Marc Champagne: The Power of Being Present | E139

Marc Champagne: The Power of Being Present | E139

Marc Champagne: The Power of Being Present | E139

Want to live your life with more intention? In this episode we are talking with Marc Champagne! Marc is a creator, author, podcast host, and mental fitness strategist. In 2016 Marc co-founded the digital journaling app KYŌ once he saw a need for a digital guided journaling tool for people. After fast and immense success with KYŌ, he made the decision to end the business and delete the app permanently after realizing his business model wasn’t sustainable or profitable.

In 2019 he created his podcast Behind the Human, which has since become a top 50 health charting show, where he talks to some of the greatest minds about how to live with more intention and presence. He created his own brand strategy business using his mental fitness theory called THRIVE, and has become an acclaimed mental fitness strategist through his work with THRIVE. His first book, Personal Socrates, “is an exploration of questions that shape the lives of legends and world-class performers—questions that have the power to change your life and work”, and is hitting shelves in October 2021. In today’s episode, we discuss Marc’s journey with creating and ultimately ending the popular journaling app KYŌ and how that led his path to writing Personal Socrates. We also discuss Marc’s full-proof formula to getting unstuck, why journaling actually works, and the questions to ask ourselves to live with more clarity and intention. If you’ve been searching for questions to lead to inner change, keep listening!

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


00:54: Marc’s Backstory and Journey to Entrepreneurship

05:34: The Question that Led Marc to Shut Down His App

09:04: Marc’s Path to Writing Personal Socrates

11:08: Marc’s Formula to Getting Out of a Rut

19:13: Why Journaling Works

21:43: The Questions Marc Asks Himself

24:40: Breaking Down the Socratic Method

28:54: The 5-4-3-2-1 Principle

30:24: Marc’s Favorite Profiles in Personal Socrates

36:48: Marc’s Secret to Profiting in Life

Mentioned In The Episode:

Marc’s New Book Personal Socrates-

Marc’s Website-

#139: The Power of Being Present with Marc Champagne
[00:00:00] Hala Taha: 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.

[00:00:25] 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 entrepreneurship and more if you're smart and like to continually improve yourself. Hit the subscribe button because you'll love [00:01:00] it here at Young And Profiting Podcast.

[00:01:02] This week on YAP. We're chatting with Marc Champagne and author podcast host and mental fitness strategic in 2019, he created his podcast Behind the Human, which is now a top 50 health show where he talks to some of the greatest minds about how to live with more intention and presense. He created his own brand strategy business using his mental fitness theory called THRIVE.

[00:01:25] His first book, Personal Socrates is an exploration of questions that shaped the lives of legends and world-class performers, questions that have the power to change your life and work. In today's episode, we learn about Marc's journey, creating an ultimately shutting down his app KYŌ and how that led him to writing Personal Socrates.

[00:01:43] We'll also discuss Marc's foolproof formula to getting unstuck. Why journaling actually works. And the questions to ask ourselves to live with more clarity and intention. If you've been searching for questions to lead interchange, you'll love this conversation.

[00:01:58] Hey Marc, welcome to Young And [00:02:00] Profiting Podcast.

[00:02:01] Marc Champagne: Thanks Hala. It's great to be here. It's a real honor. I've been a huge fan of yours as and I'm excited to chat.

[00:02:08] Hala Taha: Me too, thank you so much for having me on your show earlier in my career Behind the Human. And you've got such a great podcast and now you have a new book called Personal Socrates.

[00:02:19] That is coming out really soon. What does that come out exactly?

[00:02:22] Marc Champagne: It is depending on when this release is, it might already be out it's coming out October 19th, which as of now it's next week.

[00:02:30] Hala Taha: Oh yeah, it will. We'll put that out. We're going to put that this episode aligning with that release dates. So I can't wait to get into that book and to talk about journaling.

[00:02:40] And the benefits of that. But before we get into that, you have a really interesting backstory. You actually started in the corporate world like me, and then you became an entrepreneur and you were in big pharma, you were doing marketing and branding, and then you had this big idea to start an app for journaling.

[00:02:58] Because at the time this was like [00:03:00] 12 years ago, they didn't have anything like that. And so you decided you would quit your job team up with, I think a relative and start this app. So really cool stuff. Talk to us about that transition, how you got into journaling and how you ended up jumping into entrepreneurship.

[00:03:17] Marc Champagne: Absolutely. It's so crazy to me to reflect back because when I was in the corporate world, I actually. I was doing well. I was, you're used to this and you know how it works and he's moving jobs every two years, essentially. Climbing that ladder. And I was actually quite happy in the role and was working with really great people, learning a ton and never had any desires to jump into the world of entrepreneurship.

[00:03:44] It just happened out of not wanting to regret trying this new idea that you had brought up, which was the journaling app KYŌ. And that came because, or it came from about eight or nine years of actually. Using a practice like [00:04:00] journaling because when I was hired out of university, I started in sales.

[00:04:03] We all went through the same training. It was like a four week intensive fly to Montreal. We're all going through the same program. And I remember thinking how possibly can I stand out in a sales role if we're all being trained the exact same way. So I just started getting up a little bit earlier not much and started reading positive content and year after year, essentially.

[00:04:25] And happy to share like that first year or second year in sales, it was top sales rep in the territory. And I really credit it to all of that early morning prep like mental fitness, which is not what I call it at that time. But essentially what was happening in reading blogs and different books and websites, you start coming across very similar mindsets when it comes to personal development and keeping your mind thriving and journaling was one of those practices.

[00:04:51] And I remember coming across all of these different interviews. It wasn't journaling from the perspective of what I used to always get when we [00:05:00] started the app, which was, oh, you're talking about the 12 year old girl, in her diary about the boy at school. And I'm like, there's nothing wrong with that, but no, I'm talking about what I've been seeing, these big, powerful life and work questions that the people were following and reading books.

[00:05:14] Are pausing to think about. So I would write those questions down. And then the next morning, when I would get up a bit earlier to do the practice, then I would reflect them on based on where I was at in my life. And I did that for, like I said, a good solid eight years. And eventually though at that time then grew really frustrated with the digital solutions that were available because I was traveling a lot for conferences and whatnot.

[00:05:38] So I was always doing this. Practice on my phone or on an iPad that I had really tapped out in the sense of no notifications is like a sanctuary in terms of technology, but there was nothing out there from an app perspective that would take the combination of knowledge and in my case questions and link that up with a guided journaling practice.[00:06:00]

[00:06:00] Now there are options, but essentially that's what created the, or sparked the idea of KYŌ. And I linked up with my brother-in-law and co-founder of the app said, here are my frustrations. Would you be interested in trying this out? He wasn't instill is an entrepreneur. So that gave me a little sense of confidence or security that okay.

[00:06:19] I'm not just jumping in by myself here. And then we started working.

[00:06:23] Hala Taha: That's awesome. So the app was pretty successful out the gate from my understanding Apple was featuring it, and you got 86 million impressions on it and lots of active users, but you didn't figure out how to really monetize it. You didn't figure out the business model.

[00:06:40] And I can really relate because when I was my first entrepreneurship gig was the sorority of hiphop. It was a blog site that I blew up. I was so popular hosting parties. I had a big name out there in the tri-state, but I wasn't monetizing. I didn't figure out the business model. So even though we had a big brand and people knew about us, [00:07:00] I wasn't making money and I had to shut it down.

[00:07:02] Something similar happened to you where you ended up shutting down this app and deleting it. So my question to you is since you're like the Mr. Question guy, is what questions were you asking yourself that got you to that decision to shut it down?

[00:07:15] Marc Champagne: It was actually a question sparked by an interview. I'd done with Scott Belsky who's now in the book as one of the profiles.

[00:07:21] And it was just around the idea of why am I building this? And also do I still have the same level of passion and conviction that I did. When I first thought of the idea when we started the business, do I have that same level of passion now? Because that's what you need. If not, do you have the same level?

[00:07:38] If not more, frankly, because that's what you need as to push through that messy, middle and continue. And the answer at that time was just, no, I had lost that passion along the way. We were financially strapped mentally at the max of our journey and we have learnt enough. For those along those three years of [00:08:00] creating the app that, we can continue to iterate it.

[00:08:02] And I am confident that we would have figured out the proper kind of user flow and wouldn't to be able to, would have been able to make our, our business model work. But we weren't naive to the fact that wasn't going to happen in the next iteration. And we were already on the third development team.

[00:08:18] Now we had a homegrown kind of Toronto based team, which was way more expensive and there was just no. Not even a sliver of certainty that, okay if we do this, it's going to result in, okay, at least we'll start covering our expenses or server costs. So that's what led to the decision of, what, for me, at least I had found the path and the work that really lit me up that I didn't know was, kinda my true calling and purpose, but that vehicle, which was the app.

[00:08:50] Is something that sparked that, that world for me. And I'm grateful for that, but that, it was time for that to close. And I just, I trusted the journey enough for the past, knowing that [00:09:00] just because of I'm in that space. Of, of self-development that if it's not the app, it'll be something else.

[00:09:06] But the work in general, the practices, the prompts and all of that, that's what really makes. And I'm curious to see from your perspective, when you were going through it with your venture, the big learning I had, there was to never fall for your own. I said we had 86.9 million app store impressions.

[00:09:22] All these features, we were collaborating with massive brands like LinkedIn and Lego and Vayner media, which was just providing all of this almost like false confidence that, we were just going to throw. But we hadn't figured out the business model yet.

[00:09:39] Hala Taha: Yeah. Honestly, now I look back and this is probably not what you're expecting to hear.

[00:09:44] I look back and I wish I kept going.

[00:09:47] Marc Champagne: Oh wow.

[00:09:47] Hala Taha: Because I realized now that having a brand is so powerful and I just had the wrong. Business model and had, I just kept tweaking and tweaking until I found something that had product market fit or got a TV [00:10:00] show or whatever it was, it probably would have been another six months or a year.

[00:10:03] And I would have been really successful faster, everything happens for a reason and I'm not positive that would have happened, but having a brand is powerful, and you just need to figure out how to monetize that brand. So anyway, every failure is a stepping stone and I'm sure you learned a lot from that experience that you used now.

[00:10:21] So what are you up to these days?

[00:10:23] Marc Champagne: Interesting enough I do feel like I have kept going. It's just, like I said the product or the offer offering, or the service has changed. It's changed into a book, it's changed into corporate mental fitness, activations and speaking and things like that, but it's all the same content and practices and prompts.

[00:10:41] For me, it feels the path just got, I took a bit of a right turn there, but I'm still going up the same mountain essentially, or following the work that lights me up. So that's what led to the book though. The book was, when I deleted the app, I don't want to speak too lightly of that because I remember looking at that Apple dashboard and thinking, K I [00:11:00] see 86.9 million people.

[00:11:01] And the next step is to hit, delete from app store. How could we fail at such a colossal level? What would all my ex colleagues think you can probably relate to this? I remember telling them I was leaving. And they're like, there was this feeling of. Oh, I have an idea too. Like you're so courageous for going to do that.

[00:11:17] There's you could feel that. And here I am now what am I going to say to those people? And I also didn't want to go back to that industry. Cause I had found the space that really lit me up, but now I just deleted the vehicle. That was keeping me in there. So it wasn't until doing everything possible to dial into the present moment.

[00:11:35] Okay. Unleashes many gratitude practices as possible, which I was picking up through all the interviews and the content in the app that I eventually got to this realization. We are all myself included. One question away from a completely different life. And that question for me, happened to be, what do I want for my life, which pulled me out of essentially out of a depression that was heading into a deep depression and who [00:12:00] knows where next, but that was.

[00:12:01] The pause, the loopy narrative to then put a plan together. And then that led to the next question, the question after that, and as it turns out, there's a whole method to this madness, which is the Socratic method.

[00:12:12] Hala Taha: Yeah. So I want to dig really deep into that. Let's talk about people who are in a rut because a lot of people are out there struggling.

[00:12:20] Maybe they lost their job from COVID. They still haven't really found their new job and people are in a rush. You were in that place at one point. And you just said you used a lot of gratitude practices that you had learned over the years from interviewing people on your podcast. So talk to us about some of those specific methods.

[00:12:36] Marc Champagne: There, there's a formula, a really easy formula to remember to that works in really any situation. And that is to first get clear, then you can start acting with intention and whether that's practices, decisions, or conversations. Then that will lead to an expansion of possibility or opportunity, but you can't, the first step in that whole process is you have to pause, the [00:13:00] internal narrative because it's nearly impossible for us to think clearly and do our best work when our minds fogged with fear, anxiety, uncertainty, which is how I felt after deleting that app.

[00:13:11] So again, just thinking of, having something as simple as list of five or 10 things that, Question, we'll put a smile on your face and that you can default to that list and that's different for all of us. And that's the point is we have to find the things that light us up. I was taking a lot of walks at that during that time.

[00:13:29] I never skipped any workouts at the gym. Like my number one goal during that period was to keep my mind and body as healthy as possible because then your mind is clear. And it's just, it's no different than if you take the visual of a physical room and you open a door to a room and you see it's full with boxes floor to ceiling, and there's a door in the back there, but you just can't see how to get to that door, where it is.

[00:13:53] Our minds are the same thing when they're flooded with emotion or an abundance of decisions to make or relationships that are [00:14:00] bothering us. So once we start clearing that out. Then we just have to trust that our mind is going to do the work and connect the dots and we'll know exactly which path to take. It sounds easier said than done, but the easiest way to pause that loop is to dial into these practices or activities that you know, will put a smile on your face, right?

[00:14:20] Hala Taha: Yeah. So let me reiterate this really quickly. The first step is to get clear. The second step is to live intentionally, and the third step is to expand possibility. And then you have questions that aligned to each one. So let's really drill down here and teach people how to do this. So what are the questions for each bucket?

[00:14:41] Marc Champagne: I think, again, a good quality question to me is a question that's well done. And relevant in your life. So if I were to ask myself the question again of what do I want for my life, it would serve as a nice check-in, but it doesn't have the power that it did, a few years ago that which pulled me out of a depression.

[00:14:59] So the first [00:15:00] thing is to really sit down. And if you have the book or if you're looking at any other prompts, it's really to follow your intuition in terms of, what feels right for you. Starting with a clarity type question and that's something that's progressive as well. So what do I want for my life?

[00:15:14] You're going forward in, in movement or, to borrow some of the prompts from James Clear who has a profile in the book as well, but just understanding who am I optimizing to? Am I climbing the right mountain? Cause we can feel like we're doing the right things. We feel busy, but if we're busy doing the things that we don't want to be doing, or that's not leading to the life that we desire, then we're wasting that time.

[00:15:38] So again, getting clear with questions on who do I want to become? And then from there, then what do I need to do? What's one step I can take today. And then it's all about setting reminders and doing the mental fitness, whether that's five or 10 minutes in the morning, just to remind ourselves of this is where I'm heading, bringing in again, gratitude or bringing in some stoicism, [00:16:00] for example, and focusing on, okay, this is what I can control today.

[00:16:04] For example, there's profiles on Ryan Holiday and here and Marcus a really us. That's all you have to remember. Cause if you're doing the first two steps of getting clear, then living with an intention and doing the practices, that will help this possibility and opportunity shows up by default because you can see it.

[00:16:22] Great. Coming back to that room. You can see the doors right there. The path is like this feels right. I'm going to follow that journey.

[00:16:29] Hala Taha: Okay. So in terms of that, our minders, are you saying basically scheduling time in your day to reflect on what you got clear on? Like basically, you're asking yourself questions, then you get the clarity statement, whatever that is.

[00:16:43] And then you're saying set reminders to think about that information, that you're clear on now.

[00:16:50] Marc Champagne: Yeah. So the reminders are this is critical because, if the whole intention of all of these practices is to pause us and pause the autopilot. Because [00:17:00] if we just let ourselves go in regular society, just like nutrition or exercise, we'll be led down a path.

[00:17:06] That is probably the most, not the most healthiest for us, for example. It's just like going to a grocery store. If you just follow the aisles and the marketing, you're not going to come out with a cart full of healthy groceries. It's not going to happen, unfortunately. So you've gotta be intentional with what you're doing and have a plan when you're going in.

[00:17:24] So it's no different with our mind. I remember Apolo Ohno, so he was on the show and he has a a profile in the book and he's at least at the time. He was the most decorated winter Olympian in us history, short track, speed skater. And I'll never forget because he, I write about it as here are the Olympic reminder system that Apollo uses.

[00:17:44] And it's post-it notes, he starts with just getting clear on what, on his objective, in his goal. And then he looks around his house and thinks of the places that he sees the most often, whether that's your fridge or your, I think he had them in his closet, just little post-its with an [00:18:00] intention, and it has to resonate with you, but it could be today.

[00:18:03] I want to feel. Energized or I'm working towards X and just again, subtle little reminders. I use my iPhone wallpaper on the lock screen and what's fun about that is now we get all these screen time reminders, so you can see, I just pry my mind 78 times today from picking up my phone. And I just have some one-liners on there that I need to hear right now.

[00:18:27] Small things like, in the process of obviously this book launch, it's so easy to go down this comparison track. Okay. It's ranking here in Amazon. What does that mean? Did this, but I, I'm here in, in comparison to them. And just to cut that and just have a, one-liner saying, be present, forget about comparison.

[00:18:46] I can remind myself of that 78 plus times a day.

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[00:21:46] I love that I did something similar, not knowing what I was doing.

[00:21:49] I always make my passwords something that some sort of a goal. So like for awhile, I was really impatient and I had a really big problem with wanting to get [00:22:00] promoted and having to wait in line. And all my pastors were like patients, like in a bunch of numbers, or when I was building the YAP I was like, number one podcast, and then every time I type it, I'd be like, yes, I'm working on my number one for. So I think just any way that you can remind yourself of your goals and then the more that you repeat stuff and listen to yourself, the more that you start to believe in and take the actions you need to actually get things done.

[00:22:21] Marc Champagne: But that's the intentionality part, right? You were doing it and it's simple and simple works. We stick with that. I had the same thing I had for the longest time. I had a password that was just happy.

[00:22:33] Hala Taha: I love that. So talk to us about why journaling works is journaling only sitting down at a desk and writing on a piece of paper.

[00:22:41] Marc Champagne: Oh, I'm so glad you asked that because, I think we, most of us think of journaling as sitting down and writing kind of pen to paper, or, like in our case when we have the app using an app to do it, but if you really break down the actual practice, the practice is reflection and that is the number one [00:23:00] theme that has come up with 200 plus interviews with all these.

[00:23:04] Exceptional humans as they take time to still their mind. And again, that's to help pause that autopilot and make clear decisions. So I don't care whether you're writing in a book or if you're doing that in a notebook, or if you're taking a walk and, taking the walk without music or a podcast.

[00:23:21] And just going on that walk with a question in mind, for example, that's reflection, that's journaling. But the key is that you're taking that time to do it. So for me, from my experience, a good 70 or 80% of the people I've interviewed have some sort of meditation practice, but a hundred percent of them have a practice like this, where they're taking time to think.

[00:23:41] So it, again, figure out in your own routine, if that's the morning. Is usually a little bit easier to do because then, life happens afterwards. So you can start the day, owning your morning, owning your day, start with a prime, mind asking some questions. Like how do I feel today? Where do I feel that in my [00:24:00] body do I feel anxious is that tightness in my chest.

[00:24:03] And sometimes are often just acknowledging that we're feeling that release. And then you don't carry that into the day. Again, coming up with that clogs your mental real estate and really hard to make really great decisions or perform at our best when we're clogged like that. So small that, that takes minutes.

[00:24:21] One of the staples in my routine is as my coffee's brewing, I have a copy of Ryan Holiday, book The Daily Stoic. And I just read one passage, it's one page. And it's usually a really solid perspective shift that no matter what's going on in my life right now, I'm like, oh, someone else has been through that.

[00:24:39] This is how they handled it. It's not that bad. I can focus on either what I can't control or what I can control. And sometimes that's all I need. Then you start the day motivated and excited and ready to go.

[00:24:51] Hala Taha: Yeah, I love that. So in terms of the questions that we ask ourselves, do you tend to ask yourself like the same question every day?

[00:24:58] Or are you [00:25:00] switching it up depending on what's going on in your life? Like, how do you decide what question you're going to ask yourself?

[00:25:07] Marc Champagne: Okay. This comes back to a decade ago, essentially when the practice started for me and it was when consuming. Content or knowledge or wisdom then searching for those pieces or those nuggets, those questions that were there that then felt right to reflect on in my life right now.

[00:25:23] So that's the reason the book is set up in the way that it is in these two to four page profiles. And that they're all loaded with an opening prompt is that they're all different. Whether it's, Kobe Bryant or Maya Angelou or Stephen Hawking, they're all different. And they're designed to meet you where you are.

[00:25:41] So I would just encourage people to, not put so much pressure on ourselves, but to really land at a question that feels right when you're going through the book, or if you're reading a book, to really just slow down and think about, okay what am I trying to get out of this?

[00:25:56] How can I apply this information? Or how can I apply this podcast in my life [00:26:00] right now and make it applicable, for example. And then there are just, and I would just I'd really encourage, no matter what you're doing to always have some sort of gratitude element to it. Whether it's journaling, whether it's meditation.

[00:26:13] I typically do everything possible to have some sort of questions around, what can I celebrate about today or a great practice on a Friday, for example, three questions you get to, let's say midday, Friday, not at the end of the day, so that you're rushing to finish your day, but in the mid day, take 15 minutes and just ask, open up your calendar and ask what did I learn this week?

[00:26:35] What would I have changed about this week? Maybe the way you reacted in a conversation. And these are all just little nuggets of data that normally just pass through and we don't think about, and then lastly, what can I celebrate about the week? And it's just a great way to finish off the week, because again, you're not carding over all this mental narratives and loops and stuff into the weekend.

[00:26:55] You're starting the weekend fresh, you're starting Monday fresh. And you just learned a [00:27:00] ton about what you just did in the last five days, which is a lot, we forget about that. We've, there's so much to celebrate, but we don't remember these things unless we stop and think about them.

[00:27:10] Hala Taha: I really liked that, that actionable Friday gratitude activity.

[00:27:14] That's really great. It's a good social media post to you gave me an idea. I think I'll go viral.

[00:27:19] Marc Champagne: Tag me.

[00:27:22] Hala Taha: Okay. So let's talk about the name of your book, Personal Socrates, and pretty sure everybody knows who Socrates says. He's known as like the great thinker, but I don't know much else about him or the Socratic method.

[00:27:35] So can you break that down for us.

[00:27:37] Marc Champagne: Yeah, and I was in the same place and I actually hated the title of the book. Originally. It was from Joey, the founder of Baron Fagan and the publisher. But as I was explaining what I was picking up through all the podcasts and also how I was using questions, he was like, oh, you're talking about the Socratic method.

[00:27:53] Socratic what I mean again, I know the same level of detail that you just described. So I went into it, and just

[00:28:00] started doing some Google searches. And I was, first of all, blown away that Socrates was born in four sixty nine BC. So he invented this method of questioning. That's literally stood the test of time.

[00:28:12] All of us are doing it in some capacity, but without really thinking about it. And I was thinking. How do you then modernize the methods so that we can be a little bit more intentional with this practice and that we can get the most out of it. Because if you asked me that there's six question types in the Socratic method, I can't even rhyme those off from memory to you.

[00:28:36] And that's the problem. The questions around seeking clarity or challenging assumptions and things like that. But if I can't remember them, then we're not going to just intuitively apply the principles. And that's where the structure of the book and what we've been talking about of making it a three-part process of first getting clear, then getting intentional.

[00:28:56] And then by default, the next step happens. And so that's the [00:29:00] backbone of the book is based on the Socratic method, but it's grouped in a way. We can all remember that first, we need to get clear on what we want to do. And then from there, take action. And here are whole bunch of questions and stories and practices that help support, where you're trying to do.

[00:29:15] Hala Taha: Yeah, I love that. Let's give some examples. You mentioned that Kobe Bryant is in the book. What kind of questions did Kobe ask himself? How did he set intention and then, get the opportunity on the other side?

[00:29:27] Marc Champagne: Yeah, so Kobe's profile was really fun to work on in the research. A lot of fun and insightful, and his opening prompt is how do I get to the rim?

[00:29:37] Which has nothing to do with basketball at all. It has everything to do with how he was a master at his own internal negotiation. So through the research and shortly after that opening prompt the whole concept behind his profile is that. Kobe was human. Like the rest of us. When his alarm went off at four in the morning to get the extra workout in the fourth [00:30:00] workout from which was one above his team members.

[00:30:02] He didn't want to get up either. And there was this whole, I went into this rabbit hole about how, we all can negotiate ourselves out of getting out of this. Like in microseconds, right? Oh, we're so warm. It's cozy in here. I'll do the workout. After in my case had happened when I was writing the book, I'll write in at 2:00 PM instead I have a window there.

[00:30:23] And what happens? Life happens, meetings happen, you don't right. Or you don't go to the gym for example. So for him, he started to read. Focus on getting clear on why he was getting out of bed to put in that fourth workout. And for him, it was very clear to win an NBA championship, right? For us, we need to figure out what that thing is.

[00:30:45] And then the intention is soon as the alarm goes off, you can use something like Mel Robbins, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 principle, which is in the book as well to just write and get up. Cause once you're out and you start about your day and again, if you

[00:31:00] start stacking on layering on these practices and you land in your kitchen, you have the post-it note again, reminding you of why you're doing this, or you're making your coffee and you're reading a passage and something related to the book or stoicism, all of these things stacked up.

[00:31:15] There's micro moments of reflection. Just get us closer to where we're trying to.

[00:31:19] Hala Taha: I love that. So you interviewed Mel Robbins. I think she's coming on my podcast soon. I'm so excited.

[00:31:24] Marc Champagne: I didn't interview her. I just I included her principal in Colby's profiles.

[00:31:28] Hala Taha: Talk about that principle since we brought it up in case people haven't heard about it, it's pretty powerful.

[00:31:32] Marc Champagne: Her backstory is that, she was, she had a lot of anxiety at one point and eventually just decided that I just heard her on a podcast recently tell this story. I think she was watching or see, she saw commercial where there was a rocket launching or something like that. And she made the decision that tomorrow I'm going to launch out of bed.

[00:31:52] Enough's, enough. I'm not going to loop into this anxiety. And she just, the next morning she just said 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. And that was her [00:32:00] trigger, at one point. And now she uses that for everything. And so do I, frankly, so I just stacked that with, within Kobe's profile because I think, I haven't interviewed Kobe side.

[00:32:10] I don't know exactly the question he was asking. He's in bed. I know he was clear on his intention, but if we can loop in. Principal with that now it's super powerful, right?

[00:32:20] Hala Taha: Yeah. And so the idea is don't just keep hitting the snooze button. It's so unhealthy, like to just not want to get out of bed, keep hitting the snooze button.

[00:32:28] Then you wake up groggy. Once you hear alarm, it's just let's go get out of bed. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Get up.

[00:32:35] Marc Champagne: And you can use it for anything, right? Like an email you're hesitating to send, or if you're trying cold message someone or give them a call just five, four, three, two, one, go do it.

[00:32:45] Hala Taha: I love that. So what other cool stories do you have in your book that you want to share? Something that you feel would teach our listeners something impactful.

[00:32:53] Marc Champagne: Another mutual contact or friend of ours, Naveen Jain. He has a profile in [00:33:00] the third part of the book which is around unlocking possibility. And I like to share this one because, for the most part, we talk about these practices from the standpoint of when you're emotionally charged or you're trying to process anxiety or depression or whatever it is.

[00:33:15] But then there's a whole other side of these practices that relate to. Unlocking, your imagination. So Neveen's profile. It's all about the language that we use and slowing down and writing out. Imagine if, imagine if I did this or started working on this project what do I see transpiring here?

[00:33:35] Now, what can I do? And it's, this is a fun exercise to do right before you go to bed because it's, it just sets your mind into this realm of possibility. And then when you go to sleep, your mind continues to work on that path, for example. So not only like you're putting your mind in a positive and happy creation state, right?

[00:33:52] Cause we're either in a creation state or we're in a survival state, we're never in, in both the same time and it's either or so practices like that. [00:34:00] And that kind of language, brings us back into that creation and that motivated state where we're excited and we're pumped. So he, his practices is something that I use often, even for this book.

[00:34:10] Just imagine if this happened or that happened, and it doesn't mean that it's going to, but it's at least charts the path, and then you start feeling more clear. I'm like, okay, then maybe I need to do this. To get to that end result, then all of a sudden people start showing up or start surrounding you, for example.

[00:34:28] Hala Taha: Yeah. And I feel like that's probably really helpful for pessimistic people who have trouble expanding from reality or what they feel, certain. I think that when you're optimistic, it's easy to imagine and just say affirmations and believe things that are unrealistic, but when you're pessimistic, maybe a tool like that would really help you think outside the box.

[00:34:51] Marc Champagne: Yeah. And it brings us back to. Five-year-old and that's essentially how he speaks. Like right now, he doesn't know he's doing this, but he's imagine if I was strapped on a [00:35:00] rocket ship and I went to the moon, right? Like it's just that childlike imagination that, we all had, it's just, as life goes, for many of us that, that gets tampered down, we also stop asking as many questions until we have big roadblocks in life.

[00:35:14] Then we start asking the deep questions. And the thing with that, like the other thing, when you're asking these questions and this one's from Chip Conley profile around curiosity, but the most curious person in the room is also the most present. And people feel that presence, right?

[00:35:30] Like you, and I feel that we're engaged with each other versus, looking over the camera or doing something else you can feel when someone is not present or engaged. So they, when you in and you're training your mind to see the detail, and when you see the detail, then you see the detail when you're putting together a brand strategy or pitch deck or your research or whatever it is.

[00:35:51] So it's all these little micro moments of training that really prepare us for the big game.
[00:35:56] Hala Taha: So true. So there's one quote from your book that really caught our [00:36:00] eye and it was with Coco Chanel. And you said that confidence with presence breeds irreplaceability. So tell us about the exercise that we can do to foster legendary confidence like Coco Chanel.

[00:36:14] Marc Champagne: Yeah, Coco chanel was fun too. That was a really hard profile to write. Cause again, she's one of them, but half of the profiles are people, anyone that's alive today. I've interviewed and the ones that are not I haven't. So the ones that I haven't, those were hard because Coco Chanel there's there, there are biographies written on her and that wasn't my intention, to write a biography. So I was trying to figure it out. From her life and what I could research, how can we leverage the questions and the practices, or bring in practices that will help us and with her. It was just this it's interesting because everyone knows the brand. Obviously she herself had this presence of arriving in the room from what, I've gathered in my research that people would just remember when Coco entered the room [00:37:00] and it's the same thing.

[00:37:02] When people show up with Chanel number five, it's just, it's been around for so many years and it still holds that presence. So the practice in the profile is for us to pause and think what presence am I leaving behind? Or what presence do I want to leave behind, when I'm in the room with someone, and again, just slow down and think about that because whether we like what we leave behind or don't, we're leaving something behind, we're leaving an energy or leaving people feeling a certain way. So I'd rather spend a bit of time thinking about, I want people to feel energized and excited after conversation with me.

[00:37:37] That's the greatest gift I can give because I like to feel energized and excited. And that works for me. So then what, how do I need to show up? Or if you're giving a PR, if you're giving a presentation or a keynote, how do I want the audience on the other side to feel after I'm done speaking again, you're just setting the intention and your mind goes and pulls the things that you need to do to make that real.

[00:37:59] [00:38:00] So Coco Chanel is just really fun to dive into her history and world, and also have the parallel of actually her brand and products doing the exact same thing.

[00:38:10] Hala Taha: Super cool. This is really powerful stuff. It's super simple, but people don't take the time to ask questions, reflect, set intentions, and attack the world with a perspective of how they want to attack the world.

[00:38:27] I feel like a lot of us are on this like hamster wheel and we just do the same thing every day and we don't step back to reflect. So this was an amazing interview. Thank you so much. The last question that I ask all my guests is what is your secret to profiting in life?

[00:38:43] Marc Champagne: It's doing everything possible to pause the autopilot and to think.

[00:38:49] It's so easy to, like you just said, it's so easy to just spend. And I fall into this all the time, but the more I deploy these practices, the more self-aware and the [00:39:00] more I can catch myself and give that micro pause to make a different decision and see the path forward. Or the one that feels the most.

[00:39:06] Yeah it's presence for me.

[00:39:08] Hala Taha: I love that. And where can our listeners go to learn more about you and everything you do and where can they get the book?

[00:39:14] Marc Champagne: Yeah. The easiest place is just one link, which is That's just my personal website. The podcast is there, the books there and Amazon, Baronfig.

[00:39:24] By the time you listen to this, if you're listening to this on launch week, there's still a whole bunch of launch bonuses. So free mental fitness guides that I wrote up that will company, the books, sleep guides moonshot thinking guides and all the prompts that link to them. Yeah. And let me know obviously you can probably tell them.

[00:39:40] Obsessed with questions. So if you've got some great reflective questions that have made massive changes in your life, meme tag me in those prompts and let me know and I'll keep them on the list.

[00:39:50] Hala Taha: Love that this is awesome. And we'll definitely, I know you mentioned the moonshot thinking and the sleep guides.

[00:39:56] Why don't you send me those links? We'll pop them in the show notes because I think my [00:40:00] listeners will love that. And if you guys are tuning in check out my episode with Naveen Jain, we talked all about moonshots. And so it's really awesome stuff. Marc. It's always such a pleasure to speak with you.

[00:40:11] I hope your book launch is super successful and I can't wait to come back on your podcast. When I've got something new to talk about and just so great to chat with you. Like always.

[00:40:20] Marc Champagne: Absolutely Hala.

[00:40:22] Hala Taha: Thanks, Marc.

[00:40:23] Thanks for listening to Young And Profiting Podcast. And my conversation with Marc Champagne, I could relate to so much of what Marc was saying, especially with the shutting down of his app KYŌ I'm a founder and entrepreneur.

[00:40:36] I have been since I was in my early twenties, and I remember my first entrepreneurship endeavor with the sorority of hip hop. I had a website and we had such a big brand, but we couldn't monetize. And I had to make that tough executive decision to. That down and move on with my career so I could keep growing.

[00:40:54] And so that everybody could keep growing who is on my team because we were failing. And sometimes it's [00:41:00] important to know when to quit just as much as it is to know when to start something. And I think a lot of people have pride in quitting and it keeps them stuck for a really long time. But sometimes you do have to pivot to create a more sustainable business for yourself.

[00:41:13] And both me and Marc have that in common in our journeys. And I love how Marc said that. End of something as big as KYŌ, he still believed that everything happened for a reason. He wasn't salty about what happened. He felt like the app was a great experience that led him to find passion and mental fitness.

[00:41:29] And then he also learned how to be present and intentional with his next endeavors. Even if they don't end up the way that you thought they would be, you still get these experiences that help move you along in life. And huge takeaway from me in this interview was the idea of reflection and slowing down.

[00:41:45] And taking the little things into account when you're trying to visualize or reach a goal. Like when I mentioned using my computer passwords as intentional triggers to help me practice patience, which I really need some help on, or how mark has different lines on his lock screen, [00:42:00] the make him feel grounded.

[00:42:01] And the more that we practice putting these intentional ideas and processes around us, no matter how small. The more that we are exposing ourselves to those positive mantras. And eventually we can't help, but incorporate them into our behaviors. And I love how Marc made journaling so easy. We don't need to be stationary, stuck at a desk with a pen and paper.

[00:42:21] We can take a walk without any distractions turning off your phone and just reflect on a question and think about having that intention to make it a reality. Thinking about creative ways. We can ask ourselves those questions that will get us to who we want to become. Something that I never really thought of before.

[00:42:37] And the idea of figuring out who we want to become doesn't feel so woo when mark talks about it, but rather something we can really take time to think about and eventually reach, because we're so clear on what we want. We just have to be able to shut out the noise around us and be present with our. And our questions.

[00:42:55] This was truly an amazing conversation with Marc and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did be [00:43:00] sure to check out his amazing book, Personal Socrates, which is out now, if you want to read his amazing profiles on some of the world's most interesting people, if you enjoy this episode and you want to hear more about living with intention and abundance, go check out episode number 22, Becoming Astronomically Ambitious with Naveen Jain.

[00:43:19] Naveen Jain: The last point I want to make on this particular subject is that most people, when they go out and want to solve the problem, they always somehow are stopped by their own mind power because they believe they know nothing about this subject. So how are they going to go out and make him back on something they know nothing about?

[00:43:40] And that is the second thing that I learned is that if you want an expert in a field. You become useless in that field. And what I mean by that is once you are an expert, you, the best you can do is to make incremental improvement and you can make a 10% improvement. You can make a 15% improvement, but you will never be [00:44:00] able to go out and change it 10 X or a hundred X, because as an expert, you have to take the foundation of that thing for granted.

[00:44:09] And unless you're willing to challenge the foundation, you can never make. Disruptive improvement in anything you'll always be stuck with incrementally.

[00:44:20] Hala Taha: Again, if you liked this episode and you want to feel even more inspired, go check out episode number 22, Becoming Astronomically Ambitious with Naveen Jain.

[00:44:30] Thanks again for listening to Young And Profiting Podcast. If you guys want to connect with me on social media, you can find me on LinkedIn. Just search for my name. It's Hala Taha or Instagram @yapwithhala. Big thanks to the YAP team as always. This is your host. Hala Taha signing off.

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