We all wear masks. But sometimes, these masks can become problematic, and we need to take them off. You need to be authentically you. In this episode, Jen Du Plessis talks with identity coach, trainer and consultant Sabastian Huynh. After surviving the Chinese mafia, Sabastian has channeled his energy into helping others achieve success. He shares insights on leadership, vulnerability and authenticity that everyone should know. Tune in and be inspired today.
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Taking Off The Mask: How To Be Authentically You With Sabastian Huynh
I have a wonderful guest with me, Sabastian Huynh. Sabastian, welcome to our show.
Jen, thank you for having me.
I’m excited to have this opportunity to speak with you. I love talking about how I meet people too. You and I were at a mastermind or a sales rally for one of our clients. You spoke at IMC. We had such a great time. It was so great to hear your story and what you are up to in the world of coaching, helping people personally and professionally. I wanted to have you on the show to share your wisdom with everybody.
Let me tell everyone a little bit about you. You are a bestselling author of Rich Coach Poor Coach and known for your direct, humorous and vulnerable style of communicating, whether it’s on stage or on a TEDx, advising business owners or training transformational coaches and trainers. The secret to your success is your ability to empathize with the pressure to deliver desired results.When you learn to give yourself permission to be uniquely you, that's when everything changes. Click To Tweet
As a former Chinese mafia boss, Sabastian knew exactly what was at stake if he neglected to bring results to his family business. Another moment to live. Let’s talk a little bit about that. I want to spend more time talking about some of your strategies to help people. As we are approaching the end of 2021 in this show, it’s a perfect time for us to be looking at our marketing and business plans to find out what 2022 is all about. Share with us a little bit about your history and what brought you to where you are in coaching and mentoring people.
I’ll give you the summary, but I don’t want you to put me in a box. I was not only in the Chinese mafia. I started my business or family career in the Mexican mafia in Texas. It’s pretty crazy. Let me give you a quick journey. My mother is Vietnamese-Chinese. She came to America in ‘75, right before the crash of Vietnam and during the Vietnam War. Her American stepfather grew up in Kansas. I was the only minority, also my mom and my sister. I thought I was a German Catholic growing up.
To the kids, I was not. They made fun of me and all that. Not that they were making fun of me because I had a better tan than they did. They didn’t know this, but we were in a tumultuous time during the war and their parents taught them how to be racist. They made fun of my eyes, nose and everything else. I started learning how to make fun of other people’s eyes, noses and everything else, and just comparing each other.
My parents got divorced. My mom went to Dallas, Texas. That’s where we lived in the low-income housing, food stamps and all that. That’s where I joined the Mexican mafia without even joining. I grew up in that neighborhood. We would be runners taking drugs for my friends, uncles, dads and stuff. You go with that lifestyle. In fifth grade, we were smoking cigarettes and that was normal. We think this is normal. My daughter is in fifth grade. She’s ten. I was like, “How did I do it?” In sixth grade, we were driving cars to drop off stuff. It’s hard riding on the bikes.
Long story short, I was looking for my identity. I didn’t have a biological dad. I had multiple stepdads. I went where I was approved and accepted. I’m okay and fine. I was a man. I did everything that society told me. Men drink, smoke and womanize. It didn’t work. I was feeling empty and all that. I’ve gotten into trouble in Dallas. I became a fugitive and went to New York. We’re selling guns to people in New York, Chinese mafia. That’s when they came and adopted me. I got to run away and hide out in New York. I got into crazy stuff there. Long story short, I went to prison and then came out.
Through that journey, I had a spiritual revelation. I connected deeply into my own spirituality and came out. I realized I’m a natural leader. Someone had to tell me this. I didn’t know this. I was being me. At the age of 16, 17, 18, I was coming out from the mafia as a bodyguard to an uncle, then to the boss. I was like, “Isn’t this ridiculous?” In my world, if you’re a mafia boss, you lived up to 25 and 30, then you’re dead. A godfather is 35 and older. It’s nothing like the TV shows. Our lifespan does not get that old.
Long story short, someone told me one day, “You have this natural leadership. If you keep on using it for bad, you’re going to hurt other people and yourself.” That’s my wake-up call. Someone acknowledged that I was a leader naturally. I realized I could use that gift set and I started doing it formally. I dropped out of school in tenth grade. I went back to my GED, AA, BA, MBA. I’m making a long journey short. I went to all that.
During that journey, I was still trying to find out, “Am I enough?” I went to all these trainings. Twenty-some years later, I created a material. I started taking people through it. It all started for me doing it for myself. The curriculum and my coaching content came from that. I now coach small business owners and I have a great time like you because we love the lifestyle.
A lot of people are coaching because it creates a certain lifestyle for them. I want to take a certain amount of clients and we have so much fun living life together. Don’t tell anybody, but I created the family I always wanted. By coaching, we live out the values about fighting, arguing and getting results for each other in this community we created. That’s the nutshell about me.
We’re not talking jail. We’re talking about prison. There’s a difference. When you went to prison, you had a wake-up moment when you were talking about it being in your cell and you went, “I’m in here.” How old were you when you went in?
The last time, I was eighteen.Get out from behind yourself and into the conversation and make it real. Click To Tweet
You’re tried as an adult and you’re going into the big house. How long were you in? If you had 66 years to life, how were you able to get out?
Here’s the coolest part. I’m telling you this personal story, but this is an everyday story for every person. It’s just in a different context. You’ll see this is also in business. Here’s how it goes. I’m giving you a very long story short. I’ve never stayed in there for more than three months after being arrested multiple times. If someone’s life was on the line, they’re on life support and they died, it’s going to be a murder charge. This wasn’t that. I’m telling you that’s how long.
This time, we usually get in and out within a week or two max because of lawyers and money. This time, I was getting out but the same thing happened. FBI will come and said to roll over on whoever they want me to roll over. This time, it was my godfather, “You roll over on him, then we’ll let you out.” We know the rules. If I roll over on him, not only will they kill me slowly and publicly, but they’ll kill my family members. My mom, sister and brother don’t deserve this. I was like, “No.”
What happened was my godfather did get arrested. They’d been chasing him for ten years because he did a murder. They did get him for some tax stuff, so they don’t need me anymore. They threw me away but they’re not really throwing me away. They’re following me. Here’s how I described it. For the FBI, I’m a box of tissue and they would use me. I don’t know a crap. I didn’t know anything about the world I was living in. They know that the FBI is watching so they’re pawning me around. They’re using me and pulling out the tissue box. The FBI and mafia used me, also my own business and family, until the box was empty. What do they do? What do you do when an empty tissue box is done?
Throw it away.
That’s how I felt and that’s my experience of that whole journey. There’s no loyalty. They wanted to use me as a pawn to get themselves further up. Isn’t that crazy?
Did they let you go and away you went? Do you have no connections with them, no concerns looking over your shoulder or anything like that now?
I was at a business meeting and I was talking to this man. He asked me the same questions. I said, “These guys have never been formally trained to shoot a gun and stuff. If they’re going to come here and shoot me, most likely they will miss and shoot the people next to me so I’m fine. It’s you I’m concerned about.”
It’s funny because I can appreciate that. I’m on a shooting team and I totally get that. This is a big transformation for you. I know that as you’re going through that, you’re thinking, “Am I worth it? Am I worthy?” This is something that a lot of us go through. I know I did. My personal story is that same thing. It’s proving like, “Am I worth this? Am I worthy?” For those that are reading and are blessed that they didn’t have to go through it, you’re blessed that you didn’t have to go through it, although I feel blessed because I’ve been through it. I worked on myself. I wouldn’t trade that for the world because it made me who I am. This passion, inspiration and drive that I have, which I know you have as well, to share that with other people and say, “Get out on your own way.”
When you’re in that type of situation, tell us about how you worked through the unworthiness. Let’s frame this for the people who are reading. Let’s use a different word because this is also the same context of it and that’s imposter syndrome, “Am I good enough to be self-employed? Am I good enough to have an entrepreneurial business? Am I good enough?” Whether it’s self-worth when it comes from childhood situations or it’s imposter syndrome as an adult, let’s talk about how to work through that.
First of all, I want to say from my experience, over 25 years of coaching and training, I know I look very young and very handsome. You hit it right on the nose. I know it’s a foundation in my term but it’s a foundation with people’s transformation as being authentically you. Lead authentically. I have a thing called Leadership Transformational Trifecta. With trifecta, if you hit all three, you win. Keep all these three things and you will be an amazing leader. One of them is lead authentically.
I have a whole formula for that but let me say it this way. When I learned to give myself permission to be uniquely me, that’s when everything changed. I’m telling you, you see the whole world differently. Susan Scott, in her book Fierce Conversations, stated it in the best and clearest way it was ever said. She said, “Get out from behind yourself into the conversation and make it real.”
Here’s what you’re hiding, covering up. Get out from behind that into the conversation to make it real. Get out from behind being a business person, a Christian or religious person, a parent, an introvert or extrovert or whatever you think you have to be successful. Get out from those stories or I call them the mask. Get out from having all these masks on. Be authentically you and make it real.
Here’s the thing. Getting out from that is as scary as heck. Society wants you to be this. I’m controlling myself very much. You know me. I’ll cuss, scream and go crazy but I never cussed at people. It’s funny. My friend was here and his son goes, “You cuss a lot. You’re a yeller.” He’s on the autism spectrum. He’s like, “Uncle, you yell and cuss a lot. You say bad words.” I go, “I know and they pay me for that.” He was confused because I never cussed at people. I don’t attack the person. We attack the issue. I get mad because if I don’t get mad at the issue, they don’t get to see how disgusting that issue is and the stories that they believe in that prevent them from being authentically them.
This is one of the things I was going to ask you. It’s funny that you say it’s a mask because I’ve always said it’s my armor. I’m coaching people and trying to get them out from behind. I’ve never read Susan Scott’s book. This happened to me because I had the armor up. My father is an alcoholic. My mother is a verbal abuser. We’re low on the totem pole. I had this armor up of pretending like that wasn’t my world.
This is imposter syndrome in business and personal stuff. We all have this armor and mask that you’re talking about. It’s a fear for people to come out from behind that. I always talk about poking holes in your armor like, “Don’t worry. I’m not going to take your shell off and let you get exposed. What we’re going to do is we’re going to slowly start poking some holes into this so that you can feel comfortable.” What’s that like for you with your clients when they are afraid to come from behind the mask and you’re saying, “Can I peek? Can I look a little bit?” What is that process to take them from point A to point B? It’s big and scary.Most leaders fall apart because they stuck in their head, they're not connected their heart and the synergy doesn't happen. Click To Tweet
I got to be me. I’m your guest and you never got from me again. Here’s the first thing I tell my guests to take off the masks, “F*you. Stop being a liar.” Feminine energy works great. I come with a lot of masculine energy. There are so many people with different things. At first, I did a pattern interruption because, in their mind, they think they’re being authentic. I tell them, “F*you because you’re a liar and a hypocrite. I’m not going to let you lie to me. That keeps us apart. I want all of you.” They’re like, “Oh, crap.” As you can see, I only have certain coaching clients.
First, I do a pattern interruption and I let them know, “This is how the games can be. I’m the coach who will tell you what everybody knows but no one’s willing to say. It’s not about me. It’s about you. Stop lying to me because it’s not working for you. It’s not serving you, your marriage, your parenting or anything you’re doing. If you haven’t given somebody a reason to reject you, then you haven’t given them a reason to accept you.” I’ll give you a very simple explanation. They’re like, “What? Give people a reason to reject you?” Then and only then, how do you give people a reason to accept you? Do you like sports? Do you like any sports team?
I don’t care about a sports team but I’ll go with tennis.
I like women tennis players that are feminine and not trying to be men because I don’t think they’re authentic.
Give me a name. Who do you think that is?
I can’t pronounce her name. She just won. I can’t remember her name. She’s ranked seventeen. It was a great match. The one she won against, I didn’t like her because she’s butchy.
Here’s what happens. You give me a reason to reject you. “Are you kidding me, Jen? That girl is a piece of crap. The other one should win. She’s ranked seventeen.” You gave me a reason to reject you or I’d say, “I am with you. I love that girl. She is so graceful the way she wins.” You give me a reason to accept you. Most of us are afraid to give people a reason to reject us. You’ll go with everybody else or you’ll follow it. If you put me in any Super Bowl game and that whole house is rooting for one team, I will be the only one rooting for the other one just to cause controversy. I want to have fun.
Here’s the point. I’ll give you a simple acronym for your people, PACC. It’s easy. First, you have to give yourself permission to experience your experience right there where everybody keeps their mask on. They won’t give themselves permission. They’re peek-a-boo and hiding. They have got to be authentic. They won’t give themselves permission to experience your experience. They have to take off their mask.
Experience your experience, anger, mad, sad, whatever. That’s where most leaders will fall apart. They are stuck in their head. They’re not connected to their heart and the synergy doesn’t happen to the leading 50%. First, give yourself permission to experience your experience. “I am mad. I’m so happy. Wait, are people looking?” They then only want to be happy. Isn’t that stupid?
I had one of my clients who is a real estate person. He would call me to celebrate when he closes a big deal that he’s been working hard on. I said, “Go around the office right now.” He opens his door. He gives everybody a high five. They’re like, “What is going on?” He was celebrating. The office has never seen that. After that, it became a tradition in that office. They gave themselves permission to experience your experience. That’s it.
The second part is you have to acknowledge. Either acknowledge what’s working or acknowledge what’s not working, but here’s the most powerful part. When you acknowledge your contribution to the issue and to the success, you’re taking 100% responsibility. You’re not a victim. That’s the thing. If you don’t acknowledge your contribution and making it happen, you’re playing small and you’re like, “That was just luck.”
No. You worked your ass off. That’s not luck. You did something different. If it didn’t work out the way you went, you acknowledge your contribution because you have a contribution to the issue and to the solution. If you don’t have a contribution to the issue and to the solution, then you’re sitting there as a victim waiting for someone to resolve that. You’re sitting and waiting and you’re a victim.
Talk about that as it relates to what we’re experiencing in the true masked world of the pandemic. Everybody’s wearing a mask and complaining about it. It’s the true mask situation that is going on. When you’re talking about the contribution to one side or the other, which is the issue, what do you feel about that? I’m disrupting you for a moment. I’m taking that into context here. Partly the reason I’m doing this is because my husband is very vocal about this. Sometimes I want to crawl under a rock when I’m with him. It’s a little embarrassing. I’ve been married to him for many years but it’s like, “I get that you want to be your authentic self.” He had our Costco membership revoked.
Why? Is he verbal? “I’m not wearing a mask. Who are you?”
He’s very vocal about it. He’s being his authentic self.
I’ll tell you my thing. I make my decision based on the very first word when we train everybody. If you enter my community, the first word that you learn is integrity. Integrity is not doing what you say. It’s honoring your work. Most of the time, if you’re playing a big game, you can’t do what you say. The circumstance is outside of you, but you have to honor your word. If you can’t honor your word, then you have to clean up the mess you made and recommit your integrity to the word.When you take responsibility, you're a leader. You're responsible. You're not a victim. Click To Tweet
Based on integrity, there’s a principle with it. If I go work for a company that loves slapping women on the butt at work, sleeping with other employees, drinking on the job, I have to submit myself and my integrity under that umbrella. I chose to put myself in that company or I chose to go to another company where they respect one another. They’re very professional, celebrate each other’s wins, and support each other when they’re down. I have to submit to that.
I can’t drink at the office. I can’t be slapping women in the butt and be a misogynist or sleep with other employees. That is not accepted under this umbrella. Based on where you park yourself with an umbrella, you have to submit your integrity to those frameworks. We live in America, so we have an amazing umbrella. We have the freedom to choose our own framework. We have a voice. We live by a constitution that’s beautiful.
I love anybody like your husband who’s loud, boisterous and gives me a reason to reject him while he’s giving me reasons to accept him. Also, the other people who are fighting and saying, “Put the mask on. Have respect for other people.” Personally, I can support both camps. If I want to go to Costco, I put myself under that umbrella. Either I choose not to shop at Costco or I choose to shop at Costco. That’s it. It’s not personal against me. They’re not attacking me. I have the freedom to choose where I put my integrity under which umbrella. Here’s what I did do. I did wear a mask to get in. I put it down until the lady puts it back on. It’s like Costco.
I’ll tell you in the green room what he did. You’re probably going to want to know about it and so our readers but I’m not willing to put that out there yet. I will go back on the one. Let’s bring you back to PACC.
P is permission to experience your experience. A is acknowledge what’s working and what’s not working. When you acknowledge what’s working and what’s not working for you, you take 100% responsibility. When you take 100% responsibility, you’re a leader. You’re responsible and not a victim. C is to commit to new results. I don’t care if it worked for you. You got to move the ball further down the line. I don’t care if it didn’t work for you. You got to commit to moving it to make it work for you, but you have to commit to something.
If you stay right there and celebrate the victory you had or soak in the loss you had, you’re in your comfort zone. You’re not going anywhere. You’re dead. I love people who celebrate. My coaching group, my cohort, we’re raising $37,500. Each of us was raising $2,500 in seven days for the Ida Hurricane relief. It’s $2,500 to $3,500 per person. We cannot support the cause with our own money. We cannot support each other. Those are the only two parameters.
During that process, in two days, someone hit their $2,500 target, but they didn’t commit to raising more money for the team because, as a team, we have to cross the $3,500. Individually, we’ve committed $2,500. As a team, it’s $37,500. That person who finished on the second day. They can sit back and say, “I got my $2,500. I’m better than everybody else. Let’s celebrate.” They don’t commit to helping the team cross their line. Their life gets boring and they become bitter. Their victory even becomes crap. You’re waiting for them to cross the line.
You have to give yourself permission to experience your experience. Acknowledge the success, the issue and your contribution to whatever is happening. Commit to a new reality. New means that you have to create. Not that you’re waiting for. Not crumbs falling off the table, eat them and being grateful for it. We call it declaration. You will declare that you’re committing to this new outcome and this new reality you’re going to create. You commit to that. The most beautiful part about that is when you make public a declaration and commitment like that, everybody knows what you’re committed to.
I used to coach other coaches and I still do somehow, but every week or every month, we’d have a target for their numbers, how many clients they need and all that. I make them publicly and do them on every social media aspect. “My name is Coach Sabastian. This month, my target is this. I’m looking for five new clients at this price.” That goes everywhere. If you’re going to hide your commitment, there’s shame and guilt. You even still have this mask on trying to please other people. Your commitment has to be public. Permission, Acknowledge, Commitment.
The last C is where most leaders are at their crappiest. Most leaders fail and suck at this. Leaders can do this one letter and it can change everything, but it takes a lot. This is probably the hardest one. Permission, Acknowledge, Commit and then Celebrate. They don’t know how to celebrate. They go to one party and then they go back. Celebrate every little step. If you’re giving yourself permission to experience your experience at that moment, that celebration comes a couple of hours later. It didn’t come a week later after I closed so many sales. It doesn’t come a month later or years later.
Here’s why it’s so important. If you don’t celebrate, you’re still judging yourself for not being enough. “I have all these masks and comparisons.” You’re not enough. You’re not coming from a place where you’re being authentically you. That’s always a marker. Look at any leader. They don’t have natural celebration markers in their life. I should be 8,000 pounds because I still eat food a lot.
This gets back to what you were saying with core values. We do this in my coaching as well. We call a friend. We call our core values to make decisions, “What do you want? What fulfills you?” If you don’t do that in the beginning, if you don’t figure out what fulfills you, what makes you happy, what you’ll tolerate, what you want and where the boundaries are, then when it comes time to celebrate, you’re empty. You don’t remember why you were doing things. You can’t even go back to the purpose-driven life.
One of my ghostwriters who’s writing my fiction book wrote The Purpose Driven Life. He was the ghostwriter for it. None of that matters if you don’t know why you started out and what inspires you. Not motivate you but inspires you to do what you’re doing. You get to that point where you can celebrate. It’s emptiness. It’s like, “I don’t know what I want to do. I’ll move on to the next thing.” That’s super important. I love that.
By the way, I wrote a book, which everybody in this show knows. It’s called Impact: Inspiring Motivational Powerful Acronyms for Cognitive Thinking. It is a multi-author collaborative book of acronyms. I purposely did volume one, knowing that I was going to do volume two. I like you to be in that book with PACC.
Can I have a C for crazy?
You can change whatever you want. Be crazy. Don’t celebrate.
Can I hit on that last principle? I want people to understand why it’s so hard, especially with leaders, parents, marriage and business owners. The hardest part of not being able to celebrate is because they don’t think they’re enough. “That’s not enough yet.” They wear themselves. We have a simple acronym. When you lead authentically, you’re coming from your being. Let me do that.When you lead authentically, you're coming from your being. Click To Tweet
Most of us, we do so we can have and then we’ll become. Come to America. Do get an education to have a great career. When you have a great career, you’ll be significant. Nope. You’re not getting significant. Do you know why? My mom called and said my cousin got a better job. Now I got to get another job. I then get another job. I went to school. I have a great career and I’ll be significant soon. Nope. My mom called and said, “Your cousin got married.” I’m single, but I’ve got that great career. What happened? That’s not enough. I have to get married. I’m all proud. I bought a new house and a new car. What’s mom going to call and say next? They got a baby. I’m like, “I don’t even want to have a baby yet.”
If you extract that out and look in the business world, there’s somebody always doing something more. That’s do so we can have and become. That’s death salvation. Do you think by doing all these good works, you’ll be significant one day? You’ll die. Here’s why you can celebrate. You start off and flip the whole acronym around. Be yourself. Do what only you can do and have what only you can have without comparison.
Start being you. Take off the mask. Be authentically you. Come out from behind yourself, get into the conversation and make it real. Be you. That’s the hardest part. That’s how I can gauge when my clients are not celebrating. They fall back into the story of, “I have to do more so I can have more. Maybe one day I’ll become significant.” Instead of thinking, “I’m already significant because there’s no one like me. I’ll do only uniquely what I can do without comparison and without copying other people. I can have uniquely what I could have without comparing with other people.” I want to use that as a barometer.
I personally had to learn and I know you had to learn too, coming from a place of feeling like you’re not worth and not good enough all the time. I spent years doing the opposite. It was the day that I triggered and said, “I’m done. I had enough. There’s got to be a better way. I’m going to rip that shell off. No more of this poking through. I’m going rip it and be vulnerable.” What happens is that people come from a place of scarcity thinking that it’s a place of abundance.
“I got it. I don’t need you. I’m good. I want to look great. I have no problems or challenges whatsoever.” This is me. I’m describing me. This is how I was. “I’m good. I don’t have any challenges, but I know you do, so let me help you because that makes me feel better.” When I ripped the shell off and said, “I have problems and weaknesses. I need help. I did come from a family that was a verbal abuser. I did come from poor and from not having anything. I was known as Jenny who ain’t got a penny. My dad had a shotgun to my mother’s head.” I let it all come out. That vulnerability became an attractor.
Instead of chasing people, you’re attracting people with what they love about you. This is important for people in business. When you go networking, you see someone who appears to have it all. This focuses on Christianity for me. Jealousy and pride are evil things. “I’m going to look like I’m bigger.” All of that is an evil thing. I love what you’re saying. We keep saying, “Be you. Be authentic.” What we need to understand is it’s the uniqueness of you.
If you’re doing so you can have and become, you’re imitation. Here’s my favorite. My client threw this back to my face. We have such a great rapport and relationship. I go, “If you’re only doing so you can have and become, you’re only doing what everybody else has done. You’re only doing the standard and what’s already there. The best you can be is in second place because you’re imitating someone else versus being uniquely you. All you are is the imitation Chinese knockoff.”
I’m Chinese-Vietnamese. They go, “Coach, are you being an imitation Chinese knockoff?” They’ll always throw that back to my face. Think of how disgusting that is. If I give you all my energy, Jen, I want to be like you. I can never be in the first place. I can only be because I’m imitating. I’m doing what you do versus being uniquely wonderful. There’s no other. There are no twins. Not even twins are that alike.
Be uniquely, authentically, one of a kind, the masterpiece you. Do dumb crap that only you would say and do. It’s okay. No one else could do that dumb crap but me. That’s my dumb crap. If you give yourself that freedom and permission to experience your experience, life is so fun. You’re not going to be the same way. We don’t have a script. We give ourselves the freedom to be present at the moment because you’re not afraid to be who you are, Jen.
You’re very transparent, open, real and raw. You don’t need a script to make sure you look good. “I hear all these cues.” You’re giving your clients your honest self, which I totally respect. It’s that authenticity. You’re inviting them in to be vulnerable. The most powerful person in any room, board meeting, parents or marriage is the most vulnerable person.
I had to learn it. That’s what we’re talking about here. Sometimes it doesn’t come naturally. It comes naturally for some people. It isn’t being unnatural being you, for example. I am in a personality. I’m getting older, so I’m a little more subdued. It’s not, “I’m going to be my authentic me,” and be outrageous.” The pendulum is swinging. It’s not going, “I’m going to fake being vulnerable. I’m going to come back over here.” It is truly a path that we all have to take to get there to recognize and want to make this change so that we aren’t a bunch of copycats out there.
I swear, you’re going to be happier because you’re not going to lose sleep going, “Why can’t I make money like them? Why can’t I be prettier than them? I’m older than them. I have more skills. I have more experience. I know more people. Why can’t I be as successful as them?” You have to start looking in the mirror, reflecting and saying, “Maybe that’s why.” They are maybe purple, orange, fat and short. They’re doing better than you are because they’re real and you’re not.
The definition of doing better than you, because you’re good too, so we have to be significant one day. It’s a comparison. I love what you’re saying. At least my translation of what you’re saying is being successful and happy is because you’re not comparing. My lifestyle is totally different from my other coaching friends. Some of them are trying to make $1 million a month. “Good for you. That’s what you want to do. That’s what I do.”
Our lifestyle choice is, “I’m happy because I’m being what was missing from me. I had no parenting. I had no one raising me.” Here’s the great piece of my life. My daughter and I spent about 4 to 5 hours baking brownies and we went knocking door-to-door. She sold it all. I stood back as a bodyguard. She sold a brownie and a cookie at $1 each. We had to correct her after our first couple of things to say, “Consider saying, ‘I baked these cookies’ versus saying, ‘We made these.'” She baked these cookies as a ten-year-old girl and knocked on doors. She asked them for money for the fundraiser we’re doing for Hurricane Ida in Louisiana.
She was stumbling her words. By the time we got to the second neighborhood, she was flawless and killing it. She knocked on the next door and went, “Dad, we can’t go home until we sell all these cookies and biscuits.” We were out kicking all that. We did a Facebook Live. She told everybody about her experience. She raised $243 that day.
People were like, “I don’t want to buy it for $1. Let me give you $10.”
They’re very generous. Here’s the point I’m telling you. Why I am successful is not how much money I have. It’s how much time I have and I have the freedom to use it. I get to do with my daughter what most business owners dream of. My wife and I spend 3, 4 hours a day together if not all day, running errands, going to meetings and stuff. Most people wish they could connect to their spouse, have intimacy with them and connect with their children. I create my whole lifestyle, my business service and my vision. I created my vision first, then my business design. Between you and me, Jen, if you want to do coaching with me, it is only from Tuesday to Thursday. Guess what I’m doing from Friday to Monday? That’s it, family time.
I shared this story on this show several times, but I want to share it with you because this is resonating. We are kindred spirits. One day I was talking to my mom several years ago. I said, “We’re getting ready to go on a cruise. The kids were playing baseball and football. Whitney is doing dance, cheerleading and all this stuff.” I was talking about our life. “We’re going to go to dinner with friends and then we’re going to do this, that and the other.” She said, “You have such a great quality of life.”
It hit me at that moment. That’s a keeping up with the Joneses thing. I’ve lived in this house for many years. It hit me and I thought, “I don’t want a quality of life.” I share this with my coaching students all the time. “I don’t want a quality of life that keeps up with the Joneses. I want a life of quality.”Take off the mask, be authentic, be you. Click To Tweet
That was the moment that I changed everything and said, “No more quality of life. I want a life of quality.” That includes some quality of life things that I choose to take on, a new car or a new boat. They include those experiences and those monetary things, but I lead with life of quality, not keeping up with the Joneses, not keeping up with a competitor coach or even when I was in lending, not keeping up with what that other person was doing, but going down my lane, my story, my life. That’s what was important to me.
I want to share that with you because it resonates with you and for those that are reading. Hopefully, if you haven’t heard that before, you’ve heard that again. It resonates a different way because we’re knee-deep into this context of being the authentic and unique you so that you can attract what you want in your life other than change.
Here’s the secret. Don’t tell anybody, but we’re constantly attracting people in our life. The question is, is our way of being attracting who you want? If you’re not attracting the people who you want, don’t look at the people you’re attracting. Look at yourself. Maybe it’s your frustration, anger or disappointment.
The reason why this is so powerful is that I’m doing a retreat with my clients. We happen to name this particular retreat Reflection. It’s about looking in the mirror at yourself, this whole regimen of doing that.
One of the power groups in our training was named Reflective Mirrors. It’s where we’re making fun of them the whole training. Six to eight months later, we’re still saying, “That was the best name ever.” It’s because we make fun of them for four days. It’s like, “Everybody is a mirror to me.” They’ll go, “You mean a reflective mirror?” We make each other laugh. It’s like, “We can’t get rid of it.” We said it was the worst stupid idea that they’ve ever made. It stuck because it’s the truth.
You and I are mirroring each other. We’re seeing our greatness at each other. We’re pulling it from each other and we’re seeing it in a different way. We’re like yin and yang, feminine energy, masculine energy, but we’re swirling in the same purpose. We are calling people out because we did the work and give ourselves permission. We are our authentic selves. “If you don’t like me, it’s okay. I’m not here to serve the whole world. I sit at my table. Not everybody can eat at my table.” If I want to have sushi on Thanksgiving because that’s what I like, people are like, “What the hell? You’re breaking the tradition. You don’t do that.” Don’t come sit at my table.
I’m laughing because one of the things that we love to have on Thanksgiving is fondue. It’s funny because that is disruptive, but the reason that we do is because I got to the point where it’s like, “Why would I get up at 6:00 in the morning, make all this food and then everybody eats it in twenty minutes? This is silly.” I don’t do that. We do fondues so that we take two seconds to prepare it and hours to eat it so we can have more family time. That’s why we do it.
Here’s the truth. This isn’t doing, having and become versus just being. Does a turkey mean it’s Thanksgiving or is it the celebration that would get them to a new world and new opportunities? We hold on to that new world and new opportunity. We have created new experiences and still celebrate that day without a turkey. We hold on to tradition for the wrong reason that we lose it. Some people make great turkeys every Thanksgiving, but they don’t celebrate family and new opportunities. There’s no gratitude. “Do you know how long it took me to make that turkey? You better be grateful.” This is a great Thanksgiving.
That’s why we do the fondue because it allows for us to have more time to explore new things that are going on in each other’s lives, show gratitude, laugh at each other, and have a little fighting. “That’s my food.” We have our little sticks. It creates more memories.
You are creating. That’s what I love. You’re being you and you’re creating it. Go ahead, judge me on fondue. My fondue bowl is not big enough for everybody but those who want it, come and sit at my table. If you want to celebrate this way with more intimacy and connection, that’s what you choose. I love that. You’re not comparing yourself. You’re not holding yourself hostage. You’re giving yourself permission to experience your experience at that moment. Great job. I love it. No wonder you’re so successful.
Thank you. It’s been so much fun having time with you. If someone loves you and says, “I’ve got to connect with you,” how do they get ahold of you? What is the best way?
First, we got to make sure they were not on medication if they said they loved me. Those people stare at me. It’s easy. It’s either my phone number or my personal email, Sabastian@Me.com. That’s probably the easiest. Text me at (714) 492-0136. Those are the easiest way to go with me. I don’t like to give URLs and all that because if you saw all this at this time, just talk to me if you want to talk. You need no URL, some splash page or that landing page. It was cool when I got that Sabastian@Me. It’s one of the first Apple things. I went crazy. I was like, “Sabastian, I’m getting to be Me.com? What a Christmas. I love that one.” That’s one of my favorite emails.
Sabastian, leave us with a mantra, a quote, something to walk away with that we can use that helps us remember you all day long.
I don’t want them to remember me. That’s the truth. I’m just a guide. I don’t want to be the guru. I want them to remember that they were created uniquely to be uniquely themselves. Come out from behind themselves into a conversation and make it real. That journey coming out is a process. It’s repetition. It’s doing the work every day. Do the work daily. Start off filling your cup first every day.
If your cup has holes in it, whatever you pour in energetically will leak out. If you try to pour it into your family and your business and there’s nothing left in it, every drop you pour towards someone else has strings attached. “I hope Jen said I did well on her show. That’s my last drop. That’s all I have. My cup was empty. If she didn’t, I get bitter at Jen. Why did she have me on this program? She’s trying to use me.” Do you see how negative I get? I fill up my cup daily. We spend an hour in the morning. We call it the fire four. We do our core four before we hit the door. We do our fire four before we leave the door. We have four winds in our faith, fitness, family and finance every day.
If I could leave you any encouraging words to be the best leader, do the work daily by filling up your cup first. When you fill up, it will overflow over onto your faith, fitness, family, finance and business. There are no strings attached because you’re overflowing. No one has to appreciate or thank you. You’re overflowing because you filled up your own cup and you’re not a hostage or a victim waiting for someone else to fill up your cup. Fill up your cup first. Love others as much as you love yourself.
Sabastian, thank you so much for joining us. This has been so fun and exciting. I have loved having this interview with you. I invite you. I cannot wait for you to be part of our book when we release it in 2022. You may have another acronym to share, which is awesome. We’re excited to have you there. I’m looking forward to having a long-term relationship with you as we continue to grow and become uniquely ourselves over time. Keep that going. I appreciate it very much.
I’m very honored. Thank you for having me.
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About Sabastian Huynh
Sabastian Huynh(Win) is the Best-Selling author of Rich Coach, Poor Coach and is known for his direct, humorous and vulnerable style of communicating whether it is on stage at TEDx, advising business owners, or training transformational coaches and trainers. The secret to his success is the ability to empathize with the pressure to deliver desired results. As a former Chinese Mafia Boss, Sabastian knew exactly what is at stake if he neglected to bring results to his “family business”—another moment to live.
After several near-death experiences, he was finally saved through imprisonment. It was in prison, away from the chaos that he found what he was passionate about—developing leaders, leaders that give life rather than take it. It was this passion that gave him another chance at life—after a reduced sentence he went back to school and completed his GED, AA, BA in Human Development and MBA in International Development. Today Sabastian lives in Southern California with his wife of more than 20 years and four children. They passionately serve their non-profit that focuses on leadership transformation for the next generation.