Today, we’ve got the Founder of McGehrin Group, George McGehrin. For close to 20 years, George has run a national executive search/recruiting firm dealing primarily with executive search and leadership at the C-Suite level throughout the US, Europe, and South America.
In this episode, he talks about how your location should never stunt your business growth. George explains that after being in business for over 20 years, the last 4 years have been the most impactful due to the coaches he’s hired, and George explains how figuring out your free time when it comes to creating success is so important. Check it out!
George’s Learning Journey and Masterminds
The Mastermind Effect: 02:14
Let’s dive into it. The availability to learn and access different people has drastically changed over the last 5 to 10 years. When you and I were younger, it was teachers, textbooks, family, friends, and co-workers. But that’s a sliver of what’s possible. How is your learning change from your early years versus today?
George McGehrin: 02:54
It’s completely different. If you had a question, you would ask your teacher, and you look up an encyclopedia or the library. Sometimes you’d ask your parents, but they didn’t know the answer. There wasn’t anything like Google. Now, learning is just a different flow. Number one, everything is accessible. You can ask Siri anything. Number two is access to people, which is another most important thing.
I’m an entrepreneur, and I’ve got many businesses. Assuming COVID lets me travel in the summer, I’ll be living in Italy. I’m taking Italian classes. Normally, 20 years ago, you would go to a school or institute to study locally. I’ve got a girl teaching me. She lives in Italy, and we do zoom four hours a week. It’s a blast, and it’s just different.
I think the world is so much smaller now. If you’re a business person, you don’t need to be local anymore. You can go out of your state or out of your country and expand things. You’re not limited to just like North America or the United States. You can also hit Canada or Mexico. That’s changed the business world too. I think there’s so much more access to people. It’s amazing. The fact that you’ve interviewed people from all around the world. That was impossible 20 years ago.
The Mastermind Effect: 04:35
You’re right about business doesn’t have to be local. I realized that when I started my first business out of a house. We’re doing business at that time in twelve states, and we’ve minimized that to nine states. but because you don’t have to face to face brick and mortar. It used to be brick and mortar, Yellow Pages, and office space to be a real business. You had to have a website, too. Now you need a website and social account to see what you’re doing out there. The business has changed.
George McGehrin: 05:16
At the end of the day, the core of everything is still people to people. You and I are talking because I was fortunate to be a guest on someone else’s show that referred me to you, and vice versa. It’s still a people game. The reason that referral came about because my team asked me to refer right. You have to come out of obscurity to some extent, but as a business person, you have to ask for things still which hasn’t changed.
The Mastermind Effect: 06:13
We have to remember it is still a people game. It’s about connectivity. It’s about making that connection at the end of the day.
We have a lot of ways to take in information. It’s confusing to fight through the weeds, all the information, and all the platforms we can access. Some people use a mentor, mastermind, coach, accountability buddy, and many ways to learn. Who are you currently learning from? And more importantly, how did you find them?
George McGehrin: 06:53
Great question. I’ve got a team of 30 people, and we’re going to hire ten more. I’ve got a list of coaches. I’ve got a virtual nutritionist, a trainer guy, an Italian girl, and another coach who’s a business guy. I’ve got a macro finger coach who just kind of makes sure that I’m just focusing on my big thinking. Once a week, I’m doing calls with everybody. I find them from a referral. I’ve had five or six people that kind of go in and out of my life.
Here’s a tip, by the way, sometimes you can use some coaches for other things when you realize that they give you advice for other things. Sometimes these coaches don’t know that they also offer different value. For the guy who does my macro, my big thinking coaching, he started because he was a normal kind of coach guy. I told him that I’d got one issue, and I want to make sure I’m focused on the right thing. And I’m like, “do you want to coach me on that?” And he said, “Well, It’s not on my thing.” But I’m like, “you do it anyway.”
You can convince some of these folks to coach you in certain things because they maybe don’t see that they’re great at it. You can create some new identity for them sometimes. I’m just a big fan. People think it costs a ton of money, but you just need to make sure that person has lots of experience and can show the results. There’s some ROI because if not, you’re just wasting your time.
The Mastermind Effect: 09:12
A lot of people get stuck inside their heads, and they don’t know how to execute what they want to do. We’re still going through a pandemic, and I feel that it’s causing a reset and how we can accomplish things. How have masterminds and coaching helped you when you’re looking to reset yourself and accomplish where you’re stuck?
George McGehrin: 10:03
It’s through habit formation. The nice thing about the coaching piece is that, unfortunately, they tell you the truth. At least the good ones do. They take you out of your comfort zone. I’m a terrible executer. I’m an idea guy, and it’s in my head. Working with coaches, you’re semi-accountable for some of the things. You can run these things by people. The worst-case scenario is that your ideas stick in a week in your head; it’s not years in your head. How many ideas have you had stuck in your head for years?
The Mastermind Effect: 10:52
I can’t say I’ve had that many ideas that are just stuck in my head. I have constant ideas that are always there, but they stay on the shelf, the ones that come off.
George McGehrin: 11:00
Then you don’t do it, and you don’t do anything. Then eventually, when you implement it, you think like, “How much money did I lose by waiting?”
The Mastermind Effect: 11:09
How much time could I have saved? It’s not only just the money, but it’s the time that you can’t get back.
George McGehrin: 11:14
We started this branding business. Our main business is executive recruiting and replacing CEOs and CFOs. I had this other idea of taking care of the resumes, and their biographies, and their board resumes. Then LinkedIn got hot. I had that idea before LinkedIn existed; 20 years ago, I had that idea. I didn’t do anything for ten years. We’ve worked with executives and branding for ten years. But I had that idea twenty years ago. That’s a seven-figure business.
I think coaches let you know a lot of the things that you’re not good at. As a business guy who runs different business, I would have never told you personally or publicly that I’m a terrible executer. Who runs a company that’s a terrible executer? But I found out later that many people are terrible executers. There’s a lot of wealthy people. But what do they do? They delegate, and they make sure they hire the right people based on other skill sets. And I learned through hiring coaches who helped me work through those problems.
The Mastermind Effect: 12:31
You’re not the first person I’ve talked to or interviewed, and they’re like, “Listen, I have the ideas. I don’t know how to execute it. I have to find the executor because the executors don’t always have the idea.” When you put it together, and you realize your strengths and weaknesses. That’s okay. Trying to perfect your weakness when you’re really good over here will take you an extra ten years to create something.
George McGehrin: 12:54
I’m just like that as a person.
George McGehrin: 13:04
I’ve been out of coffee for two weeks now. I need to tell one of my admins to do me a favor and go on Amazon to order more coffee. It’s that bad that I can’t order a coffee. But I can run an eight-figure business. Trust me. If I can do that, I can figure out the business and execute it. Those are things that I don’t know, and I was able to accept that as a person. I think that’s a cool thing.
Somebody asked me the question, “If you had ten grand, what would you do?” My response was I would 100% spend all the money myself and invest and pay people to teach me how to take ten grand and turn it into 20.
The Mastermind Effect: 14:07
Yes. I keep saying that the best investment in your life better than the stock market and housing market is yourself. You can’t control the stock market and the housing market, but you can control the ROI on yourself, who you surround yourself with, and who you work with to learn to move the needle forward.
George McGehrin: 14:34
I’ll tell you this analogy. Let’s say you have a BMW or Mercedes worth 80 grand. If you have any sort of problem, what do you do? You run to a mechanic. You’re not going to take care of your own car because it’s an $80,000 car. We were trying to build a $300,000 business that might replace our current income at a different company. What do we do? We try to do everything ourselves. We don’t want to spend any money or hire anybody. We want to fix our $300,000 car by ourselves. That’s the problem; you have a $300,000 problem, you try to do it yourself. Go to a guy that knows how to solve a $300,000 problem first. Get that person to help you $3000 to solve the problem for you. You’re done, and you don’t have to worry about it.
The Mastermind Effect: 15:42
That’s why I stopped doing all the landscaping. I stopped paying in the Christmas lights. I’ll still do the Christmas tree because that is fun family stuff that we get to do. But I won’t do the other stuff anymore.
George McGehrin: 16:15
At the end of the day, people hold on to this small amount of money, which they think is a lot of money, and then they never grow. Then they complain that they don’t grow. It’s their fault. They’re the ones who decided not to do anything.
If you’re listening to this and stuck, you need to stop blaming other people and start blaming yourself. Get up earlier. Think about where to take your money, and you should invest in yourself much more. I’m either paying a coach to teach me how to run a business properly, or I’m going to waste years of my life and do that.
I’ve been in business for 20 years. My business has done extremely well. The last four years were what you would call freedom. I work two hours a day. It’s like the four-hour workweek with Tim Ferriss. I’m doing that, and it only started four years ago. And guess what? I started to hire coaches four years ago. I tried it by myself for 16 years; it didn’t work.
The Mastermind Effect: 18:03
My first coach saved me an hour a day. I don’t work for a living, but that was 365 hours, which was 15 full days of my life back. I take it as being a numbers person, and that’s really significant.
Self-Education and George’s Reality
The Mastermind Effect: 19:39
Let’s move on to something you had brought up a while ago. Masterminds have been around for a long time. Probably the apostles were the first mastermind, and then Benjamin Franklin created the Judo Club or the Leather Apron Club. Then Napoleon Hill writes a book and solidifies the word mastermind and what it means. As there continues to be a huge boom in self-education, where do you see the parallels going between self-education and standardized education?
George McGehrin: 20:22
The one thing that is definitely out is a lot of false knowledge. You’ve got coaches who don’t ever coach in their lives, or they have no experience in the topic they are coaching. They think it’s an awesome thing to be a coach, but they’re not qualified. Right. There’s a lot of false knowledge out there.
I was listening to a Tim Ferriss episode, and he was interviewing this guy who is an author. I guess he’s sort of famous, and he lives in Israel. His Wikipedia page says that he lives in the communes, like a remote area. The author was like, “I know it’s on Wikipedia, but it’s not true.” I live in an apartment complex and a very middle-class area. He’s like, “Wikipedia won’t change it for me, and I’ve complained.” You have to be careful; there’s a lot of things that aren’t true out there.
Self-learning is great. But, if you did a mastermind, it is a powerful thing because you get to hang out with many people with different problems, and together you can solve that problem. The way I think is different than the way you think. People have different opinions of different things, and that together are powerful masterminds.
The Mastermind Effect: 22:34
I think the world of self-education is just moving forward faster with the right people. You want to make sure it’s with the right people, not the gurus, not the influencers, but the result leaders. The people who are still in the trenches do it, but they’ve been doing it a little longer.
I’m okay with standardized education, and I’ve got my degree. When my son gets to around the age of 18, unless he wants to be a doctor, a nurse, or an engineer, I don’t know how much that piece of paper and what it cost is worth versus actually learning from someone else out there that’s currently doing it.
George McGehrin: 23:14
There’s so much knowledge out there. The misconception of not going to school could be, “I’m just going to start a business. It’s so easy.” You see that everywhere on Instagram. People are like, “I can rent a Ferrari today; it doesn’t mean I own the car.” I think that’s the danger of the “I won’t go to school to become an entrepreneur.” It’s like this falsehood of hope. Some people are not good business people; they’re just not cut for it. Maybe a coach would say you’re not a great business guy. You should be a player.
The Mastermind Effect: 24:28
It’s okay. We need people working in corporations. We need people sitting there. You can still be an entrepreneur and have an entrepreneurial mindset and work for someone else. You work for a corporation or work for a small business. Just because you’re an entrepreneur doesn’t mean that you have your own business.
George McGehrin: 26:10
Have you ever laid off a ton of people before in your businesses? I had. I built up this recruiting business from 2001 to 2009. Initially, all my clients were banks and financial institutions. I had 50 people on the team back then. I had two offices. I literally had to fire 50 people. It was heartbreak. It was horrible. 11 years later, I’m still kind of damaged by it. Some of them had kids, and some didn’t have great health situations. It’s a terrible thing to do. And then, for me, I had to figure out build up again and start from scratch. These problems could have been solved if I hired a coach in my first year.
The Mastermind Effect: 27:09
You saved yourself—16 years of pain.
George McGehrin: 27:11
My first question from one of the first coaches I heard was, “If you make $1 from a sale, what do you do with it?” Then he walked me through it.
The Mastermind Effect: 27:33
I don’t like letting go of one person, even if they even if they’re deserving of it. I’m not good at it because I wear my emotions on my sleeve. I found someone to do that for me.
George McGehrin: 27:45
It’s a terrible thing to do, but you learn something from me. All the things that I learned from other people weren’t because I figured it out. I can’t think of anything I figured out on my own.
The Mastermind Effect: 28:05
It’s someone else’s idea. From a mastermind, it’s taking other people’s ideas, thoughts, and problems and rearranging them. I like to call it your own Rubik’s Cube and how it pertains to you and what you can do with it.
Typically, when someone invests in their future, they have a better than a vague idea of what the outcome is going to be. What should someone expect when they enter George’s reality and work with you?
George McGehrin: 28:37
We’re not cheerleaders. If you’re looking for a cheerleader, that’s not us. I will give a situation; we work with somebody right now. He’s European and lives here in the States. He’s a senior and a sea-level guy. He’s looking for his next opportunities, and he doesn’t even know where to start. It’s like 24/7 access to us, for every possible problem. I would say we’re engaged. I think that’s the number one thing to get.
Number two is in terms of deliverability. Even if the person signs up for just one coach, they usually get access to their main coach plus three other coaches and myself. They get full access to those kinds of things. There are resources available. If someone cannot answer a question, then the other person will respond. At the end of the day, they get answers. Sometimes, basic question doesn’t always have a basic answer. That one answer or one question could change the direction of somebody.
It’s not a cheerleading service, but they get completed to deliver. We asked this question, like, “What is your catalyst? Why are you buying from us? What’s your endgame?” Then we deliver the endgame. In this case, his endgame is to get a much better role to double his income and learn how to network, so next time you won’t have to pay folks to do this. We’re teaching him all these techniques, and we’re going to get him a job. We ask people what’s their endgame and we focus on that endgame. It’s that simple.
The Mastermind Effect: 30:54
You’re helping that bridge. This is where I’m at, and this is where I want to go. You’re like, “Okay, you want to go here, straight lines, the quickest way.” If you’re not listening to what we’re telling you, you’re going to start to zig and zag, and you’re going to start listening to the noise as opposed to the signal. The signal is pulling you to where you want to go, doubling your income, and finding a higher C suite level job. This is what we’re going to do for you.
George McGehrin: 31:12
Exactly. The danger of some of these businesses is questions like, “What’s the catalyst? or Why are you going to buy from us? If that doesn’t align with what you’re selling, as a business person, you should be ethical enough to say we can’t do that for you. You should talk to him. If it is a business person, when you get the question and that you’re not able to help that person truly, you need to turn the deal down.
The Mastermind Effect: 33:17
People, in general, have a way of surprising us from time to time, whether it’s their drive, their willingness to learn, and then sometimes their willingness to fail. Has anyone been through your coaching platform that surprised you and what the outcome was? What was that success story, and what were they able to accomplish?
George McGehrin: 33:39
He was a self-convinced introvert. He’s not a people person. We forced him just to go out there, talk to people, and have lots of calls. Then we got feedback from folks that he’s a nice and great guy. We showed him the feedback. It’s like changing the confidence of somebody. It pivots into something else. We saw this change in him. The end game was to help them get a better role and more interesting team. It was not to help him with his self-esteem. That wasn’t initially the endgame. We realized that what was holding me back wasn’t his professional career. And we work through that.
Another thing happened 15 or 16 years ago. There’s a guy who came to me, and he was unemployed. He was losing his house. He said, “George, I need you to please get me a job because my kids are going to college.” I got him a job at DHL in Florida. He called me in December, say, “Hey, George, want to tell you Merry Christmas. Everybody’s good. I just retired from the job that you got me. And I wanted just to say thank you.” I was touched. That was a cool thing for somebody to call me after 15 years and say that everything worked out well. What you do matters, and who you work with matters. Sometimes you don’t see it; sometimes, you do.
The Mastermind Effect: 36:27
From time to time, you’ll see people and how they transfer the risk. You see a politician sending children off to war, but they’ll make sure that their own child doesn’t have. You’ll see a doctor who will prescribe this medicine, but they aren’t going to give it to their own family member. How do you keep transferring the risk over to them when clients work with you?
George McGehrin: 36:51
Number one is to take responsibility. Be careful what you wish for, but at the same time, take responsibility for your wish. You asked me what’s the best way to contact me. I gave you a cell phone number. That’s my phone number because I want people to talk to me. You’ve got politicians whose kids all go to private schools, but they preach about public school education. If you’re so adamant about how great this is, then you should send your kid to the same public school that everybody else is going to. It has to be a symbiotic relationship.
I would say the other thing is that it’s not a “nine to five thing.” If something’s a problem on Saturday, you need to make sure that you can’t wait until Monday to get in touch with that person. You need to talk to that person on a Saturday because it should be important to you if it’s important to them.
The Mastermind Effect: 38:31
When I work with my coaches, we talk about success. On the solo shows, we talk about success and what it takes to be successful. I think there’s a lot of different ingredients in it, like mentorship, partnerships, experimentation, willingness to fail, and willingness to define success. Because once you define success, you, in essence, define failure. What do you feel is a key ingredient in becoming and staying successful?
George McGehrin: 39:03
I would say number one is free time. Time management is really important. You can make a million dollars a year, but t if you work 160 hours a week, that’s not successful.
The second thing is I think it’s really important is the moment you don’t like your client anymore; then you’re in the wrong business. The moment you started to test your own clients, the people paying you or paying your firm, you need to either get out of the business, sell the business, or you’re in the wrong business. I would say that’s an indicator as well.
The third thing is the growth of your team. As a business person, you shouldn’t be the only one financially doing well. Your team should be financially doing well also. Once they treat it as their own business, life becomes sweet and easy.
The fourth thing is it’s good to give that kind of work ethic to your kids, so they understand. You and I are blessed in the fact that we get to control our own time, how we spend it, who we spend it with, and where we spend it. It’s not normal; most people don’t have that. I think that’s a gift and make sure you have to be very grateful for that. I think those are the four things.
The Mastermind Effect: 40:45
I’m just going to tell you personally that a light bulb just went off and conversations I’ve had through the years. Thanks to what you just said there. You and I have control over on time. There’s not a price you can put on that.
George McGehrin: 41:10
If you’re just an employee of one income, you’re trading time for money. If you’re an employer, you’re buying time for money. The other thing is I’ve got 30 George’s. I’m way more productive than just one person. There are risks, and it’s not as easy as they make it seem right. I do it because of the free time. One thing I like about running businesses is that I can have an idea, and I can go after something. Maybe it’s a terrible idea, and I’ll lose money. But at least I’m losing money, because of me and not because of my boss. I’m doing it because I want to do it.
The Mastermind Effect: 42:06
You control your successes, your failures, your time, and you can control where that energy goes. There’s not a price to be put on that.
George McGehrin: 42:13
I can decide what I need to do for myself or my family, and it’s a blessing. The one mistake I made was, I could have had a better life during the whole 20 years, not just the last four or five if I was smart enough to work with the masterminds and the coaches. It’s better late than never.
The Mastermind Effect: 42:42
Everything happens for a reason. As we get closer to the end here, a few more questions. I feel that there’s always new ideas brewing during times of prosperity. It’s easy to win when the world is winning. Ingenuity and creativity come when we feel the squeeze; the world’s felt the squeeze. What are you working on right now that’s going to take place over the next 12 months that excites you?
George McGehrin: 43:26
We’ve got a new podcast business. It’s for entrepreneurs and coaches. It’s to get folks as guests on shows. We’ve got the business of podcast introduction group, and it’s where we booked guys on shows like between 24 to 48 shows for the year. It’s an amazing thing for them because when they grow their business, what do they do? They go, and people go on Google. That’s what we’re working on now. I think it’s going to be a seven-figure business as well, but the cool thing is, I get to help a lot of people doing it. I’m excited about that.
The Mastermind Effect: 44:31
That’s the awesome thing. You get to help people. The byproduct of you helping people will be a financial reward.
The Mastermind Effect: 44:56
What is a tip, a tactic, or an actual item that if someone listening today implemented it over the next 30, 60, or 90 days, they would see a real impact on their personal or business life?
George McGehrin: 45:19
Focus on one thing that you’re amazing at. Do that for 90 days. Just focus on one thing, don’t focus on one thing plus 10. I think in 90 days, you’ll see things will change. Focus on what you’re awesome at, and the rest will take care of itself.
The Mastermind Effect: 46:04
Focus on your passion. Focus on your awesomeness. I’ve been there. I’ve done it the wrong way. I focused on “I have to be everything to everyone.” And then I was no nothing to no one.
George McGehrin: 46:18
My coach taught me that. It wasn’t something I made up myself. Somebody told me that I didn’t believe it would work. It is a project for the next six months. I was like, “I don’t know, it’s risky.” He’s like, “George, this is what you’re doing; if not, we’re not working together.”
The Mastermind Effect: 46:39
That’s the coach you want right there.
George McGehrin: 46:45
Yes. It didn’t take 90 days. It took ten days, and you start realizing there are changes. There’s movement, and the tide has shifted. I would say focus on one major thing. Stop making excuses about why you can’t. If you need to do other things, give it to somebody else,
The Mastermind Effect: 47:04
Absolutely. We’ve got the founder of the McGehrin Group, George McGehrin. George, I appreciate everything that that you bestowed upon us today. Thank you so much for spending the time with us.
George McGehrin: 47:33
Awesome. Thank you, brother.
“The world is so much smaller now. For a business person, you don’t need to be local anymore. You can go out of your state, your country, and expand things.” – George McGehrin
“Be careful what you wish for, but also take responsibility for what you wish for.” – George McGehrin
“The moment you don’t like your client anymore, then you’re in the wrong business.” – George McGehrin
Connect with George, Follow him on Linkedin(linkedin.com/in/gmcgehrin/) and Text 212-658-1029.
You can connect with me, Brandon Straza, on LinkedIn, Instagram, or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to get in touch and talk more about personal development and how you can live move beyond your limits.