Five Minutes to Freedom with Mark Timm, Mentor to Millions

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Answer every call, say “Yes” to the people who matter, and put your family first. 

Mark Timm joins us to share his journey of finding his priorities and learning how to succeed in what matters most. Mark tells the story of how he learned to crush it at home first, before conquering the business world. He talks about mentoring his children and being the father who was present. Mark tells how he went from being personally mentored by Zig Ziglar, to becoming a mentor to millions.


{08:55} Crushing it in your business world and your family life.

{19:22} Handling a child’s failure that leads to a successful adult.

{30:23} The results of being a father who is present.

{38:40} Meeting Zig Ziglar

{56:00} The Mark people don’t know.

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Mark Timm Bio

Mark Timm is a Founder and Co-Founder who has started, built, and sold businesses across multiple industries. He’s a best-selling author, investor, advisor, and board member of publicly traded companies and early-stage companies that are in the process of going public. His unique insights have helped him become one of the world’s most sought-after business advisors and keynote speakers. Mark’s passion is to help companies achieve their dreams and he shares his knowledge through keynote speeches, articles, radio shows, podcasts, and books such as his latest release, Mentor to Millions. As an advisor to CEOs of public companies, he brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to help them grow and succeed.

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Welcome to the show I’m Carol Carpenter, and this is my co-host, Travis Johnson. We have a special guest today on our podcast. His name is Mark Timm. Mark is a serial entrepreneur and has started more than a dozen companies, several of which have been multiplied and sold. His businesses have been built in more than a dozen countries across numerous industries. Mark is also the best-selling author of “Mentor to millions”. Welcome, Mark. 

Thank you very much. I appreciate being here. Carol and Travis Thanks for having me on today. 

Oh, absolutely; it would be our pleasure. We got connected about a month ago or so and hit it off. And I’m so grateful you were willing to say yes to this. Mark revealed right before we hit record: that he did 250 interviews over three months. And then he’s like, “That’s it.” I’m taking a break and can’t do another one. He was introduced to me and said, “Well, I can do that one so.” 

And for that, we’re grateful.

Yeah, well, I mean. It’s just that Travis has a way of sucking you into his brilliance and the message he has for the world. 

And so, I did take a break after 250. My co/author, Kevin Harr, is the original “Shark” on “Shark Tank” And we went all out, promoting the book and mentoring millions of people then we break, and it was a long break for both of us because we were exhausted as a result; we are very carefully and cautiously, say yes, this was a heck yes, and I’m glad to be here with you guys. 

Thank you so much. I’ve been working my way through the book. I’m not quite finished, but I’ve written more than 100 pages. I don’t want to talk about books just to talk about books; I want to get to know you better. But it is so damn good, it is so good, the way that everything is framed, the discussions with Kevin, and how it’s implemented in your family and your life. And you’re very open and honest about everything. And it’s really refreshing. I was able to see a glimpse of your level of success that many people are unwilling to share. That is greatly appreciated.

Essentially, you’re saying that you appreciate the fact that I admit to all the things I got wrong. That’s how the book starts out. The book starts out talking about me believing that I was doing the right things, which was business and finance, and that I was preparing and providing for my family, I realized that my business was getting my first and my best while my family was getting my last and my least. 

And the entire book starts out with this. What I call the “driveway moment” is when I’m sitting at the end of my driveway. Now to appreciate this, I’m in my home right now, so this is my home, and I am 1/3 of a mile from the road. So, my driveway is so far away that you can’t see the end of it, so I can pull into it, and stop, so you can’t see me. So that day I pulled into my driveway, and I stopped because I wasn’t ready to go home. 

Now the reasons for not going home, by the way, should be like – I lost a bunch of money or I totally flubbed the deal. I missed a sale, and I screwed everything up, — but this day was a day that I did everything right. Out of 100 decisions, 99 were perfect. I made the biggest sale of my life this day. I just thought everything went so well in business that I was sitting at the end of my driveway because I didn’t want the feeling to end. 

And I knew that as soon as I got home, I was leaving a world of confidence and clarity and entering a world of chaos and confusion. And I didn’t want it to end, so I sat at the end of my driveway, humiliated, knowing that the most valuable business I’d ever own and run was still ahead of me. ever even being a part of was the one I was going home to, not the one I went to, but that’s not the feeling I had. 

Bill and I realized that I could flip the script, change everything, and turn it on its head. And what if everything I did that day was practice so that I could crush it when I got home? That’s when I hit the gas. I floored it. I went home. I ran to the door. I grabbed my wife. I took her to the bedroom where we could be quiet because we have six kids. It’s hard to be quiet in the house with six kids. I started spewing out all this stuff, and I told her I was going to legally incorporate our family.

 She has no idea what she was thinking. And She had no idea what a corporation was or how it was legally incorporated, and I’m in the process of legally incorporating our children, and so on. Wow, what’s that look like you know? I mean, what are you doing?

But she saw purpose and passion She’s all confidence and clarity that she hadn’t seen before. So, she said, “I’m in.” So, the next day, I legally incorporated our family. It is known as 2 Be Times L LC. You can go on the registry of companies and find our corporation. My youngest child had the same shares that I had in this corporation, and every Sunday night we started having shareholder meetings and talking about the things that matter most. The reason is our family is on this earth, what purpose do we have, and what impact can we have? And that’s when everything changed for me. And when I realized that my entire life was a warm-up and the real game was happening at home, that is really what the book is all about. 

It is how you impact the world, how you live in this world, and how you make an impact that matters most. And to me, the impact that matters most is at home, so everything I learned from Kevin Harrington to Zig Ziggler was just preparation so that I could be the dad and husband that I was supposed to be on this earth.

Well, that’s powerful.

 Yeah, and I really like the fact that you said that you felt humiliated because not a lot of people would share that moment, right? But to understand that you had been crushing it in business and to know at that moment that you weren’t giving your first and best to your family I feel like a lot of people get there. 

A lot of people who have business success find themselves at the top of whatever peak they’re on, and they look around and realize that they’re the only ones there. It’s largely empty and lonely. And, like, why did I work so hard to get here only to discover that there was nothing there? Nothing here represents how you felt. 

Do you know how many multimillionaires and billionaires die alone? I mean, at the end of their lives, they’ve made so much money and there’s nobody there with them at the end of their lives, and that’s not a success because, you know, I’ve met a lot of super successful people like the Uber successful people they have. They have the necessary funds. I couldn’t even dream of it, and do you know that they would write a check that is equal to their entire bank account to have the relationship I have with my kids? 

Well, it goes down to Wealth being a concept and how you view wealth.

No amount of money can buy a relationship. No amount of money can buy, you know, a phone call from your child that says, “I need you; I need your advice. I need your counsel”. See, here’s the thing: if you get it right, they’re under. You get to be their dad or their mom for the rest of your life. 

You are the first phone call. I just want to be the first phone call when they break up with their boyfriend or girlfriend, like you are the first phone call, like Travis. I want to be the first phone call when They find true love, I want to be the first phone call they make when they find out they’re pregnant. I want to be the first phone call. When they decide to get married, I want to be there. If you get it right, You’re the first phone call, and that’s the lottery. 

Like the other day, the Powerball was worth a billion dollars. I wouldn’t trade a billion dollars to be the first phone. Like, give me a billion dollars, and my kids are completely estranged from me and don’t call me when anything’s going on in their lives. I’m bankrupt. I have all the money in the world and no use for it, so that’s what I figured out late.  

I was just before this phone call. The phone rings, and it’s a 37-year-old man on the other end. I’m 51, so I’m outing myself. And he’s talking about how he feels like he knows how important it is to be a dad. And I’m like, “Look, dude, you figured it out like 7 years before me; you’re way ahead of me because I didn’t figure it out.” I was in my 40s, but thank goodness I figured it out. I figured it out in the nick of time. 

I started drilling wells at the perfect time. I started planting seeds that developed deep roots. Now all my kids are grown. They’re all adults; they’re young adults. They’re off on their own. They work in real estate, psychology, and the military, among other fields, doing it on their own work.

But ultimately when they need something, I’m the first phone call, and that’s what matters. And that happened back when I drove up the driveway and said, “This is my most valuable business.” This is going to be where I put my priority. 

Everything I find out there is preparation for what I’m about to do here. And I brought everything home. I would go to a mastermind and take 2 pages of notes for my business and 10 pages of notes for my family, and I would go to a conference I would bring for four years I didn’t take a single trip without one of my kids with me. 

It was as if there was a huge whiteboard in front of me. It was four feet by eight feet, and it was my schedule. And it was everywhere I was going. Every trip I took had a child attached to it. And I wish I could say I could do it at home, but I couldn’t. I did it in hotels, on plane rides, and in Uber. I planted those roots. I developed those relationships that are paying dividends Today.

I had one of my kids. She was my middle child, the fifth of six children, and she attended public school, where I met Kevin Harrington, the shark from Shark Tank. He’s famous, and we’re in his home, and I get an email from my daughter, who’s sitting six feet away. Not at our conference table, but at his kitchen table. I don’t make a point of answering emails during business meetings like that. But it looks like she’s sitting right there. Why is she emailing?

Me and the email saying, “Dear Mr. Timm, It has come to my attention that you require a personal assistant, and I am one to know someone who is. I am uniquely qualified to be your personal assistant, and it would mean a lot to me if you would entertain the idea of my employment. 

And so, I sent that on to my director of HR because, at the time, I had a fairly large company that had HR. And so, I had her go through that whole process. She needed to put together a resume. She had to go through the interview, and at that time, I didn’t actually hire anyone. I had a person who hired everybody. And so she had to go all the way up through that person, and she ultimately made it through that person and mostly what I did. Is it just like accepting people that she recommended?

So here she is sitting in front of me and her mom. You know, she looked like she was dressed to the nines and was very professional. And I’m looking at her and going, “Hey, hey, you’ve done amazing, like, I’m so proud of you, but you can’t be my personal assistant because you go to public school and that’s just not possible.” And she says, “Mom and I already talked this through, and I’m going to leave public school.” I’m going to enroll in an online private high school so that I can fully travel with you. 

She joined me on 33 trips over the next year, meeting dignitaries on 33 of them. She met Fortune 500 CEOs. She met celebrities. Her life was changed, but my life was changed because the relationship that I built with her could have never happened the way that it did. That is what it means to make your family your most valuable business. 

And so, I look back. And here I am today, and my relationship is still largely based on that. year of her traveling with me, and I’m a pilot. I have my own plane. And so she began. I would say, “Oh, I’m so tired”, you know, could you fly the plane for me now that we’re at 10,000 feet and nobody panics here like no children were hurt in the filming of this podcast? and so on, but I would let her take control of the plane and she would fly it. Finally, at the end of the day, she enjoyed flying so much that she became a pilot, and thus she is a pilot. She had her pilot’s license almost before she had her driver’s license, and so that was an unintended cool consequence of her traveling as much as she did. So, there you have it. 

Well, the lessons and the experiences you provided your children honestly made me kind of wish that I was doing what I’m doing now when my kids were little because my kids are also grown. 

The experiences they could have, like the ones you provided for your children, Oh, my God, it would have been invaluable for their future. I mean, I even had my son actually say to me, he Goes “ mom, Why didn’t you teach? Why didn’t you let me go to China School?”  and I go “excuse me?”.  

Now bear in mind that I actually kept telling him, “I want to enroll you in Mandarin.” Year after year after year, and you know what he said, and he is now 26? “You should have forced me”, he said. I went all the way. I came from a family where everything was forced on me. So that was the least, you know, idealistic for me to have a relationship with my child. 

You don’t want to hear this, but I sent my oldest to China to learn Mandarin. And so he spent a considerable amount of time in China learning Mandarin and martial arts. So we discussed before we started hitting record here that I have a Hong Kong brother, that is my age, my birthday, et cetera. 

But I sent him to China to learn Mandarin. And it really moved me because I felt so strongly about it. It was, indeed. Thankfully, he chose to go on this endeavor, but I get it. I understand. I mean, I wish my kids would have done everything I recommended, but I did send one to to learn Mandarin.

You’ve got one.

How did that go? 

Martial arts. That, I believe, was the martial arts That got him there, if you want to know the truth

But, but, I just read this in your book, so it’s not like it lasted, right? 

I’m glad you brought it up because it didn’t last because he’s over there learning Mandarin. So he’s studying Mandarin. Then he studies martial arts. And he has this freak accident, and he smashes his hand and breaks multiple bones in his hand. And so he’s rushed off to this, like, remote Chinese hospital. It’s terrifying, like, really terrifying. 

No, I know. 

Yeah, and so I mean it; it’s just that nobody can really appreciate how. It was nerve-wracking, but it ended his program.

And it actually was the chapter of the book is Travis referring to? I fly over to China to get him. And he’s so embarrassed, and he’s so devastated because he’s disappointed me, right? He didn’t finish the Manning program. He didn’t finish the martial arts program. I have to go get him to bring him home. He’s got this cast. You know his hand is all in a cast, and it is all up to his elbow.

And I’m like, OK, so I came up with this concept. What does this make possible? We can dwell on this and say it’s a life-ending injury, and you’re going to go back and be humiliated. You’ve got to go back to school and do all this stuff. I said you were already out of school. You’ve already done all the work to get out of school, So what does this make possible? 

He decided to travel with me for three months, and he went to every mastermind I went to and every seminar I went to every conference I attended, this is the young man who now has a real estate empire. In the county we’re in, he’s the go-to guy. He has sold multiple six-figure homes in the last year. He’s bought the majority of the town that we live in, and he’s 24 years old

But he would trace it back to that exact moment when he was embarrassed and humiliated. He was devastated, but instead of just sitting in his sorrow and crying in his tears, he believed that it was possible, and I want to give a lot of credit to my mentor, Zig Ziegler because it was during this time frame that he started listening to Zig.

Zig was my personal mentor when I was nineteen. He’s one of the most amazing human beings. He had an impact on 250 million people when he was alive, Travis, and I’ve had multiple conversations about Zig, so here is Zig. He’s passed away. He’s no longer with us, but he’s still having an impact on my son in ways that I can’t. I’m his dad, so I’m dumb. And only a small fraction of what I have to say is relevant. If it’s not to do with food or lodging or technology or his phone, it doesn’t matter, but zig matters. 

And I introduced him to zig, and zig changed his life, and he helped me introduce this concept. You understand what this enables and what it enables. If he had completed that program, he never would have gone to the masterminds and never would have traveled to me. I never would have gone to the conferences I went to. And he wouldn’t be on the trajectory that he is. So, when something bad happens to you when something terrible happens to you, you have a chance to say that’s it. That’s the end. I’m done; I stink. I’m a failure; or you have the opportunity to say what this makes possible.

And what this made possible for Marcus, is that he got this three-month window with no school to travel to with his father, and he took advantage of it. Everywhere and one of the coolest things we did. The way Carol is Everywhere we went, anything we did, we never sat together. He had to go sit somewhere else. He could not sit with me. He could not hang with me. He could not be, you know, attached to me, so he could go anywhere with me. And we sat on the plane together, and we slept in the same hotel room together. But when we went to the conference, he had to sit somewhere else. 

He had to sit at another table, and I’ll never forget it. We went to this massive Zig Ziglar conference, like the world’s most zigfried zieglers are all here, and I’m telling him he can’t sit with me, so Tom Ziegler, Zig’s son, is having this really massive, important conference. This is a high-level business meeting. The dude and my son walk up to them and say, Is this seat Taken? 

He sits down, and he has no idea they’re like negotiating the peace treaty among, you know, England and France or something. He just sees an empty seat, and he can’t sit with me. So, he sits.

And I am looking around, and by the way, these guys have separated themselves 82 tables away from the rest of us, so they’re not anywhere near, as if they’re doing some business and don’t want to be disturbed. But he sees them, and somehow it just seems like a good idea to sit with them, so even to this day, Tom Ziegler reminds me often of how Marcus just sat himself down in the middle of the most important negotiations that the Zig family has had post zigs life, and the just started eating his green beans.

That sort of thing, that’s how you live life; that’s how you go for it. Meeting Tom Ziegler, meeting the people he was with, and being present made it possible. I have a saying that I’d like to share with everyone: if you go to a raffle- like I grew up going to  County fairs, as well as other events, And they would do raffles, but the thing they would tell you is that you must be present to win. So, if you left early and your name was called, you were out right away. If you weren’t sitting there, you didn’t win. But you have to be present in order to win, just like you have to be in it to win it. You can’t stay away from it. You’ve got to be present to win, and Marcus was present during those three months, which is why he’s crushing it today. 

 So, if he had not smashed his hand and ruined his Mandarin and his martial art, He wouldn’t be the awesome entrepreneur he is today because he was present, and he won as a result of that.

So many things we see are those little road bumps, diversions, distractions, or left turns or right turns. And we’re like, “My life is over; this thing that I was doing is all said to be that I spent the last 22 years in the Navy, and when I was enlisted, I tried to apply for a flight position.” And I remember getting a letter from the Naval Aeronautical Medical Institute nanny, which is a great term because if you don’t make it, they call it the nammy-whammy. So it’s got a nice little ring to it, and I have. 

I have this form; it’s signed, it’s dated, and it says that Travis Johnson is not physically qualified for aviation service. And that kind of letter can ruin someone. It can completely derail you. It can completely wipe whatever you’re doing off the mat.  It can crush a person, and I didn’t use this letter to fuel me. I forgot it existed because a few years later I applied for another program, and I went through NAMI in person and went through all the stations and everything. And I got to the end. And the goal is to make it out the door without them calling you back for anything, right? because you make it out the door. You’re good. You don’t have to worry about this. This is flight school. I’ve got my commission. I was down in flight school in Pensacola, FL, and they called me back, and I had forgotten about this letter that I had that says I’m not physically qualified to fly.  It didn’t say why. I just said that I wasn’t.

I got up and started walking back. “At first, I was crushed and thought, “OH. “I returned your call.  Second, I was like, “Did they find this letter from years ago saying I wasn’t good and like, dude? “You got this letter saying we can’t let you in. What’s the deal? And they sent me down again. I’m getting ready to be Crushed. And you can’t see on camera. But I have this. I have brown eyes, but I have this area of reduced pigment, and my mom has the same thing. It looks kind of like a white cloud on the edge. I say it sparkles or some nonsense. Whatever I tell people, but like, when you look at it, you’re like, “I can tell something’s wrong, but does it affect the vision?” And then there was a big question. 

I had to look at the eye chart and all the stuff, and the doctor’s first thing he says is, “I understand that we called you back and you might be a little nervous right now.” “Oh yeah, it doesn’t show like you,” I said. Sweat pours off me if the lights go out. Here it is. Like half-soaked, like I was just doing this show, and like, “Oh, you can’t tell at all.” I’m sure they could, but I was like, “Yeah, we just noticed this thing and we wanted to see how it affected your vision and stuff and make a long story longer.” I got out of there without a hitch and got approved to go fly.

But that letter could have completely crushed me. could have completely derailed me. If you’re listening to this right now, You have a letter like that, or you have a word from a parent or a lover. One that tells you you’re not good enough, that you can’t do it, that no matter what you know, you can’t do it. Whatever it is, you have that thing. There’s a letter, or there’s a comment holding you back from whatever it is you want to do. I will tell you right now. Whatever that letter is, it’s garbage, and it doesn’t dictate your future. And you can choose to live the life that you want to live. Be the person you want to be and write the next chapter of your book regardless of what that letter says. 

Very true. What I like best about your story is that you wouldn’t let your son sit with you because there is…  He can’t be uncomfortable, really learn about life. If he’s sitting with you because he’s sheltered, by you at that point, and I love that. You made him go somewhere else; have his own experience, you know, walk a different path than you are, because if he was in your shadow, he would always be able to, you know, get into these rooms. Do these things that you do. Here you’re saying, “No, go over there; you can’t hang out over here.” I love it. 

Here’s the funny thing he is now 24: I’m so proud of him. And now when we go places, I want him to sit with me, but no chance. That boat is leaving the station where the flight will take off. You know where I am now; I’m like, “Hey, son, sit with me.” He’s like, “No.” You know, yeah, I can’t. Do that; I’ve got to sit over here. I have to go do all of these things. 

You condition him. 

Yeah, I totally conditioned him that, yeah, you can’t sit with dad and so anyway, but it’s cool that he’s so comfortable not being with me. And I love that because then there are those times that he calls and says, “Dad, you’ve got five minutes.” By the way, that’s my code word, so if you ever interact with me outside of this podcast, that’s my code word, Dad, do you have 5 minutes.

I believe that the most meaningful interaction occurs in 5 minutes or less. It’s not 50 minutes; it’s 5 minutes. Five minutes is all you need to give. And by the way, moms and dads out there, you always have five minutes. So, 5 minutes. That’s all you need. 5 minutes can change the life of whomever you’re talking to. So, I  take pride in myself. I don’t even have my phone. Oh no, my phone has arrived. So, I try to answer my phone, and I have this 5-minute rule: I answer my calls, but not here on the podcast with you guys because you guys are awesome, but Outside of you, I’ve answered my phone all day, which is ridiculous because most people are surprised when I answer the phone and they hang up. Oh my gosh, you answer the phone, and I’m like, “Of course, I answer the phone.” You’re important to me, and they’re like, “Wow.” Do you have time to talk right now? And I confirm that I have five minutes. When I say I have 5 minutes, I’ve bookended the entire conversation. We’re done in 5 minutes, for example. I’m out of here.

But on the same token, I’ve given them importance and relevance. in my life. They are important to me. I wouldn’t have answered the phone if they weren’t important, but I did. Then another five minutes, and so on. I actually think there’s a phrase I’ve called “5 minutes to freedom.” I went from never answering my phone to taking messages and being the guy that pushed the button. You know, call me back, or I’m busy.  blah blah blah. 

And now I answer the phone all the time, but I only do it for five minutes. And the crazy thing is that I did an experiment the other day where I answered every single phone call that I got to experiment the other day where I answered every single phone call that I got 15 phone calls that day. And for every phone call I made, I did the five-minute thing. 

Do you know that in those 15-minute phone calls, I tracked the time I answered them? And by the time I was done, not one single phone call had made it to five minutes. Most of them were two or three minutes, and that was it because I told them I only had five minutes, and so it was direct to the point that they were important to me. I answered their call. I got taken care of what needed to be taken care of, and I never even had to get to the point of telling them, “Hey, we’re at our five minutes now.” Here’s the cool thing: I’ve been doing this for a long time. It took me two years to get here, so now when I’m driving, I answer the phone and say, “Hey, you know, I’ve got, I’ve got 5 minutes. “I got to talk to someone really important. You’ll know in 5 minutes, and I’ll know in 5 minutes, but you’re important to me. So let’s talk. So, at the end of the five minutes, I hang up the phone, and my wife is like, hey, we’ve been driving for like 10 minutes, and you said there was someone really important that you had to talk to in 5 minutes. You know whom I’m talking about. I said, “You’re calling someone,” and it was you. 

And she’s all like Whoa, yeah, of course. To put it simply, it’s me, but I like it. Yeah, I’m the important person you’re referring to, just as you do all the calls you want to take for 5 minutes because I’m always available when you are. Done with the 5 minutes because I’m important. And so my wife went from hating every phone call that I took to being totally fine because I only take five minutes, and in those five minutes, I’m there to help her and she is important to me, so I’m not lying when I say there’s someone important, you know, that I need to talk to, and it’s her.

We need to know so that we can. We can do this thing called life, and we can let life control us and run us over, or we can be in control of it and be present for the people that matter most and we can be there frequently for those people, but they don’t have to consume our lives. 

Right, my boyfriend calls that showing up. 

Showing up. I like it. 

I’ve got to admit I have a problem because I cannot do only 5 minutes with people, like when I drove to Arkansas last week in the middle of the week to go see a friend open a hotel there. It was a great experience. I’m glad that we did. I had a buddy in the Navy who was struggling a little bit, and he wouldn’t answer my call, so I texted him. I was like, “Hey, man, I’m struggling. Do you have time”; he called me right away; it’s a ruse to get your friend on the phone; tell me you’re having trouble. 

Yeah, I like that Travis, well done. 

I got him on the phone, but we were on the phone for 2 1/2 hours. That’s fine, I crossed the border into Arkansas, and I looked at the timer on the phone, and it was 2 hours and 20 minutes away. I have to go, I know I have to talk to other people, but holy ****, two. And half an hour, yeah, like 5 minutes I’m going to have to practice that one. 

And I’m not saying I’m not having some long phone calls, but how cool is it to answer the phone and say you matter? 

I’m answering your call because you’re important to me, but life is real, and reality is. I’ve just got a few minutes, but you matter, and I’m going to give you those minutes and I’m not going to call you back. I’m not going to text you. I’m not going to You know. I’m taking your call right now, so you’ll be free in 5 minutes. 

But while it works for me, it may not work for everybody. I had some the other day, for sure. It was the Saturday after Thanksgiving. And I did exactly what you did, Travis. I made a list of five guys that I hadn’t talked to in forever and called them, and there was no five-minute rule at all. It took 50 minutes. It took five hours. I didn’t freaken care. It was whatever amount of time we needed to take, but it was way past due for us to chat.

I only got three of them out of the five. Admittedly, I didn’t get 5 out of 5. I got three, but some of those phone calls were like, “I can close my eyes and I.” can be just like they were. They were long overdue and so necessary, so everybody’s not going to be on a 5-minute phone call very much. But during the day, what if you could answer? And this is my challenge. What if you could answer every single phone call and give them at least 5 minutes of your undivided attention? That’s the point. 

And then maybe you give it on the Saturday after Thanksgiving you give them more.


I don’t know. 

But only after the weekend after Thanksgiving. 

Yes, only then.

We prefaced this whole podcast with being incredibly honest and authentic, so there you have it. 

I used to have this little sign on my desk that people would come in and take. They can complain for 5 minutes, but it had to be between 50 and 55 of whatever hour it was, so they came in with their problem, whatever it was. Because they went into; I was like, “Oh, you didn’t see the sign. “It’s not the time for that right now,” I said, and they asked, “Wait, what’s the sign? “What do you mean, like? Yeah, you have 20 minutes before you can come back and talk about this, like, really, I’m like, yeah, like I have time for it, but not right now. 

And inevitably, whatever that would be, they would jump in. Well, well, I just need this really quick and perfect. I was like, “You’re welcome to come back in 20 minutes, and if you want to bellyache, whine, complain, whatever, the thing is, I had time for it, but I don’t have time for it now, and I’ve only had it. I had one guy in the three years that I did this. At that point, they returned to the office. I’m like. I’ve been waiting for this, sir. I’ve been waiting for him exactly at this time. 

Right now, this is my five minutes; don’t interrupt me; it’s my spell. 

Yep, he came in and let me have it for about 2 minutes. He didn’t have five minutes’ worth. I was like, “How do you feel?” He’s pretty good. pretty damn good. I asked him how long he had been planning this for, and he said for weeks. I’ve been wanting to do it just to say I could do it because I don’t see anyone else coming out of this office ever like here during that time? 

Yeah, that’s a great question, so I grew up on a farm in Fillmore, Indiana, as the first generation off the farm, and I became involved in an organization called the Future Farmers of America. So, we were the largest extracurricular organization in the country. And we took AG classes and learned leadership, etcetera. And it was there that I discovered my calling and rose through the ranks to become chapter president and district president. I ended up becoming the state president, and I became the national president of the Future Farmers of America

I’m on stage in Kansas City, MO, and I am the national president.  And our keynote that year was Zig Zag. And he walks up to me, puts his arm around me, and says, “Son, I want to mentor you.” But I need you to come to Dallas, TX and just stay with my family, and I need you to be the best student any mentor has ever had. And if you’re willing to do that, I’m willing to mentor you. I’m done.

I fly to Dallas, TX. I stay with his family; his son and I are the same age, so I meet his family. I stay. I ate dinner with the redhead, who is his wife, and I did exactly what he said, and I became his best student. As a result of that, he mentored me personally, so it wasn’t that I met Zig Ziegler. I knew Zig Ziegler. He mentored me as a 19-year-old. He followed through with his commitment.

but that’s the coolest thing. So, when someone says, “I want to mentor you,” the greatest gift you can give them is to be their mentor. The best student likes Don’t just listen to their stuff and say, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, that’s awesome.” Maybe I’ll get around to it. If you want to crush it in life, you need mentors like those in the book Mentor, and we discussed this before the show began. It’s not about millions of dollars. Millions of people are impacted. 

If you want to impact the world, the quickest and most effective way is through mentorship. But to. First off, you have to find the right mentor. Then, secondly, you have to be the right mentee. And being the right mentee implies that you have. to be the best student who mentors. For example, it’s like, “I don’t know if you guys can see there’s a brick wall right there. You see that brick?” OK, all right? So, bricks are awesome, bricks are awesome. They’re strong, powerful, and awe-inspiring. But if I stacked up a bunch of bricks like Our little five-year-old could knock It over.  

Because it’s not the brick that gives it strength; it’s the mortar between the bricks. 

So, mentors give bricks, right? You know where those bricks come from. They come from failure. They come from hard lessons. They have come from extremely difficult journeys. That’s why they’re bricks. That’s why they’re forged in fire—of failure. But they’re just bricks, and so you give those bricks to the mentee. And if you’re a brick collector, you’re just stacking these bricks up, and anyone can knock them over. They have no meaning because they are just bricks. 

But what makes the bricks a wall Or a foundation, or something that you can build on, is the mortar, which is the concrete. What’s the mortar? The mortar is when you, as a mentee, learn from your mentor and then teach someone else. You see, that’s the circle of mentorship; you must first have the right mentor. Then you must collect the bricks. But then, to lock it in and make it something meaningful, you have to teach what you’ve learned to someone else. 

And when you teach someone else, that’s the mortar. That’s what creates the foundation. That’s what creates the wall. That’s what creates something that you can build a business on, a life, a marriage, a family, When you’ve locked it in.

If all you do is collect wisdom, you should listen to these podcasts. If you’re listening right now and you’re a brick collector, that’s cool, but it’s not going to build anything for you. But when you take what you’ve learned from Travis and Carol and pass it on, whether to your children, a friend, or yourself, you secure it, colleagues. That’s when it becomes foundational, and that’s what happened with Zig. 

Zig taught me a lot of things. He gave me lots of bricks, so I’ve got books to prove it. I’ve got signed books from Zig. I’ve got lots of bricks that I can impress you guys with, but it wouldn’t mean anything, and I wouldn’t be sitting here today. If it hadn’t been for the fact that I took those bricks and taught other people, it would not have become foundational, and that’s how I have the house I have, the family I have, the friends I have, and the relationships I have, and the career I have, and why I’m on this podcast right now. I taught other people what my mentor, Zig Ziglar, taught me. 

Well, wouldn’t you think that the basic foundation would be… It all comes down to making decisions. Because in the end, you’re talking about picking the right mentor, and that’s a choice, right? You will be assigned a number of mentors. It’s about choosing the ones that resonate with you.

Carol, I’m going to go a step further because I love what you’re saying. I’m smelling everything you’re stepping into.

That’s what you get when you’re from Indiana, right? 

But I’m going to say this when the mentee is ready. The mentor will appear. 

Oh, that’s powerful in itself, yes. 

Yes, there are choices, but ultimately, the most important choice that you’re going to make is to look in the mirror and say, Am I ready? Am I ready to be the best student? Am I ready to implement everything my mentor tells me today not months from now, not tomorrow. Am I ready to learn? Am I ready to change? Am I ready to pivot? Am I ready? That’s really the choice. It’s not the choice of the mentor, because I believe when the mentee is ready, the mentor appears. So, the choice is…Are you ready? 

Yeah, it’s true. I actually have mentors, and when I first started with them, they would give me things, and I just wasn’t on board, like I would just go, “Really, that doesn’t make any sense to me, right?” They proved me wrong because there was a certain point where I reached something like this…. Nothing’s changing like what’s going on, right? And when I started listening and started implementing everything they said, that’s when everything changed.

You should write a book. 

Mentored 1,000,000—not your book, but

I’m kidding because that’s the premise of the book, right? If you want to really impact the world, you’ve got to have the right mentors and implement everything they tell you. Even if you don’t believe it, even if you don’t think it’s right, you’ve got to implement it so you can go back and say, “I tried this. This didn’t work.” 

You mentioned in the book that you talk about mentoring. You’re murdering and incorporating your family, as well as the value of having mentees and mentors. And I have to ask, who are you currently mentoring? 

Well, I’m going to go there in just a second, but the real question you should ask me is, “Who’s my mentor?” So I’m going to tell you that people frequently ask me, “Who should be my mentor? “Have a mentor. 

You should never have a mentor who’s not being mentored, like if they’ve tapped out and said, “You know, I’m at the top of my game.” I don’t need a mentor. Believe me, they are not someone you should be mentoring. So, since I was nineteen, I’ve always had a mentor. I still do today. 

My mentor today is Bob Goff. He’s a best-selling New York Times bestselling author, and he’s an awesome dude just doing his thing in the world and changing the world. And he really taught me to use my head on a swivel.

And what I mean by that is this is because so much of life happens around you and we simply miss it, so pay attention in the grocery line. Pay attention when you’re stuck in traffic. Pay attention when you’re with your kids. attention when you are with your wife. Have your head on a swivel and be constantly present to win. He’s the guy who taught me that the whole concept must be present to win, so that’s my mentor. 

Whom am I mentoring? I’m super selective about whom I mentor these days, and I’ve got a couple of guys that right now I’m only mentoring guys, and I’m not sexist, I think women are amazing. The world would not exist without women, but where I am in life as a husband and father, I feel like the most value that I can give is to men. 

And so I’ve got a small group of men that I’m mentoring who really would like to follow a similar path that I followed, especially in business. I’m in; I may have mentioned it before we got to what. What do I do for a living, like, what is my job? If you were to ask me. I’m a professional board member, I’m on 8 boards. I serve in various capacities on these boards. I work for both publicly traded and private companies. 

The majority of the companies I work with are private and are planning to go public. In a couple of years, I’ll most likely be on the boards of public companies, so there are some. There are some young men that I was on the phone with right prior to this podcast. That is one of my mentees. And he would very much like to be doing what I’m doing, but I’m 51. He’s 37, so he’s got a little time, and he wants to be mentored as to how he could be on the boards when he’s 50 years old or maybe even earlier. 

And I think one of the greatest assets I have is my gray hair. If you’re watching this podcast via video, I turn gray early. My beard grew early, and I’m the youngest board member by ten years on almost every board I’m on. So at least I have the gray hair to go with it, but I love what I do. 

I could see myself doing what I do for the rest of my life, and I hope I’m going to live another 50 years. And I see myself being on the boards of companies for the next 50 years. This is my sweet spot. It took me 51 years to get here. I don’t want to do anything else other than be a dad and a husband. 

And so, I’m open to mentoring a very, very, very select group of men who are ridiculously all in on being the dads they were born to be, the husbands they were born to be, and living their professions the way they were meant to. 

So it’s a pretty tuff criterion to become a mentee of mine, you must meet a stringent set of requirements. But there are few men that have traversed that mountaintop, and I’m working with them right now, and I’m excited to be doing that, so I won’t name their names, just out of confidentiality. But they’re men, and they are.

 They all have the same thing in common: they want to be the best husbands, the best fathers, and the best followers of That they can be of the God who created the heavens and the earth. And when they are able to communicate that with confidence and clarity, then I can say yes. 

I love that. 

Gray hair.  

We call that “sparkling.” I’m a year older than you. 

I can’t believe it, Carol. You look and feel amazing. You are a

Well, you know what? You know what the secret is. 

What is it?

Do what you love. 

Do what you love. I agree with that. Yeah, I agree with that. Well, I’m glad my gray hair is pronounced and announced because it helps me in my profession. 

You use it to your advantage. 

You have no gray hairs, my friend, so 

You’re doing. 

Well, it’s showing that we’re going to go. We’ll get the roots done here, pretty. Soon so. 

Well, she had to put the tinsel up for Christmas. 

So, whatever you could have told me, I would have had it. 

I would have definitely assumed that was the oldest on this podcast.

But there you go. 

Yeah, I tend to be the oldest everywhere we go, and Travis is usually the youngest. 

Yeah, even that. 

It’s OK, Travis. You’ll get there.  

Even though I’m 41 years old and served in the military for 22 years, I’m still very active. I’ve been married for over two decades and have a married daughter who says, “Oh, you’re just a kid. “You’ll need the proper lighting to see my silvers. And I’ve got a few little streaks, right? 

It’s a good thing. 

It doesn’t matter to me in the slightest. I don’t mind if my hair is purple; I’m going to be myself. I’m going to show up how I am. And it’s going to be amazing. You’re going to join us. “You know what I’m just not ready for Travis yet? 

I’m going to come out and tell my wife that I have a physical trainer who comes to our house, three days a week. And it was because we couldn’t get to the gym and life gave us the opportunity, and she kicks our ****, she annihilates us. 

But you know, my young adult children are like dad. What the hell your strong!

I’m like, “It’s all Piper,” like, “Don’t it’s all her,” and so on, but age isn’t a number. It doesn’t. Define yourself, and as a result, I am stronger at 51 than I was at 41, and I do not mean that metaphorically. I mean that physically I am stronger at 51 than I was at 41 or so 

Would you say not? Just physically, though? but mentally too. 

Well, mentally, because of wisdom, I have wisdom I didn’t have a 41, and that’s why I’m stronger in all areas. But sometimes when people say, “Oh, I’m stronger,” they mean it metaphorically, you know? Holistically, I’m stronger. I mean, I’m physically stronger, like I can lift more. I can carry more. I have more stamina. I’m physically stronger at 51 than when I was 41, which seems impossible, but it is possible because discipline is everything. It’s all about just putting your energy into it. 

I used to believe that you couldn’t build muscle after the age of 30. And that’s all. Myth, as if you numbered it and invested your energy in it. Yes, someone told me that as a guy, you won’t have any more muscle than you did at 30, but that’s not true. It’s totally not true. You can absolutely build muscle at 51 years old, and you can be stronger. And it gives you It gives you some pretty cool pep in your step. 

When your 24-year-old son is picking up something and you’re going toe to toe with him, he says, “Dad.” What the hell? Like this man, you know, like, you know what? What the hell are you doing? Yeah, man, you know who I am. I’m I work out.  

I’m doing my thing.

Oh my goodness! I love that I’ve got a buddy. 

No, it’s gray hair for you. 

I’ve got a buddy that’s like three years older than me, and I see him at the gym. I saw him at the gym yesterday morning, and he reminded me that he’s got five kids. Just how much work he puts into staying in shape.  He’s always been in phenomenal shape, just amazing shape, and he was talking to me like he does 200 pull-ups and 200 push-ups every single day. All day.  

Yep, I’m tucked. Yeah, he’s got me on the 200 pull-ups  

I’m not well; he’s like 6’4 210 lbs. 

I’ve done all the boasting that I can do 200 pull-ups, but no one is listening. Have there been any misconceptions about Mark Tim? He can hang with his 24-year-old brother, but He cannot do 200 pull-ups.

He goes in the gym. He says to you, “I just killed myself because that’s the.” The only way I can possibly stay young and keep up with my young wife and her five kids is like he likes to. This is the only way because they come in here and beat him up. Essentially, every day is the only way he’s able to do that. I’ve done the push-up thing before. I’ve been doing 100 push-ups a day, but man. 

I’d rather do push-ups.  I haven’t even come close. Never, ever, ever come close to 200 fobs. Even sniff at that. 

Unless, of course, I have a 100-pound helper on the underside. 

Hey Mark, I wanted to ask you: What is something about you that most people don’t know? I know you mentioned the FAA earlier. I grew up in northern Minnesota. I was aware of the FAA. But I’m guessing that a lot of people are unaware that there is something else. A lot of people don’t know about you. 

Well, I kind of already said I was a pilot; that’s usually my go-to thing. I am a pilot. I love to fly. I feel so at home in the sky and in the clouds. I mean, that’s like there are divers that go under the water, and that’s their special place, and for me, it’s in the sky. I just love flying; I love everything about it. Flying I. I pray to God to grant me the physical abilities—eyesight and health—to continue flying for the rest of my life because it is just where I want to be whenever I’m not on Earth, so whenever gravity wins and I can’t stand or sit here with you guys, I want to be in the sky, so that’s kind of my big thing. 

Obviously, I’ve shared it with you. I have six children, and on top of that, I adore the Lord. I’m just, sold out on my faith and why it matters to me, and without that, you know, I don’t think anything else really holds a candle, so that’s probably the thing I want to make sure somebody knows about if they want to know about me, they know that my faith matters most. My family matters next, and my friends come after that. 

I definitely love that. 

I remember when we first chatted, you told me that you used your love of flying for good to help a friend out, and I really appreciated that story. 

Yeah, I’m still doing that, and my dear friend is just battling cancer, as you can imagine. He’s been to Mayo Clinic in Minneapolis, as have I been… when we first talked, I was flying him up there and going and picking him up. And so we’re just waiting on the phone call to go get him. He’s on his last round of chemo, and he’s lost every hair on his body. He’s the one…

This is the crazy thing—the kind of chemo he has because he’s It’s a such aggressive cancer. The lady arrives in a hazmat suit to place the bag on the IV as if he were sitting there… Dude, right? He’s just sitting there as Dude, they’ve got the IV in, and this woman walks in with a hazmat suit to hang the bag. And that’s what’s going to go inside of him, and his wife can’t use the same restroom as him. She has to wear gloves to touch his clothes. They have to wash his clothes twice. I mean to say that they’re pulling out the nuclear option because that’s the reality of his life.

That is how intense his chemotherapy is. So, we can’t wait to bring him home. We love them so much. The world needs Carl Waterman in it. He is, and I don’t say that lightly, because he is such an amazing human being. And being human, we need him in the world, and the world needs him in the world. So I just hope he’s able to make it through this. Then I get a phone call I can go fly and pick him up. 

That’s so incredibly kind.

Well, why? Why? Have a pilot’s license? If you can’t, and if you can’t fly up and get your friend from the Mayo Clinic, just hang it up if that is not possible. 

So that’s what’s possible, and he won’t be able to fly commercially. He has no strength, and, as you know, when I fly up there, they wheel him out to the airport. They help him get on the plane like he couldn’t do it any other way like there’s no other option that he has, and so if you can’t be that only option for somebody, then You know, hopefully, that’s where everybody gets to in life. Is that something you adore, something you can only do for someone who matters? most to you. 

I don’t. I don’t know how I’ve been podcasting for a couple of years, and I have no idea how to follow That ***** statement’s just so wholesome and complete. I can’t, like, say I don’t have some story; that’s like saying I can’t…. 

No, I’m leaving. I’m going to say that to everybody out there, it was a three-year journey. Three years ago, I said I just wanted to be available to the people that matter most to me. That’s all there is to it. That is the entire goal. 

Whether it’s professionally or in terms of my family. I just want to be that guy that says yes instead of the guy that says no, and it took three years to get here, guys, so it wasn’t an overnight snap of the fingers this year.

This has been my year of being able to say yes. My mom got breast cancer, and she needs people to take her to her radiation. My dad had a spiral fracture in his arm, and because of the two of them, they moved in with us, like they live with us right now, because that’s the right thing to do, and Carl needs us to be able to fly him up there and go get him. And you know, three years ago, I said that’s the guy I want to be, but I wasn’t that guy. By the way, I was the guy who said no, and I felt bad about it, but I said no often because I was. I was traveling all the time, you know. 

Thank goodness for COVID. You know, I’m one of the first guys to thank COVID because COVID is what helped me pivot to be able to say yes because I was the guy traveling all over the country twice a week. So, I always said no every time anyone asked me. It was, “I’m so sorry, but I’m going to Texas.” I’m going to Florida. I’m going to California. I’m going to Canada. I’m going to Germany. I’m going. 

I just always said no because it wasn’t there and because I wasn’t there. And so, I said, “I want to be the guy that says, “Yes, that’s just who I want to be.” And I don’t know how to get there, but I’m going to try, and as a result of what happened in the world, I’m there. And now I get to say yes when the people that matter most to me say, “Mark. I need you” all I have to do is say yes, and that’s who I want to be, and I’m grateful to be here. And that’s where I want to stay. 

I believe you stated your intention, and your intention was fulfilled

You said there that you didn’t. You knew what you wanted, but you didn’t know how to get there, and you were willing to take the steps regardless of the fact that you couldn’t see the end of the path. And isn’t that true for just about anything that we want to accomplish in life? 

But here’s the key: Announce it. 

If you’re listening right now, don’t take me, you know, intentionality; take your own. Whatever it is you want to do Just put it out to the world; put it out to those that matter. I shared that with my wife. I shared it with my kids, and I shared it with my friends. I didn’t know how I was going to get there. I didn’t even know what it looked like. I just said I want to say yes when people ask who matters to me. Need something? I want to say yes, and I just kept putting it out there.

And then people help me get there. And you know. And so, I didn’t do it alone, is that right? I have taken no credit for doing this journey by myself, but if you have something laid on your heart and you’re convinced, did you put it out there for the people that mattered to you most? Your friends, your family, your coworkers, whatever. Simply announce it to the world and state that you have no idea how you’re going to get there. There, but that’s where I want to be, and they’ll help you get there as if they’re a part of your journey and will accompany you step by step. So that’s whom I wanted to be. 

And a lot of people contributed to my getting here right now, and it’s exactly where I needed to be. And I’m so thankful for all of those people who contributed to that journey to get me to this point. And so, when somebody that matters most to me says, “Mark can you”, I just want to say yes, and right now I have the opportunity to do so, which wasn’t always the case. In fact, for the majority of my life, it has been a no, and now it’s a yes, and I don’t ever want it to be anything but a yes. 

And it is. It is just wonderful. Wonderful. Hey Mark, if people want to get a hold of you, where do you want them to go? 

Mark Timm – with two Ms – .com.  That’s the best place, and so they can. They can find me there. My super secret bat mobile e-mail is, so I’ve now totally exposed myself to the world, but that’s all there is That’s where I hang out. 

You can find me on social media at THE because supposedly there’s another Mark Tim out there. I don’t know who it is, but I’ve never met him, so I had to be THE Mark Tim. So, if you want to find me on social media, That’s me.  

You act as if having one other guy is a difficult thing. My name is Travis Johnson. Travis Johnson are out there. oh my God. 

They each had their own website, as well as their email address.

You’re only.  way to find you. 

Go to I am Travis Johnson, and I am to find me. 

That one has already been claimed by, well, someone. well, your middle name. Well, I can’t use my middle name because my middle name is Dwayne. And Dwayne Johnson is the rock, and he’s also everywhere. So, I can’t do that either. 

That’s what’s so amusing about this world: there are other Mark Timms. I’ve never met one, and I’ve never met another Mark Timm, but they’re there. There will most likely be others, and someday I’ll be at a stage in my life where I’ll go on that journey and just fly all over the world meeting the Mark Timms of the world. And so, but anyway, up to this point, I’ve never met one. 

Yeah, there was another. Travis Johnson is at my high school. So like. 

High school.  

He was born on the same day as me, a year later. 

Wow, year after year after year. 

Yes, yes. He also has brown hair and brown eyes, and our physical descriptions are almost the same. 

There were two Carol Lees In high school, that was my maiden’s name. Yeah, and they would get our report cards messed up. 

Oh no.  

She was not a good student. 

You get a B on your report card. Isn’t that something like an Asian F&? Your parents would be like 

What is this? 

Yes, I was never allowed to get Bs. I was only allowed to get As. 

Oh, and by the way, you can learn more about me than my website by getting mentor to millions on Amazon. So the book has influenced millions of people; go get it. It’ll teach you a lot about business, but it’ll teach you a whole lot more about life. 

I can vouch for that Mark. Thank you so much for being our guest today and for sending me a copy of Mentor to millions. I’m madly in love with this book and only moderately in love with you. Yeah, let’s be honest, that’s a complete lie, but I thought it sounded funny. 

I’m so thankful to meet both of you guys. I’m so glad that you do what you do. I don’t do this. I don’t do podcasts. I don’t host podcasts, so there is a special place for the two of you and the work that you do and the impact that you make in the world, and so thank you for showing up as often as you do for the people that are listening. We admire you, and we appreciate you. 

The same goes for you. Thank you for joining us. 

You’re welcome. 

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