for that. We will land this plane with your vision for how you divide your passion, time and capacity. I know that family is first and foremost, but your desire to give back to others, can you walk us through a little bit of what that does to your soul?
I probably have a little bit different take than at least most people. I give and raised money selfishly because it makes me feel good. I hate the word selfless. I never want to be painted in that light. Everything I do, I want to do and I feel good doing. I sometimes don’t like guilt or shame that goes along with, “You are doing well.” That resonates with most people’s souls and that’s a good thing. It shouldn’t be, “You are doing that and that’s expected.” If someone doesn’t want to give to charity, that doesn’t affect me and my desire to make a difference.
We had our annual event and we always have a charity that we represent there. 2021 was a little different. We raised $120,000 for Dr. Joe Dispenza’s research. He is doing research and he has been doing research on how meditation improves your immune system, how it lowers different levels in the body, having to do with things. He’s released some incredible studies of legitimate labs doing legitimate work on before and after of people who are meditators.
That’s something that the world could use more of, not just meditation but also the healing benefits, and the different things that come along with it. That’s one of the most needed things in the world now. In the past, we raised money to help fight human trafficking. Before that, we did quite a few for March of Dimes and we are a part of different organizations.
It’s something that I do because I like to show as an example, what can you do with a good platform? If you do the work to become influential and create a good platform, what other good can we do and doing it again, not out of guilt or shame, but doing it because it makes me feel good? That’s where I come from when it comes to giving.
I love the ownership of that. I was reflecting in my own head as I’m sure others will as far as, “It does make me feel good.” It’s beautiful, and I too as I expand, the impact that it could have, never mind for me but being able to provide in avenues that inspire me. The immune piece with Joe Dispenza, my whole journey of having a chronic disease that no one could solve for because of my unhealed trauma, it’s amazing how our minds and what meditation has done for me and the healing work.
Now, my body has never felt better. I’m very inspired and I can’t wait for those results. I want to thank you. You are one of the busiest humans I know next to me. It is an honor to be able to have this conversation with you because I have mad admiration but also what you say and the way you say it resonates so much with what I believe in as well. I enjoy your YouTube work. I have been following your work. How can people plugin with you to continue to learn and grow from you?
Trim out anything you don’t need that’s not contributing joy or helping with your purpose.
I’m so proud of you and your journey. It’s awesome. The book, I don’t know if we titled it but the book we have been talking about is Time, Money, Freedom, and that’s put out by Hay House. That’s available on Amazon, Audible, Kindle, etc. That’s one if you want a deep dive, or any social media channel. If you search Ray Higdon, you will find me. We love to help people create transformation, see the greatness inside of them versus being stuck in the trauma, abuse, in the different things that they have been through. I love helping people that are like me and want to improve their finances and relationships.
I can’t thank you enough for that work and for shedding your beautiful light. Please give Jess a kiss as well. She’s doing the same. Anyone who picks up your book will learn that very quickly as well. Thank you for your time. Until I see you again, thank you. To everyone, thanks for taking the time to get to know my friend, Ray, a little bit better. I hope this information stirs something inside of you and creates that spark that you are ready to take action and use the tools that he ingests provide to do that. We will see you next time, and as always, be loved.
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About Ray Higdon
Ray and his wife Jessica Higdon help small business owners generate more leads and sales through social media, in the last 3 years they have helped businesses generate over 300,000 new customers.
They are also best selling authors with their latest book, published by Hayhouse, Time, Money, Freedom is already an international best seller.
They have four children and love to help entrepreneurs create their best life and reach their goals!