Coach Mike Bayer: One Decision To a Better Life | E123

Coach Mike Bayer: One Decision To a Better Life | E123

Coach Mike Bayer: One Decision To a Better Life | E123

Do you struggle to live authentically?

In today’s episode, we are talking with Coach Mike Bayer, best-selling author and celebrity personal development coach. His mission is to help people achieve sound mental health in order to become their best selves. He also has his own podcast, Always Evolving With Coach Mike Bayer, sits on Dr. Phil’s advisory board, and makes regular appearances on programs such as Dr. Phil, The Doctors, and Dr.Oz.

Mike spent the earlier years of his career as a drug and alcohol counselor (CADC-II) and board registered interventionist (BRI-II). In 2005 Mike founded CAST Centers – a leading dual-diagnosis treatment center located in Los Angeles, California. He has a highly reputable track record helping A-List celebrities heal and recover. Mike has worked in the field in a variety of capacities including team-building within corporations, keynote speaking for numerous events and fortune 100 companies, as well as providing creative workshops. 

In this episode, we talk about Mike’s childhood and high school years which were filled with drug use, how he found the courage to come out, and his advice to anyone struggling to live their authentic lives. We’ll also touch on Mike’s best-self ritual, how you can identify your core values, and how it only takes one decision to change your life.

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Check out our website to meet the team, view show notes and transcripts:


00:03:17 – Mike’s Childhood 

00:06:35 – How Mike got the courage to come out. 

00:09:50 – Mike’s Advice to someone who is scared to come out and be Authentic. 

00:11:28 – Why did Mike do drugs in High School? 

00:15:11 – Mike’s addiction in college. 

00:19:13 – Mike’s life in Sobriety. 

00:27:02 – Did Mike have any formal Training ? 

00:28:50 – You can follow your passion and make it as big as you want. 

00:32:45 – The Best Self + Mike’s Wizard 

00:39:22 – Mike’s New Book – ‘One Decision’

00:42:23 – How One Decision is Related to Authenticity? 

00:44:50 – Culture Vs Nature. 

00:46:35 – How to Identify Who You Are and be Authentic? 

00:50:06 – The REV Acronym 

00:51:46 – Breaking Down the Acronym FORCE. 

00:56:07 – Rigid Mindset Vs Relaxed Mindset. 

00:57;51 – Mike’s Secret to Profiting in Life.

Mentioned In The Episode:









Be Your Best Self

Best Self

One Decision


#123: One Decision To a Better Life with Coach Mike Bayer

[00:00:00] Hala Taha: [00:00:00] You're listening to YAP, Young And Profiting Podcast, a place where you can listen, learn, and profit. Welcome to the show. I'm your host, Hala Taha. And on Young And Profiting Podcast, we investigate a new topic each week and interview some of the brightest minds in the world. My goal is to turn their wisdom into actionable advice that you can use in your everyday life.

No matter your age, profession, or industry, there's no fluff on this podcast and that's on purpose. I'm here to uncover value from my guests by doing the proper research and asking the right questions. If you're new to the show, we've chatted with the likes of ex FBI agents, real estate moguls, self-made billionaires, CEOs, and best-selling authors.

Our subject matter ranges from enhancing productivity, how to gain influence, the art of entrepreneurs, and more. If you're smart and like to continually improve yourself, hit the [00:01:00] subscribe button because you'll love it here at Young And Profiting Podcast. This week on YAP we're chatting with life development coach, business owner, and New York Times bestselling author, coach Mike Bayer.

Mike Bayer has been transforming and leading the way in mental health treatment for almost 20 years. He is the founder of the cast, mental health and substance abuse treatment centers and the creator of the cast foundation, which raises awareness to de-stigmatize mental health issues. In addition, coach Mike has been a regular guest on the Dr.

Phil show for the past 17 years. He is the New York Times bestselling author of Best Self: Be You, Only Better. And his most recent book, One Decision: The First Step to a Better Life touches on a how to take risks, be bold, and take real action towards a better life. In this episode, we talk about Mike's childhood and high school years, which were filled with drug use, how he found the courage to come out as a gay man and his advice to anyone struggling to live their authentic lives.

We'll [00:02:00] also cover Mike's best self ritual. How you can identify your core values and how it only takes one decision to change your life. This episode of YAP is brought to you by ZipRecruiter. Does hiring the right people feel like finding a needle in a haystack. When you post a job on ZipRecruiter, they find qualified candidates for you and invite them to apply.

In fact, four out of five employers who post on ZipRecruiter, get a quality candidate within the first day. Try ZipRecruiter for free at this web address, that's ZipRecruiter, the smartest way to hire. 

Hey Mike, welcome to Young And Profiting Podcast. 

Mike Bayer: [00:02:46] Thanks for having me, Hala.

I'm very 

Hala Taha: [00:02:49] excited for this interview. I feel like it's going to be super relevant to my audience. And you've been through a lot of struggles in your life that I feel like a lot of young people go through. And so I think your experience will be really helpful. [00:03:00] So we'd like to start back from the beginning.

And so I'd love to hear about your childhood, walk us through, you know, some of the major things that happen to you as a child. I know your parents got divorced. I know you were, you stayed back a couple grades in school. Talk to us about your childhood. What was that like? 

Mike Bayer: [00:03:18] Sure. So, you know, I, I grew up at a time when there wasn't internet or like social media, digital media, I'm 41.

So the internet started popping right after, right around senior year of high school, I would say junior high school. And because of that, a lot of information, social media and internet has blessings and curses. So, the curse of not having it growing up is you don't have access to information or the ability to see what other people are doing with their lives.

And for me, I grew up in a neighborhood where everyone [00:04:00] got together for, you know, 4th of July and barbecues, and everyone knew what the neighbors were doing and the problems they were having and who in the neighborhood was partying, who was good at athletics. And I was pretty good at sports, not good at school, really good at socializing, really bad with impulse control.

And so I ended up dabbling in drugs and drinking. And at the time I thought, oh, this is just fun, right? Like I thought, oh, this is exciting. You know, there's a bit of anything in life. That's a little taboo. We tend to get a little bit of that feeling that adrenaline rush or butterflies. And I loved it. And I loved to go out and party when I became of the age that I would be going out with girls or women.

I [00:05:00] hated it because no matter what I did, I couldn't get attracted to women. And I didn't even know really what gay was. I just was like, there's something wrong with me. I thought they were like perverts or something, because again, I didn't have access to information and went to a Catholic high school where I went to a course that was about turning a gay person into being straight.

And you're going to hell and literally graded on that in school. And the combination of just trying to be someone that I wasn't authentically trying to please my parents, not really knowing who I was and doing drugs and drinking led to me eventually ending up in a spot where I was in a really bad spot, you know?

And all parties come to an end. Why was the car crash? Not crash, but [00:06:00] like, you know, mental car crash. 

Hala Taha: [00:06:02] Oh, I thought you meant I was going to be like, I'm going to have to ask you, I didn't hear about this car crash in my research, but okay. All right. So that sounds like it must've been really difficult to be gay in a Catholic school and, you know, I'm sure you probably didn't even have family members or anybody that you knew was gay.

So talk to us about how you got the courage to come out and how you really knew that was your sexual orientation. Like, did you do some, like re a lot of thinking about it or did you just know, like, this is me and I need to be authentic and come out. 

Mike Bayer: [00:06:36] For out of us, you know, it's really hard for I'm a tall guy at the time growing up, I was what stereotypically women found attractive, which sucked because I didn't want to be with women.

And I went with the homecoming queen and I was captain of the basketball team. And yeah, so it was like, how [00:07:00] do I navigate this? And I used to go to Ray parties at these after hour parties. And, and I had a fake girlfriend and I had a girlfriend that knew I was quote bisexual, who would pretend she even went with me to some dances at my school.

She pretended she was my girlfriend. Well, when I was graduating school and the internet was starting to happen, one of the football players was talking to another girl, I think it was on like MySpace or something. And ended up going on a date with this girl named Heather and Heather told them that I was gay and then it kind of spread throughout the whole senior class.

I was getting phone calls from people saying, I heard you're gay. You're gay, bro. You know, that's messed up that people are saying this about you. And literally like right after, and [00:08:00] I kind of denied it or ignored phone calls. We'd just finished senior year. And then I went to a gay pride, my first ever gay pride in long beach.

And I went to it and I was driving home and I always had to lie to my parents about where I was going. And there's this song by the Goo Goo Dolls. I think it's called like, Iris. I don't know if you would know it, but it goes, I don't know the world to know me.

So that song like was playing as I'm driving home from my mom, like yelling at me, where are you? And I show up at the house and my mom's like, where were you? I was like, oh, I was in long beach at a concert. She was like, there, it was on a Sunday. She was like, there were no concerts in long beach. The only thing going on was gay pride.

Where were you? I said, well, no, I was at gay pride. I'm gay. She's like, no, you're not.

She's like, no, you're not. I'm like, no, I really am. So it took her a few weeks before, like the [00:09:00] coping went away, you know, it's always an interesting thing. When you tell your parents what's authentic to you and then they have trouble with it. So you're kind of dealing with their own struggles around who you are.

And that was kind of my moment. I just had like one of those moments where I was. I'm moving to New York. I don't want to keep lying. I want my mom to get off my back and I'm gay and that's I, that was the beginning of like, feeling like I could be honest in my life. 

Hala Taha: [00:09:30] And what advice would you give to anyone who's, you know, scared to come out scared, like, you know, they might be in a community or part of our religion that really thinks down upon it, or maybe they don't know anybody else who's gay or just don't really know where to turn.

Mike Bayer: [00:09:47] I would say to that, it's anyone that can't be authentic right? There is, you know, people who struggle with, for sure, with being able to be gay [00:10:00] in their community. But there's also communities where people aren't allowed to marry outside of their culture or religion, or they have to hide who they're dating or who they're attracted to.

And they can't be fully honest. And it's this fear like fear drive. Decision-making and when fear drives decision-making we start doing things that are inauthentic and then after awhile, we can only do the splits for so long and we just start breaking apart. And so the advice I would give is always to find safe people that you can be yourself with and be honest and people that are operating from a place of compassion and understanding, you know, I've worked in the mental health industry for over 19 years now.

So a great resources going to therapy or getting a coach because with therapy, they're bound by a license. They're not going to share it with anyone. They can't tell anyone [00:11:00] otherwise they could lose their license. And that's a really safe place. If you feel like you don't trust them. 

Hala Taha: [00:11:07] 100%. So I think your, your story is really inspiring.

Let's go back to you starting doing drugs in high school. So what kind of drugs did you do and do you think it had to do with you, like hiding things from your friends and your family and just all the stress that, that put on you? 

Mike Bayer: [00:11:25] Well, I mean, I, well, I mean, I did a lot of drugs in high school. I mean, I was doing ketamine freshman year and selling nitrous oxide balloons and doing ecstasy every weekend, junior and senior year of high school and not a big drinker, but, you know, smoking weed back when it was illegal, it was such a big deal to actually get weed in, which is so funny today.

Like, thank God I didn't grow up today because it's just so accessible and [00:12:00] accepted. And, and I think some people have the type of personality. They can get hooked on things pretty easily. Like I know for me, when I really love something, I can get really obsessed with it until the point that I can take out all the juices of that thing.

And then I'm just left going, what the hell did I just do? You know? So I think some of it is personality. I grew up in a home where there was eating disorders, there was addiction. And I think a combination of how you grow up and also your coping skills at the end of the day, it's with how you cope. And I think that I had a hard time coping with life.

And I think when you have a hard time coping, you don't have the tools. And so your brain goes, what feels good? Like what feels really good right now? Oh, smoking a bowl, partying, going to a dance dance party at 3:00 AM. Like, and you know, I, I think also. [00:13:00] I didn't really love. I was very good at basketball. I mean, I went to top 25 high schools in the country called modern day high school in orange county.

But in hindsight, I did basketball because I thought, oh, that's what I'm supposed to do. You know, now I do jujitsu and I love jujitsu, but back then I kind of just was doing something. I did love, it felt like a job I'd hated school. I didn't do well in school. I have learning disabilities. So I think a combination of all that led to me going.

Hala Taha: [00:13:36] Yeah, totally. I can totally relate to that. So you got to 

Mike Bayer: [00:13:40] Did you party like in high school? 

Hala Taha: [00:13:42] I partied a lot in college. So my story is that I'm Muslim and Arabic. And so my parents were really strict on me growing up and I grew up right around nine 11. And so high school was a little bit tough. Then I got to college, a very diverse college, and all of a sudden I was like, miss popular captain of the cheerleading [00:14:00] team, you know?

And then it was party mode. You know, I worked at hot 97. I used to be hanging out with all these celebrities. I dated Chris Brown when I was younger. Like I had a crazy college life. Yeah. My college life was insane. 

Mike Bayer: [00:14:13] Where'd you go to college?

Hala Taha: [00:14:14] In New Jersey, The Institute of Technology. So it was in Newark, New Jersey, so really diverse school, but I ended up dropping out for a year and a half to work at hot 97.

I was Angie Martinez as assistant. It sounds like you lived in New York for a while, so that really put me into the entertainment industry. And then I started a huge website. I have a crazy life story. 

Mike Bayer: [00:14:36] One on the breakfast club this week. Yeah. So where did you grow up? Grow up. 

Hala Taha: [00:14:42] I grew up in Watchung, New Jersey.

Mike Bayer: [00:14:45] Gotcha. So everything was on the east coast for the most part. 

Hala Taha: [00:14:48] Everything was on the east coast for me. You, you were in California and then came to New York. Right? So let's talk about your addiction in college because it got really bad. And so it sounded like you were [00:15:00] dabbling and partying. 

Mike Bayer: [00:15:02] Yeah. I did a lot of meth.

That was my drug of choice at the end. Which you haven't done that? 

Hala Taha: [00:15:09] No. 

Mike Bayer: [00:15:10] Well, that's one that you'll be glad. You never did. You basically stay up? I, I would stay up for six or seven days at a time. I never wanted to come down. So, when you stay up for more than two to three days, you start hallucinating pretty common.

Like, even if you're not on drugs, like if you're exhausted, you're like, oh my God, my brain can't handle this well. When you're on a drug that prevents you from sleeping, you start to get a really distorted reality. And so I would go to class thinking, I remember I have this black diesel jacket. It's like looking back.

It's like, it's like a ridiculous jacket. It was just, I thought it was so cool if someone had bought it for me. Cause my parents only let me shop at big and tall growing up. And even in college, they literally, like, I went to private school where you had to wear a uniform. That's why I would go to raves and were for, and [00:16:00] just be crazy is cause like I'm like a wait.

It's so ridiculous. If you think about it, like you have to wear a uniform in school, like talk about not understanding how to creatively express yourself, come up with that rule is ridiculous. It's like, you need to all look the same, but then it's like, When would you learn how to take risks? 

Hala Taha: [00:16:23] No, I, I agree.

And my boyfriend is actually like traumatized from his Catholic school who would always force him to, and now he just doesn't listen to anyone. He is like the most non-conformist person because of that. And I always like blame his Catholic school for him. Never wanting to follow any sort of rules or plan anything.

Mike Bayer: [00:16:44] Yeah, no, he's he's right. I mean, I I always say like, I have people in my life who I'm constantly asking for advice, like, what do I, where did this? Or where did that? And partially, I feel like it's because I literally would get to go to big and tall. And [00:17:00] like, that was the only because I'm 6'5, my brother's 6'8, my dad's 6'7, my mom's like 5'11.

And they just thought big and tall was like the Ritz Carlton of clothes. And it was just awful. And like, but I had this diesel jacket that was long enough. So it was like this jacket that I had on my own that I could still wear in public and not array. And I would go to class and I thought I was the smartest student in school, all of a sudden.

So I would like raise my hand. I remember this one time I had just come from doing Math in the bathroom and I'd already been up for days. And I think it was in like calculus or one of those classes that like are completely irrelevant to our lives later on. They had no meaning, no purpose don't even really teach discipline, but we have to take them to graduate.

So I took that class and I remember raising my hand and giving them the answer on the board. And I just remember everyone looking around and giving me that look like. Who the hell, what is this dude talking about? And I [00:18:00] remember I had this like shocker reality. So I did what anyone else would do is I just dropped out of school because school wasn't for me, it's like taking it to the extreme.

Right. And then eventually I thought I was possessed. I spray paint my place red. I thought I could read people's energy. I thought there was a camera in the people, in my apartment, in Manhattan. It was just a mess, you know? So that was kind of the downfall of, and I just realized I've always been interested in like, how, why am I doing this?

And like, why don't I have control over it? And after that moment in several attempts at trying to be sober, And not being able to figure it out. I eventually said, Hey, I need to go into treatment. And I checked myself in and that was gosh, like over 19 years ago. 

Hala Taha: [00:18:49] Wow. And you've been sober for 19 years and you've accomplished so much.

I mean, you're a regular on the Dr. Phil Show. You launched a whole bunch of clinics that you lead, your life [00:19:00] coach for celebrities. So talk to us about some of the things that you've done since you've become sober. 

Mike Bayer: [00:19:06] Gosh, I mean, I started, I have a treatment center called cast centers. It's like a dual diagnosis treatment center.

I started that 15 years ago. Just it still exists today. I was just there having a meeting today, teaching about the difference between coach. And clinical work or psychological work with a clinician. I, I started that in my apartment in Venice. So this is our fourth location that I've grown into. I've had a bunch of shelter living homes.

I've I also like did interventions for many years. And from that point I started doing a lot of crisis work. And then I found myself working with a lot of entertainers and going on a bunch of music tours and helping people evolve in their life. And then all of a sudden I was working with entertainers on like how to make more money or how to be authentic or how to stay true to themselves.

And I did that for many years, and [00:20:00] then I got bored working with entertainers. Started going to Kurdistan, Iraq because I wanted to open up mental health clinics for refugee women. Sorry, start one. Yeah. It seems like a rational thought, but it, I mean, I, I would start going out there alone after the Trump ban, but it was so complex.

Like I couldn't get all these people that love me and said, like I saved their life or did so much for them. Now their publicists would be on board with the middle east. I love the middle east. I've been there so many all over them. I love middle Eastern culture, even though some of it to me is a bit ridiculous at times, depending on the communities, I still love the culture and love the food.

The men are super hot anyways. So I. Not at all, but 

Hala Taha: [00:20:50] there are some hot air, but 

Mike Bayer: [00:20:52] they are. And, and so then I like flew back. I remember I was flying back from Kurdistan, all excited. Cause I thought I was going to [00:21:00] get everyone on board with helping you ZD women in Dohuk. And then all the publicists were like, can't you do something in the us where, you know, Mike, we can't do that.

That's like a PR risk, you know, like no one wanted to touch the middle east in the U S. And so then I had this moment of clarity where I was like, what if I become the brand? What if I become the vehicle? And then I could go do some cool projects on my own. Like, I don't need to have celebrities. Like, because even the people I worked with, like, they weren't that passionate about it.

Like I was way more passionate about it. And so literally a week after that I threw this charity event and Dr. Phil was our speaker and I met Dr. Phil. And then now he asked me to go on an episode. I thought I would never do TV. I thought I would never, I was like, I worked so much behind the scenes that I was like never had in my like vision board.

[00:22:00] But then I was like, Mike, you said you wanted to be, you know, make your own change. And so then I left, I've done like 40 episodes now. I've written two New York Times bestselling books. I have a podcast, I have a bunch of cool projects, I've started speaking and working with in a more public way. And so that's all a result of getting sober, you know, the rewards of getting sober

don't come in the moment with what we believe they would be like, I never, never thought I'd have enough money to buy a house. Or I have this bad-ass background with art that I bought in like Puerto Rico and Brazil and little wizard on a stand. Like I literally like, it was, how do people do this? How do they grow and make money?

I thought I was kind of dumb. Like I didn't have getting sober, like had all these thoughts about myself and through recovery. And also like being [00:23:00] like, no, you got this. Like, you can do this. And self-talk and surrounding myself with the right people. Everything's changed in my life. You know. 

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It's so inspiring.

I mean, it really is an in terms of, you know, your work and your work in helping people overcome addiction or anything like that. Did you have any formal training or did you just use this? 

Mike Bayer: [00:26:56] Yeah, so I, I was an alcohol and drug abuse counselor [00:27:00] in Minnesota. And so in Minnesota, it's different than here. It's it takes like four years of education, two years of internship.

So I worked at four different treatment facilities. Then I became an interventionist, then became a board, registered interventionists and trainer. So I train other people on how to do interventions, but the coaching of it all, like where I started working with, like helping people stay true to themselves and authentic, no, that was all my own creations.

Like the other stuff, like the psychiatric stuff, a ton of training, but the how to help someone live more on their own. No training, that was all like in spring. And I've realized I'm pretty good at helping free people to be that what I call their best selves. Like I can create infinite exercises based upon any struggle and I love doing it and I could do it all day.

And I think, [00:28:00] you know, this is just what has ended up for me. And I've had a hard time fitting into. A lot of these life coach boxes that are out there, like, you know, sometimes people are like, Mike, well, what is it you exactly do. But, you know, I just stayed true to who I am and everything else works out.

Hala Taha: [00:28:18] Yeah. 

And it just goes to show you didn't follow this straight path. And a lot of people might think who's listening right now. They might be like, well, I don't want to be a sobriety coach because they only make 60 grand a year or whatever it is, but you've created this whole business. You've created clinics, you're on TV.

And it just goes to show that like, you can follow your passion and your purpose and make it as big as you want. It doesn't need to be small. 

Mike Bayer: [00:28:45] Absolutely. And like sometimes I, I've never been one of a business plan or like if I do this and this happens, what I look at is like the journey's the destination.

And I better have a bad-ass [00:29:00] journey. You know, like on this journey, you end up on a bunch of different little villages and some of them you're like, what the hell am I doing? How did I get in this spot after to get me out of this situation? But other times you're like, God, this is awesome. And I think that we, we all back when I was younger, I was going to get my master's in social work, because I wanted to open up a clinic that helped people with mental health issues and addiction issues.

Because historically, I mean, the reality is you take away the drugs, that drugs, aren't the problem. It's all mental health, but there hadn't been a lot of programs that really combine the two and made it fun and cool. And didn't feel like a hospital and like rigid. And I thought I need to get my master's in social work to be able to do that because no one would take me seriously, unless I'm a licensed clinician.

Well, I took the Princeton [00:30:00] review. I got scholarships and I was going to take the GRE exam. And then the day for me to take the exam, my white mercury Sable wouldn't start. And I just took it as a sign. Like you're not supposed to do this Mike. And literally I didn't do that. And it was the best decision I ever made because I would have been in that grind of like student loans.

And they make you work at these places in like downtown that are not for profit, where you make no money. And like there's, you can create businesses today, especially with so many opportunities. It's, it's endless, as long as you don't give up. 

Hala Taha: [00:30:38] Yeah. And you would have probably been more molded into conforming into whatever else everybody else was going to be doing.

And instead you, you got to be creative. You had to be creative and now look where you are. So I definitely want to encourage everybody out there that there is a way to follow your passions without going down that straight path. You don't have to go down a straight path 

Mike Bayer: [00:30:59] and you don't need [00:31:00] money. Like I borrowed the truth is I borrowed $5,000 from my dad and I had to pay him back within a year.

And I understand not everyone has the ability to get $5,000, but a lot of people could go take out a loan for 5,000. And so I did this all like on my own. It wasn't like I was given some rehab. I started my apartment. 

Hala Taha: [00:31:22] Yeah. And for everybody listening, I started YAP Media. I have a team of over 50 employees.

I started that as a side hustle while I was working in marketing and I bootstrapped the whole thing. I had 35 employees before I quit my job. So that is you can boot, you know, any business to your point. You did not need a loan or investment or anything. 


Mike Bayer: [00:31:46] How long have you owned it? 

Hala Taha: [00:31:48] It's been over a year now.

It's been like 13 months. I started the podcast three years ago. Yap Media has been around for about 13 months. We've grown to 50 employees almost 2 million in revenue [00:32:00] in our first year. And we do marketing and podcast production for other people who want what I have. They want a social media presence.

They want a podcast. So we'll do it for them. Yeah. It's been awesome. It's been an also-ran Young And Profiting is my so YAP Media. Yeah. I love how this is like a two way interview. I'm digging it. 

Mike Bayer: [00:32:21] I already think about myself enough. If I have to talk about myself, Hala like joy. 

Hala Taha: [00:32:27] This is a fun interview. So you mentioned a wizard behind you and I know there's more to it.

So talk to us about this wizard. Talk to us about your best self and, and the, the best self exercise that you have. 

Mike Bayer: [00:32:40] Yes. So sometimes. It's really hard to change when we are just told, be confident or you got this or be yourself. And it's like, okay, well, or like, you're going to public speak and they're just [00:33:00] like, just be yourself, break a leg.

And you're just kinda like, alright. Or like you get in a disagreement with a friend and it's just like, say calm. Okay. And it's kind of hard. At least it's hard for me. And a lot of people I've worked with to just be like, okay, in the back of my brain, stay calm, stay calm. And then all of a sudden it's like, yeah, but you did this and this.

So what I found is I create characters like our parents give us a name, although like, you know, some of us change our names later in life, but my name is Mike or Michael and. I find though that when I'm being what I call my best self, those are all the characteristics of, for me when time stops, I'm in the moment, I'm funny, I'm clever and compassionate.

I'm confident. I'm this whole mixture of all these beautiful things that make me uniquely me and make other people uniquely [00:34:00] themselves. And everyone is different with that feeling. Usually I find that everyone, when I sit down with them can, can help them identify what makes them uniquely themselves. And sometimes people will be like, well, that's, I don't know.

And then I'll be like, well when somebody needs help, who you don't know who dropped her grocery bag, would you pick it up and help them or not? And then I'll say it again. I'll be like, are you sure that you would okay. You would, okay. Would you say that's thoughtful then? Yes. Thoughtful. So something that positive characteristics is really hard for a lot of people though.

To do there's two parts, but for me, my best self is a wizard named Merlin. I've wizards all over my house. Before I could do something where I'm like feeling nervous or afraid, I'll do a little ritual where like I drop on my knees real quick. I'll look at myself in the mirror and I'll just be like, bring out the wizard or be yourself or whatever mantra gets me tapped into that.

Like, I even have a wizard on my shoulder. Right. [00:35:00] I love wizards. Now I have to be reminded all the time. And I'm even in this profession to be my, what does it mean to be myself and to be authentically me and for everyone, the great thing is everyone creates their own version of what their best self is.

And it's a, it's when we're able to kind of look in third person at this other part of us, it helps us navigate situations that we're really scared of, or that are really difficult for us. Because if I were to say, you know, how would your best self show up in that conversation with your boss? That's very different than just saying to somebody, be confident, ask for what you, the same guy that was for the anti self, which is the part of you that gets in the way of you being your best self.

So I typically will say like, what are situations in your life that brings out the most stress today? What are you most worried about? What are you getting anxiety [00:36:00] around? What keeps you up at night? What's the biggest conflict? Who are you angry at? You know, kind of look for those patterns. And usually what people can do is they can identify that part of themselves.

That's okay. The pattern that gets stuck and when you can create a character for that and give it a name, instead of when you, when you give it a name, it gives a little humor because when you're looking at parts of yourself that you don't like. The thing you don't want to do is just beat yourself up more.

You need to, somehow, from my experience, there has to be some alleviation of the ego in it. And so for me, mine is a male witch because male witches have no friends. At least that's my version of a malware. And they sit around and they complain a lot. You know, when they, they, they, they're looking for why the glass is always empty and not full, you know. 

So I've done this with corporations, executives, and it's really helpful. 

Hala Taha: [00:36:58] So basically the exercise [00:37:00] is you write all the elements or characteristics of your best self. Then you write all the characteristics of your worst self, you name those two. And then when you write. You draw it out, you write it out, you draw out when you actually draw the character, you draw the character, you name the character.

And then the point is when you're in a situation where you feel like you're not aligned with your values, you can be like, oh, how do I be more like the wizard, which is my best self. Is that what you're supposed to do? Like, 

Mike Bayer: [00:37:27] or do you just go, okay, how would, so it is you, right? Cause it's, I'd be like, all right, how's the wizard going to show up today?

How am I going to? And it's a reminder that when you do it actually works, it seems ridiculous from the outside, but it honestly works with making sure that you show up authentically. So you don't end up in a spot afterwards going, I should've said that or I wasn't myself, or I let my emotions get [00:38:00] the best of me.

It's a way of mindfulness for our spirit to show up and to be unapologetic. 

Hala Taha: [00:38:08] It's almost like stepping back so you can become more self-aware so you can control what you're doing instead of just running automatic in terms of what people are throwing at you, what emotions you're feeling, you can kind of be centered and be more self-aware step out of it a little bit and kind of decide how you want to act instead of reacting.


Mike Bayer: [00:38:27] I don't know about you all, but I've had moments where, you know, let's say it's an important meeting and it doesn't go quite as planned in my brain. Let's say, if I'm really wanting an outcome and all, maybe you start to look at myself and be like, well, I should've said this and I should've said that, or maybe I could've said this way or were they offended when I said it this way?

You know, we start second guessing ourselves, which socks, and it doesn't help anyone in that moment, right? So I think it's a, it's a [00:39:00] way of building our own confidence with our ability to handle some really tough environment. 

Hala Taha: [00:39:08] 100%. So let's talk about your new book, One Decision. What gave you the inspiration for this and what is that one decision?

Mike Bayer: [00:39:17] So the inspiration, you know, I have a lot of different things that I write about and I was thinking around, okay. How can I help that person who feels maybe a little alone or doesn't have confidence or gets in their own way or self sabotages. And when you, for me, when I write a book, I start thinking of the type of person that I'm trying to help.

And, you know, the person that doesn't have everything set up for them in this life and has challenges. And, and I realized that, you know, everything comes down to a decision. Anything, whether you want to make more money, [00:40:00] whether you want more love. Whether you want more peace, whether you want more sleep, everything comes down to a decision and we make over 30,000 decisions a day.

And we don't really think about decisions because we're just constantly in this thing, right. Our brains keep going. And it's really difficult to go. Okay. What decisions am I making today that are leading me more towards what I want and what decisions aren't. And usually we end up in something becoming a bigger problem before we realized we need to kind of like steer the ship in a different direction.

So I realized that a lot of what prevents us from making decisions are distorted thinking and that we kind of were afraid. And so I wrote the book. The way I write books is as if I'm working with you as your life coach, you know, it's very interacted. Yeah. Underlined you, right. You do the [00:41:00] work because I think it's in, that's how I work with people as a coach.

And so I help people start to really take a look at what areas of their life are they making great decisions in, or decisions are proud of what areas of their life they really want to improve. And then we start to look at, okay, here's the areas you want to improve. Let's create that map now. And what decisions can we make?

What are some, one decisions we can make that could change that. And I also, when I write books, I meet with hundreds of strangers around the world and I have them sit down for, so for this one, it was I'm going out to make one decision in 45 minutes, one decision that's going to lead to a better life. And

what I created is help people make 30% more money, their own value, how they look at life. And so this whole book is just about helping you make that one decision to change your life. 

Hala Taha: [00:41:55] And so I knew that you have this one decision paradigm, and [00:42:00] I know that this is also related to like authenticity. So I'd love to understand like how one decision is related to authenticity.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on that. 

Mike Bayer: [00:42:10] Yeah. So part of anything in life, and we can all agree, and it's why culture even has a quick reaction to people when they feel like they're inauthentic, you know, we kind of feel it on the other end and we go, oh, that's not real. I don't trust that. Or I don't like that.

Well, the same applies for how we navigate our own lives. And so we first have to know who we are, how we show up and how are we looking before we even take action? How are we looking at what's going on in our life? And I love helping people make decisions from a best sell place or an authentic place, because I feel like it like blossoms a healthy garden [00:43:00] and it does, it feels effortless.

And the paradigm that I created is based around like making decisions from an authentic place. And if you do that, you're always making a better decision in your life. So a lot of what I focus on, like you touched on this, like, how do you make those decisions authentically? How do you determine if this is you authentically, or this is you people pleasing or wanting people to like you.

And so I just have a ton of different exercises that help people really understand who they are and how they show up in this way. 

Hala Taha: [00:43:35] Yeah. Do you, have you heard of Martha Beck? 

Mike Bayer: [00:43:38] Yeah, I liked Martha. 

Hala Taha: [00:43:39] Yeah. So she just came on my podcast and she came out with the book The Way of Integrity. And this really reminded me of her.

She talks about culture versus nature. We're basically like culture is what society thinks. Culture is telling you to get that normal job when normal jobs are disappearing, culture is, you know, you see [00:44:00] a part Hyde happening, but because the whole world has been on one side forever. You just agree with it, even though, you know, it's wrong.

Like, you know, just stuff like that, where you know, it's wrong and it's your nature to know. Right. But you just follow along because culture says it's right. So I had that discussion with her. I thought, what are your thoughts on culture versus nature? 

Mike Bayer: [00:44:20] About like that? We do things because culture tells us still?

Hala Taha: [00:44:24] Yeah.

Like, is that, is that kind of what your premise is to like be authentic so that you're not making decisions based on what everybody else wants you to do or what you feel pressured to do? 

Mike Bayer: [00:44:36] I think we were never meant to be sheep. And I think a lot of people give up and become sheep. We were never meant to follow others.

We were meant to follow ourselves. And a lot of people maybe don't have the confidence or feel lost. But to me, it's like culture has taught us that like, oh, these are leaders [00:45:00] and oh, you should worship these people. You should care about what these people are wearing. Give me a break who cares? But a lot of people there, because they've been programmed to care.

Right. It's like, I find this too, even in hip hop y'all are wearing chains. Like I get it. It's showing the struggle and the success, but like give your own version of it, you know? Or like I find in gay culture, it's like, it's about, there's a lot of like words, like girl and this thing. And like, I just, I don't know for me, I kind of March always to my own beat.

And I have a lot of people in my life who, who we try to help each other be true to who we are. And I think there's nothing wrong with people doing that. I just think we're robbing ourselves of like fully showing up when we're following others. 

Hala Taha: [00:45:55] So I think that there's a lot of, obviously a lot of young people listen to this show and I think [00:46:00] that there's a lot of people who don't know who they are.

They don't know who their, what their values are. They don't know what they want in the future. They just feel like lost. So what is the first step for someone to start to identify like who they are, what their values are so that they can be authentic because some people literally just listen to whoever gives them advice and they just go with it.

Mike Bayer: [00:46:21] Well, I think it's first identifying what is the pressing challenge? What is that area of life that isn't working for you? What is it? It can't be everything. Some things have to be working otherwise you wouldn't get to the point where you're searching for self-help. So what is working for you and what's not working for you?

The challenges we're left to our own thoughts and feelings. And if we don't share them with anyone else. The people who have the biggest challenge are people who just won't are afraid to tell other people [00:47:00] about their challenges and what they're struggling with. So the first step is talking to people about it, actually looking at people that you admire and being like, can I get a cup of coffee?

Don't say to someone, but this is my suggestion because I get this a lot. Can you be my mentor? No one wants, no one wants to sign up to be a mentor. Mentorship is just purely the sharing of advice with someone else. That's giving you some wisdom, so you can have 20 mentors, but see, you know, it could be the person down the street that owns a bagel shop.

And you're like, can you give me some advice? Like, can you tell me how you got to, where you got to? And people love to help others. It's people love to share their wisdom because you're getting to share that solution. And that struggle turns to success. I know Dr. Phil probably loves mentoring me. I'm much younger.

I'm new to the game. I asked him a ton of [00:48:00] questions. You know, if I was like, Dr. Phil, can you be my mentor? It's a little awkward. So I think the first step is like, look at who you, who, you know, in your life and go, gosh, I wish I had a little more like that. Like you talk about and with what you do with YAP Media and other people look at you and say, oh, I wish I had a podcast.

I wish I had more of a public brand. I wish I could start a business that right there is built in for people who want help in their life, who want this area of their life. And so I always think talking to someone about it, then figuring out what is that thing that's weighing me down the most. Is it my health often we think problems are like, like we think, oh, I just need to make more money.

But then we don't realize that the real problem is we're afraid of losing our relationship with our [00:49:00] partner. Sometimes the things that aren't even seeming like they connect, connect. And I just, I love assessments, like in the books I write, I do a ton of assessments. I go through assessments, myself and my own life because they're set up in a way to help us figure out, like, I feel lost here.

What do I do? 

Hala Taha: [00:49:22] Yeah. 

And I think all of your books are great tools for anyone who, who feels lost and wants to get kind of more in alignment with their true purpose. So definitely go check out coach Mike's books. So I want to talk about some of your acronyms because you are full of so many different acronyms.

You've got REV. You have GOD, you have FORCE, so many different ones. Let's talk about rev. It's about pivoting, reinventing yourself. What does it stand for? How do we use it? 

Mike Bayer: [00:49:51] Rev is kind of either you're in reinvention, you're evolving or you need to pivot. So reinvention means an area of your life that you got to [00:50:00] start fresh.

It is not working. Reinvention is like, it looks completely different than when it first started. And so sometimes that's our health. Sometimes that's our social life, you know, sometimes like you were talking about what you were doing in college, I'm sure you reinvented, you know, a lot of the friendships you've got in your life.

So the other is evolving. It's fine. It's just going to evolve just like anything else in life. And then pivoting is going, okay, we need, I still want to stay in this, but I need to take a different direction. That would be better for me. So sometimes it's, it's helpful to look at what area of life we want to change and what type of make-over we believe it needs to be changed.

Hala Taha: [00:50:52] So basically it's like a framework to understand, are we revving or we are [00:51:00] re-inventing, are we evolving or are we pivoting? Right. So it's a framework 

to figure that out. 

Mike Bayer: [00:51:06] Right. And it's because sometimes the undertaking is not that difficult and we're acting like we need to go through this giant re-invention, but it's, it's literally not as big of a deal as we're making it.

Hala Taha: [00:51:21] So talk to us about force, because I think this is a really, really important one. And I'd love for you to just break that down. Talk to us about each one of those steps. 

Mike Bayer: [00:51:30] It's quite, yeah, it's, it's a little difficult without seeing it as, so I'll try to explain it. The best soaks are before. So cognitive behavioral therapy is what's proven, even though every single clinician wants to create a new type of therapy, all the research suggests that CBT.

Cognitive behavioral therapy has the best outcomes with changing behavior. And what I've done is [00:52:00] created a inspired by what's called in CBT cognitive distortions and created kind of like an easy hack to work through. Are we in what I call a negative force or a positive force? So force is an acronym and anything that's given a force is going to move and sometimes we're moving towards something positive and sometimes negative.

Now this is all about what we're thinking there is no doing. So the force is just looking at our thoughts and the negative force is an acronym for fortune-telling, overgeneralizing, rigid thinking confusion or confused purpose. An emotional reason. And from my experience, working with people, when there's a challenge in somebody's life, they're usually doing one [00:53:00] of those five things.

And the thing about a negative force is 99% of the time. It's not true, but we believe it. And that's why we think it, you know, we can't predict the future, but we all want to say, well, no, I know what they're going to say to me. You don't know what they're going to say to you, or we'll be like, yeah, but that feels wrong.

Well, feelings, aren't facts, your feeling, your business doesn't care about your feelings. You want to be a business executive. You got to look at the facts. You got to look at the data and not about your feelings. And so the positive force  are all the hacks to that negative force. So for fortune tellers, It would be fact finding, you know, oh, they would never hire someone like me.

Well, look at the facts. Have they hired people like you have other companies hired people like you probably overgeneralizing versus objective thinking overgeneralizing. It's like all [00:54:00] women can't be CEOs or all, you know, it's like a big overgeneralization and objective thinking is going, oh, let me actually look there happen.

That's not true confusion, which I love, because I think it's a helpful tool for anyone who feels confused when they're like at a party or they're like, what am I doing here? This is awkward is we have to clarify our purpose. If our it's our purpose to be networking, you know, as our purpose to be showing up for someone's party and asking them about their lives.

If you're confused. Yeah. You're going to be like, why am I here? But sometimes you got to reinstate your purpose, your purpose, you know, I'm guessing with the YAP Media is to help other entrepreneurs really define and find for themselves their niche, their calling, and you, you know, you're staying in your purpose.

It would get very confusing if you started selling turtle food, you know what I mean? [00:55:00] Like, and then the heat is emotional reasoning. And then we got to evidence-based thinking and that's the hap. So really it's just a quick format for getting into the truth of what's going on or life, because a lot of the pain and suffering that we create is based upon how we believe life is treated.

Hala Taha: [00:55:22] I really like how your stuff isn't like fluffy or hard to understand. It's just like straightforward, actionable. I like that about, about this because I interview a lot of people and a lot of times it's very fluffy kind of material, but you have really actionable stuff that people can take and kind of work through.

And I, and I liked that. Let's talk about a rigid mindset versus a relaxed mindset. I think this is an important piece. I'd love to hear that. 

Mike Bayer: [00:55:50] Yeah. So rigid mindset is. Yeah, I think I skipped over that when we were going through them. But I've rigid mindset [00:56:00] is you see this with people who are right fighting, you'll see this a ton in politics today, or like I'm right.

My thoughts. Right. And they're like fighting with people. Right. And it's so rigid. Or like if someone has one belief that isn't in alignment with your own beliefs, they're bad, you know, that's like, it's so rigid, like it's, it's like, we're all so different and complex. And it's a way of like, or you'll hear this about people describing their bosses or type a, you know, I'm just really type a well there's type a relaxed, which is like helping someone really get organized and efficient.

And then type a rigid, which is like, this is the only way to do it. And I said, this, this is the time you must do it this way. And a relaxed mindset allows life to happen. [00:57:00] Rigid believes we're in more control than we actually are. 

Hala Taha: [00:57:03] And so relaxed is obviously a better approach. 

Mike Bayer: [00:57:06] Ah, just feel so much better.

Right? I mean, it feels like, yeah, universe is going to decide, and it's not that serious. It doesn't matter a year from now. 

Hala Taha: [00:57:19] And I'm sure it's better for your relationships. Nobody wants somebody who's just like unable to compromise in any way or, or see other alternatives. So the last question I ask all my guests is what is your secret to profiting in life?

Mike Bayer: [00:57:37] My secret to profiting in life is believing that I'm capable and that I am a bad-ass. That is my secret. 

Hala Taha: [00:57:51] Amazing. 

And where can our listeners go to find more about you? 

Mike Bayer: [00:57:55] I was like, 

I'm being arrogant because I think everyone can is a bad-ass. It's just like, that is like [00:58:00] what I have to believe, but everyone can find me at, coach Mike Bayer on all social media platforms and the podcast is Always Evolving.

Hala Taha: [00:58:10] Amazing. Thank you so much. What a great conversation. 

Mike Bayer: [00:58:13] Thank you Hala. 

Hala Taha: [00:58:15] Thanks for listening to Young And Profiting Podcast. If you haven't subscribed to this podcast yet, make sure you do so. So you can be alerted every time we drop a new episode. Wow. What a great conversation. I think that Mike's story is truly amazing.

He was the total it guy in high school. And so he began experimenting with drugs at such a young age, and then it all came crashing down in college when he realized he had to turn his life around. And so he started his cast centers. And since then he's been a guiding light for those with addiction and mental health issues.

My favorite part of this episode was when Mike shared his best self exercise, which is all about identifying who you are when you're feeling your best. In Mike's case, his best self is a wizard [00:59:00] named Merlin. And then I was thinking, what is my best self? And I was thinking about it and my best self is vibrant, productive, mature, energetic, inspiring.

And I thought that I would call my best self, the podcast princess, because that's what everybody calls me anyway. And I couldn't think of anything else. So now every time I'm in a sticky situation where I feel like I'm unaligned, I'm going to remember, Hey, I'm the podcast princess. And that means that I'm vibrant, productive, and mature, energetic, and inspiring.

And I'm going to align to those core values and hopefully feel better. And you can create a character or avatar yourself and have a best version of your best self too. Because when we're able to step back and view our best selves objectively, we can navigate situations that are difficult for us emotionally.

And we can ask ourselves, how would my best self handle this difficult situation? And that's much better than saying something. Be positive or stay calm. That's not helpful. So let's remember, choose your own [01:00:00] avatar, pick your values and remember to align to those and think what would my best self do whenever you're in a gym.

I also want you guys to remember Mike's one decision paradigm. Number one, the first step to creating a better life for ourselves is to live as our best self. Number two, when we're being our best self, we're able to see obstacles as opportunities. Number three, when we see opportunities, we can make authentic decisions.

Number four, when our decisions are authentic, we can let go and let the universe decide. This paradigm encourages us to stop thinking about making best decision for our life. Instead, we need to make the decision as our best selves. If you'd like to learn more about coming to terms with your true, authentic self check out my recent episode.

Number 119, the way of integrity with Martha Beck and best-selling author, Martha Beck shares her secrets to living with integrity. Here's a clip from that episode. 

Martha Beck: [01:00:57] I love the term structural [01:01:00] integrity, and that just means a machine is in working order. So an airplane in structural integrity can fly.

And if it loses structural integrity, that is if it's part stop working together, right, it will crash or not take off. So our lives are exactly the same way when there are pieces of us that are torn away from each other. In that duplicity I was talking about when we've abandoned our truth and our true selves.

We're not instructional integrity and we crash. And the first thing we feel is a sense of meaninglessness. The second thing is like the emotional discontent and the third thing is physical pain. So you're right on the cusp of that. And if you don't address it, if you don't go back to your structural integrity, you're going to have to start to have much worse problems.

Not because you're being bad. It's because you're trying too hard to be good. And when you're trying too hard to be good and you're leaving yeah. Yourself, because the culture says, good, looks like this. When you do that, your suffering arises [01:02:00] to help wake you up and say, look, nothing is as important as what you know, in your deepest heart of hearts, no matter what they tell you about it, believe that go to it.

And if you do that, you start to heal. 

Hala Taha: [01:02:16] Again, if you'd like to learn more about staying true to yourself, to live your most authentic life, check out episode number 119, the wave integrity with Martha Beck. And if you haven't subscribed to  Young And Profiting Podcast yet, what the heck are you waiting for?

Make sure you take a moment to subscribe to this podcast so you can be alerted every time we drop a new episode. And as always, I love to give a shout out to one of our recent Apple podcast, reviewers, and today's shout out, goes to the lovely Claire Rosenberg. And she says five-star podcast, such an amazing podcast and excited to listen to the great guests every single week.

Thank you so much, Claire, for your awesome review. And if you're out there and you found [01:03:00] value in today's show, make sure you take a few minutes to write us a review on Apple podcasts, Podcast Republic, Castbox, PodBean, wherever you listen to the show, it doesn't matter. By dropping us a review you can help support  Young And Profiting Podcast  in a free and effective way.

And I also love to see your posts on  Young And Profiting on LinkedIn or Instagram. So do me a favor right now. Take a screenshot on your phone. Show me that you listened to the whole entire episode and then upload it to your story on Instagram. Tag me at yapwithhala and then I'll repost and support those who support us.

You can find me on Instagram at yapwithhala or LinkedIn, just search my name. It's Hala Taha. I'm also on clubhouse @halataha. I host rooms in there all the time. Big thanks to the YAP team as always. I love you guys and appreciate you so much. This is Hala signing off.

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