Whether it is in business, sports, entertainment or family, everyone has struggles. Finding your summit is a metaphor that former NFL player Mark Pattison wants everyone to experience. It isn’t about getting to the top, it’s about finding a way around and traverse the obstacles that are in front of you and enjoying the climb. Learn the different summits in Mark’s life and how he reached the top.

Our guest is a business expert who is also a former NFL player now climbing the Seven Summits. To date, he has been on five of the world’s highest mountains and once completed, he will be the first NFL player to ever accomplish this feat. He also started three successful businesses in which one was venture-backed and sold called Front Porch Classics. Today, he is working on enabling others to reach their own summit through his comprehensive training and coaching programs.

Finding Your Summit in the Pyramid of Success with Mark Pattison

Welcome, Mark Pattison, to the show.

How are you doing?

Great, Mark. How are you?

I’m doing fantastic from Hermosa Beach, California.

I really want to dig right in, Mark, because you are such an interesting guy. To have made it to the NFL alone is an incredible feat. Then to go on and start three successful businesses, you have some amazing gifts that I want to share with the world. Let’s go back to basically what it took as a high school student to prepare yourself and get in to something as demanding as the National Football League.

I don’t really think it was my high school football playing days. I was like a lot of kids growing up in Seattle where really around the world, there wasn’t all these video games. Back in those days, there were only three channels. There really wasn’t all this content on TV that you could surf around and sit on the couch all day long. I was always out on the playground playing some kind of ball: football, baseball, basketball. For me, it really wasn’t until college that things really kicked in on and really understanding what it took to be successful in life in that particular case. Actually, it rolled over into the classroom as well but certainly on the football field.

It’s a great time to think about. Just like you, for us, entertainment was getting out old broom handle and a pinky ball and going out and playing stickball on the street. All that’s changed. Our kids don’t want to do that stuff anymore. What they want to do is get behind their screens and they want to chat and they want to play games and that’s fine. It’s just a different world and from a different era, Mark, you and I. Once you got to college, tell me what happened. You were a football player in high school but then you got to college. Did being a football player in high school help you or in some way influence your selection of schools?

I was very fortunate to be good enough to garner the interest of a lot of teams, a lot of schools around the country. In my case, I chose the school that was in my backyard, the University of Washington based in Seattle. I happen to go there at the time when the university had hired a coach which would become a legendary coach, Don James. He had really developed this whole pyramid of success, which he got from a famous UCLA basketball coach, John Wooden. A lot of people know who he is. It was just twelve notions of these 22 blocks of success starting at the bottom rung and working your way to the top, and the top is whatever you outline your goal to be. To get there, you have to do all these mini, micro steps to make those things happen. Up to that point, I just rolled out of bed and I was the better kid on the block. When you get to that level, everybody is good. It’s only really the guys that put in the necessary work were the guys that ultimately were playing. It really showed me the roadmap of where I needed to go.

Mark, this was like the stars aligning for you. You happen to pick a school. It happens to be local. It happens to have what will soon be a legendary coach to mentor you. What an incredible opportunity that was. How did that go?

It really was something that I would later learn in life and I’m learning today about patience. It’s really difficult when you’ve been the guy all the way through for a number of years. I’m talking about starting when you’re in fourth fifth grade and then now you get to your eighteen and you’re all everything and coming out of high school, and then you get to a place like the University of Washington. In my case, I was not physically, mentally or emotionally ready to play. The bottom line is that I could have gone to other places like Cal or some place and playing as a freshman but it would not have been the best thing for me in the long run or what I needed to do to learn about development. Bottom line, I didn’t play for two or three years and when I finally got my opportunity, I made the most of it.

Literally, preparation became one of the most challenging elements of your soon-to-be football career and at the same time maybe one of the most valuable. Would you want to tell us a little bit more about what you did to prepare?

It’s your classic, when preparation meets opportunity. In this case, we’ve talked about the pyramid of success, we’ve talked about the 22 different pillars, the bottom. A lot of those things were getting in the weight room, you’re studying film, learning the playbook, trying to get faster, bigger, stronger. All of those things to be able to compete at that level. In those days was the Pac-10: UCLA, USC, Stanford, those teams. When we talk about preparation meets opportunity, the first game I started was against Michigan. As things would all play out, we were down by fourteen points in the fourth quarter. We came roaring back with eight seconds to go in the game. We had gone down to field and we’ve scored so now we’re down by seven. With about eight seconds to go, they threw the ball in the back of the end zone. I went up, caught it, came down and scored. It was on Sports Illustrated and all kinds of stuff. It was just those moments and some people are saying, “You’re so lucky.” I always get those type of things remembering me back from the old days in high school and really they had no idea what I put in to be in that position to make that happen.

Like you said, preparation meets opportunity. How many times in life and in business do we discover that we are unprepared when opportunity knocks? Here you were, two years of total prep waiting for this moment. In a way, it seems like that was the moment that literally put you on the map. Let’s go to the end of your college career and it’s time for NFL drafts. Tell me a little bit about was there a strategy to get noticed? What did you do to become visible to NFL recruiters?

Pretty quickly, it did actually took me three years before I caught that ball. It was a long torture, three years of your life and you don’t know what the outcome, if you’re going to play or how that’s going to go for you. Things did go well towards the end and that’s the only thing that really matters. I was invited to the Combines, which the NFL invites the top 330 kids around the country to come and participate in the three-day workout, physical type environment. I was invited to go there. I did fairly well. I was drafted by the Raiders and that was really the progression of how that all happened.

Now, you’re in the NFL. Did the same thing happen again once you’re finally drafted and you’re in the NFL? How long was it before you really got to play?

It was a start and stop. I was never a great player in NFL. I was just the guy who made it but I didn’t make it. I played five years and either I was hurt, I was cut, I was brought back but somehow or another, I was always in there. There was this whole determination which would really shoot me well in business further down the road. Certainly preparation meets opportunity but also the determination. Never stop and quit and keep your eye on the ball and what you want to get accomplished.

YFTC 052 | Finding Your Summit

Finding Your Summit: Never stop and quit. Keep your eye on the ball and what you want to get accomplished.

By the way I know, Mark, you’re being a little bit modest here. I looked you up. I saw some of the amazing plays that you accomplished. I’m not even really much of a football fan but I was pretty impressed with what I saw. Five years in the NFL is a profession and you made it and you accomplished that. Tell us what happened as you progress through your five years. How did this whole episode end for you?

A good friend of mine is Morten Andersen, who just was into the Hall of Fame, got the yellow jacket, and played 25 years in the NFL. Nobody does that. He’s the only one actually who’s ever done that. I would love to say I was that guy and I wasn’t. What they did is they threw me out. I would have love to continue to play but it just came my time. Sometimes you’ve got to know when to call it. In my case, I was 29 years old. I’ve been doing this for a long time. The competitive high level of football starting freshman in college and granted up being paid on a scholarship, but it’s a long time competing at the highest level. When you don’t have that edge in professional sports, you are done. You’ve got to be wicked out there. You’ve got to be so competitive and driven. When you don’t have that drive, it’s just hard to keep it going. Ten, eleven years of doing that was a long time. It just seemed like I have gotten cut on my last team. I just didn’t have the drive. I said, “I wanted to go do new things.” It’s just time. That chapter in my life was amazing and it’s just time for me to move on and do something amazing.

I’d like to understand what your mental state was around the fifth year. Did you know that you no longer had the edge you did before? Did you sense that something was wrong? Did you feel that you could have had control of that or did you basically, at that point in time, decide that it was time to move forward?

It’s a combination of those things. It was the first year of free agency. I had gone from New Orleans where I was playing, I was well-liked, I was a vital part of that team, and I went into free agency deals. I got double the money and signing bonus and I went back to Seattle. I thought that would be a great move, that was my hometown and that turned out to be the worst move ever. It just killed my spirits in terms of my love for the game. If I would have stayed in New Orleans, I know I would have played another two, three years for sure. It just didn’t play out that way. Like a lot of guys, I’m no different. When that time came having go from a college scholarship to making six figures, 23 years old, and you go to the top of the rung in terms of your peer group or your friends, then when you’re 29, you drop off the cliff, it was really hard. It was a two-year tough transition for me. I’m like, “What I was going to do?” It wasn’t a financial thing necessarily but just where do you get that same acceleration from something that you just love to do?

You’re part of a group of people, which I call childhood actor syndrome. What it really means is that we peak early in life and we think we peak. In actuality, life is made up of many peaks. You had this enormous success and then now it was over, and then there’s the emotional aspect of what happens. When I sold my software company, I felt like I was in the same place that you were in. I basically ended an era and sure I had some money in the bank. At the same time, I didn’t quite know what to do with myself. It sounds like you were in the same place. Tell me what you did to discover what your next thing would be.

The drive to do something great was still there. I wanted to do something very entrepreneurial but I just couldn’t figure what that was going to be. I just kicked a lot of tires and what ultimately came out to be. This was two years into it, and there’s a guy that I knew that was working for a marketing company and selling a lot of commercial products to various corporations. He was like, “Mark, I think you’d be great at this.” I decided to take that on and it was immediate success. I think my first month, I made $30,000 or something. It was amazing. I didn’t know that I had a sales ability. I was trained in the right way and then they turned me loose and I went after it. It was the start of a lot of things to come.

If you don’t mind me asking about your home life at this point, after all the burden of being fired by the NFL and then drifting for those two years before you picked up the sales position, how did that bode with the family?

We got two parts. My parents were always super supportive in that. Right around that time, I got married and it probably wasn’t the best time for me to get married but that’s what happened. She’s now ex, but I was with her for 24, 25 years and she was very supportive. She was in a career in LA that she really love to be in. She was an actress and she did well with that. It’s just the way that it was. I was financially secure but I wasn’t emotionally secure because I didn’t have clarity in what I was doing.

All successful people go through this period and multiple times, I might add, where we reach a pinnacle in our lives and then we need to take a break and we need to change. In my own life, I used to write on my resume I’ve had six professions because you go through these succession of interest levels and opportunities. Here you were, you’re in sales. You’re generating a lot of great money in sales. Are you happy there? Is that where you wanted to be?

I think, yeah. It will never replace being the guy that kicks the winning goal in the Olympics in the gold medal round or something. In my case, it happened to me a number of times where I caught the last-second touchdown and carried off and having that fanfare and all the attention that goes along with that. It just didn’t happen that way in business because most of these things are usually done over long sale cycles and there’s not all the drama that builds up to it into one crescendo moment. What I did do is that sales job that I talked about, it started up as a franchise opportunity in Southern California. I quickly realized that the franchise was not really bringing me any kind of value and I could just do this on my own. I did that and I essentially turned my franchise back and opened up my own gig and said, “If you want to sue me, sue me if we’re going to compete, but this is what I’m doing.” They stayed away from me. That was really the first and the start of my entrepreneurial endeavors. I just rechanneled that same juice that I had to play in the NFL towards this new business.

Here you are at this point in your life where you’ve taken control, you’ve now started that business and obviously, you grew that business. At that point, tell us basically how you transitioned to your next company. What happened with the business you opened after the franchise?

Back on the first company, back in the day it was called The Pattison Group. It was a marketing import company and I had landed a deal with Starbucks. This was another where preparation meets opportunity. I had started to do some things overseas in manufacturing because the corporations I was going after were much larger so I could have a lot of these things made, hats or t-shirts or whatever, overseas and make much higher margins. I’ve landed the Starbucks account. It took me two and a half years and that was to manufacture every green outdoor market umbrella that we’ve all seen outside of every Starbucks and did that pretty much for them worldwide for fourteen years. Through that period of time, I just wanted to do something that’s much more proprietary. I happened to run into my old high school buddy in the park, just dumb luck and very creative guy. We came together and started talking about our different core strengths and I told him about my overseas, my import, and my connections to all these different companies and he had this very creative mind. We put together this company called Front Porch Classics and that led into this whole other journey. I continued to still run my first company while I was doing the company number two but they dovetailed fine. The bottom line is, Front Porch I would say is a gaming company. We invented all these amazing games. It was just an amazing journey that we ended up going on.

Were these physical board games or were these Facebook games? What kind of games were they?

It was back in 2001 and there were a lot of awful things. There was a crash and the Twin Tower situation that happened and a lot of people really wanted to just unplug. The games that we made, we trademark this name, Coffee Table Games. They were old wooden tactile type games that we literally invented. I went out and we needed to get some seed capital. I raised $500,000 in two weeks from friends and family. Everybody was really resonating with what we were doing. We just walked around with our very basic business plan and a bunch of drawings and that was it.

Here you were ready to go, prepared with the business plan, you pull in your contacts, you pull in your personal connections, and you make this happen. You made this happen. You brought in $500,000 and Front Porch Classics was launched.

We were launched and not only did we launch, we put in the production of eight different products. It’s an inventory business too, so it’s a very tricky game. The first year we launched the product, one of the eight was called Old Century Baseball. It ended up winning toy of the year. We’re talking about beating up Mattel and Hasbro and all those long-time big boys. It was amazing. It just absolutely exploded the company. Of course, we needed more money because the amount of cost for the inventory to guess because a lot of these sale cycles start so early for all the Macy’s and Nordstroms and all these other companies that are out there. I think this is maybe a year later, I went out and I raised another $1.5 million from venture capitalists, which was an interesting journey in itself.

I’d like to understand a little bit about the processes. You started this company with some game designs but at some point, what you needed to do was you needed to systematize the business. Otherwise, it wasn’t going to work. You can’t be the only person doing everything. Tell us a little bit about how you started and how systems and key staff members came into play with Front Porch Classics.

YFTC 052 | Finding Your Summit

Finding Your Summit: It doesn’t matter what kind of organization you’re in, everybody needs to see themselves as a sales organization not a creative organization.

With Front Porch, I was the guy in the team with the most credibility and with the contacts in terms of raising money so I was the CEO of the company. The guy that I’d met, he’s another Mark, this is the high school friend, the creative one, and he was the creative director. We had those in line. We actually brought in a third guy. He was a lawyer who’s very creative, but he also design games. He was a corporate lawyer. We had that structure in place to start. Then we had some total of eight employees out of the gate. We had one or two sales people, although I was that lead salesperson and then designers and the other two founders. It was a very tight band to get out of the gate but very creatively oriented band. As we’ve learned very quickly, it doesn’t matter what kind of organization you’re in, everybody needs to see themselves as a sales organization not a creative organization.

That’s a key point. In fact on that point, I’d like for you to explain for our listeners how you got into the chain stores. Many of us out there have had products that we wish we could have had the type of retail distributions that you did. What steps did you take?

One of the things that I did just like when I was playing football is part of this game plan was really going back to all the foundational steps that I needed to take. Going back to, in this case, my pyramid of success. As we looked up, we identified five major stores that we needed to be in. One was Starbucks, one was the Nordstroms, another one was Amazon. They were just coming on the scene at the time. I can’t remember the other two but we really wanted to spread it across the board, I think the other one was Barnes & Noble, so then we could take that with credibility to all the other stores that were out there. One of the things that we had to learn was everyone from a mom-and-pop all the way up to the Nordstroms of the world to the Costcos, they all had different sale cycles.

There are two things about that. Number one, you need to understand what those things are because they’re not buying Christmas presents in November. That happens a whole year before. As part of that game plan is identifying all those different retailers. We ended up in 700 different retailers, seven countries. That doesn’t happen overnight but going to trade shows, understanding the sale cycles, understand once you get the purchase order, how that functions through their whole EDI processes of receiving and sending purchase orders and invoices and things. That’s the whole process we set up with. It just took us a while to learn that game.

What I’m hearing is the way that you process information at the same time. I actually am visualizing, as you’re describing it, all the steps you needed to take. There’s a lot of wisdom in learning in what you did here. If anybody is out there with a product that they want to get into retail, Mark, what would be the one or two tips you would give them to accelerate that process, to get them really going?

First thing you have to have is great feedback from somebody. In our case, we went to a magazine, back in the day a catalogue, which is much more proficient and it does transition into the online game but it was called Back2Basics. We had a couple early adapters that really gave us tremendous like, “This is amazing. This is great.” We knew that we were on track. Those people weren’t connected to somebody from Nordstroms. We happen to be from sales, so we knew some people there, and then other companies throughout the country. Them coming in and looking at what we had created and then saying, “We’ve never seen anything like this. We have to have this.” We knew we were on to something right away.

The second part of that was really researching, “What companies that are out there that can give us scale?” If we’re talking about a mom-and-pop, we’re talking about one store. That takes a lot of legwork which we’d later get into that game with reps. When you’d start talking about Nordstroms and you know that they have 128 stores or whatever they have now and you go into Macy’s and they have 300 stores. You go to some of the other retailers across the country, everyone has a certain volume and that’s what we were looking to get into. It’s really the process of elimination and figuring out who those people were, researching that and then going after those particular people.

At the same time, I want to add the step that I think was super critical is you were able to get third party endorsement pretty early. You were smart enough to know that with that third party endorsement, you could parley that into appointments at some of these buying offices. That was pretty brilliant.

There was one other thing too that we did. This is something I would recommend anybody to do and that we ended up every year and started in winter time in February. In New York City, they would have a toy show and it was huge. It’s always been huge at the Javits Center. What we did is we literally build a 40-foot very expensive front porch. We had rocking chairs out there. We set up just like you would back in the day with their grandpa and they’re playing a chess game or something. What we did is we invested in getting Starbucks gift cards. We sent those to every buyer that we could think of, literally hundreds of buyers. We sent them a postcard and the postcard said, “Come to our booth at Javits Center. You will redeem a Starbucks gift card, your postcard with a $5 coffee card.” Of course, they did. We had hordes of these different buyers coming to our booth. It was great.

This mirrors what Chet Holmes wrote about in The Ultimate Sales Machine. He talked about the Dream 100. I think what Chet talked about is what you did. Basically, you select your top clients in any market and then you cultivate that relationship at a higher level than you would cultivate anybody else. You don’t give up. You exercise enormous patience and eventually some large percentage, like 20% or more of that Dream 100, will finally come around and be available for both conversation and potentially to do business with. Super well done on that and that’s exactly the strategy that I think anybody can and should use when trying to get into large organizations like retail distributors. Almost the identical strategy, trade shows and everything with our software company as well so I could validate that. Let’s move off because this has been some great conversation about what it really takes to make a business successful. You keep bringing up this thing about the pyramid. Could you give us a little bit more information and talk about that?

YFTC 052 | Finding Your Summit

Finding Your Summit: What I did is I took it and I adapted it to my business and also what I’m doing today in terms of climbing these different mountains.

This is back from John Wooden. If anybody doesn’t know who John Wooden is, they should look him up. The guy won ten NCAA championships in a row. Not just over the course of his career but in a row. He had these amazing players, Lew Alcindor who is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Walton and others. He had written this Pyramid of Success. Essentially, it’s the roadmap to success that anything you want to do in life, you have to essentially follow the same path. In his case, it was basketball. Our head coach of the University of Washington, Don James, took it and then applied that to football. What I did is I took it and I adapted it to my business and also what I’m doing today in terms of climbing these different mountains.

I want to bring that forward now because I love what you’re doing today. I love how you have taken the same paradigm and made it your own. Tell me a little bit about that decision to scale Seven Summits. Where did that come from?

It came from me being in a pretty low place. I had moved from Seattle back to LA. At that time, my marriage was falling apart. I was in a very lonely, lonely place. I needed to figure out something to go refill my bucket. After a couple years of walking around the block and saying, “How did I get here?” I finally woke up one day and said, “What am I going to do about it?” At that point in time, all those things that had gotten me to these certain pinnacles of success, playing in the NFL in college and then starting these different businesses, I just re-jumpstarted that in my brain and I got all the negativity and I shed that, I “It’s very clear to me I need to go do something athletically great. I still can’t play football so what can that be?” Growing up in the Northwest, it’s a mountaineering community with all the lakes and peaks and mountains that surround the city. I did some research and found that no NFL guy had ever climbed the Seven Summits. I put my sights on that and I went after it starting five years ago now. Five peaks later, I’m just well my way to rounding third base and actually becoming that guy.

When we start a cycle of action, we progress and then we learn lessons. I know you’ve learned many lessons from your six years of both climbing and preparation. Not just physical lessons but mental lessons. I love what you’re doing now. Can you tell us a little bit more about how you’ve translated some of those lessons into your current business?

I think there are a couple of points in there. I think one thing is that you can never be afraid to ask for help. In my case, I’ve got a lot of natural energy to go out and do things and have that focus. What I didn’t know and what I didn’t really understand is how to really internet market. What I’m really good at is going out and selling tactile products to people, hand-to-hand combat. I go in, I make the pitch. I’m good at that. Actually when you’re selling online courses, selling your know how, I just didn’t know how to do that. I had to reach out and ask, “How does this work?” and educate myself on this new world.

You’ve done a great job. At this point in time, Mark, I’m aware of the courses that you’ve created and I’m aware of this incredible website and a very cool assessment. What do you call your assessment?

My assessment is the Seven Summits of Success. It’s really that whole notion. We talked about Don James and John Wooden having 22 pillars. I slimmed it down quite a bit, which is because that’s a lot to take on. I think that you can really get from beginning to end goal with seven pillars. They work every time. So many people, they start, they have a great idea and then they don’t know how to start it or they have a great idea, they start it, and then they quit. This is why every December, everybody makes New Year’s resolutions because they stopped doing what they wanted to do at the start. What I’ve done is really create this whole module with examples and assignments of exactly how to get from a great idea to a great end point or what might be your summit, your success from A to Z and how to get there. Do it.

Mark is going to teach us how to find our own summit and reach it. That is a damn exciting thing to talk about. I want to know what the seven points are in your program. Can you name them?

After the acronym of SUMMITS. Representing the first letter is S, that’s your seed. That’s your seed idea of accomplishment. What idea? What do you want to get done out there? What is the big idea for you? It can be business or in my case mountain climbing. The second is once you have that idea, the second letter in there is U. You have to unleash it. Unleashing is like, “You’ve got a great plan, now you have to put that plan into action.” With Front Porch, we got to write a business plan. That was the unleashing to that plan to create a roadmap. The third letter is M which is you’ve got to move it. You have the idea, you unleash it, you write the business plan and now you have to put that into action. You have to actually move the ball down the field. The third M is measure. It doesn’t help if you’re doing all these great things and you’re moving the ball down the field but you’re not actually getting new clients. You’re not increasing your sales. You have to measure that and make sure that that’s happening on a daily or weekly or monthly basis. The next is improve. Always making sure that you’re measuring it, also that you’re improving your game. We can always improve. There are always new things. There are courses that you can take. There are new techniques that you can learn. There are always ways that you can keep going but you’ve got to keep learning that knowledge base. The next thing is the T, the traverse. Traverse is like when things happen. We all run into obstacles. Things happen, always. It’s not about quitting when you run into something that’s a little hard, it’s about taking that path around of that detour to get to your end goal. Just like when I was playing, I was in an All-American in high school, went into college, and I was someone from hero to zero. I was not playing for three years. What did I have to do to get to the endpoint? The last one after T is once you go through that obstacle, you summit. You finally get there. That’s your success. That point to me, you’re paying it forward. That’s what the whole Seven Summits of Success is all about.

YFTC 052 | Finding Your Summit

Finding Your Summit: You have the idea, you unleash it, you write the business plan and now you have to put that into action.

That final S to me sounds like it’s the beginning of what maybe a lifetime of repeating the exercise over and over again as you continue to climb additional summits even in the same place.

Summits is really metaphorical. It’s different when my summit back in the day when I was in my twenties was playing football. My next summit in my 30’s was starting businesses. It’s continued to be like that and I’m going through a new summit right now. It’s very exciting.

We all are, all the time. I know that in my own process is I’ve gotten lost along the way. It sounds like you’ve come up with a very, very powerful simple system to keep people on tracking, get them focused. If people wanted to find out more about your new program, where would they go?

The best place to go is to MarkPattisonNFL.com. That’s where you can find me.

When they get there, can they take that assessment you talked about?

Yeah, they can take the assessment test. They can sign up, take the assessment, and we can get people going that day, that hour.

Mark, I know that you have a huge fan base and people love to follow you. I also understand you have a podcast. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

YFTC 052 | Finding Your Summit

Finding Your Summit: Everybody struggles, everybody goes through that obstacle. Those that keep going get over the top and get to the other side.

It was crazy because out of this whole journey, I’ve never gotten to climbing mountains to necessarily start a business but these amazing things have happened out of that. I didn’t start broadcasting my journey until about fourteen months ago. In that fourteen months of doing a Facebook fan page and Twitter and other things, it really just had to do with more aspirational or inspirational pictures of my climbs and whatnot, I’ve been able to garnish over 200,000 people that follow my journey. A number of months ago, I started this new podcast called Finding Your Summit. It’s really about overcoming adversity to finding your way, finding your success. Everybody struggles, everybody goes through that obstacle, that traverse, but it’s those that keep going and get over the top and get to the other side. I just talk to a lot of people who have had to go through these different things and found their way and they’ve taken off. It’s just fun to talk to all of these different people. It’s inspirational for me.

I completely understand that process. I’ve always said no one ever fails until they quit. I love the traverse element of your formula. It’s like a pivot. I love the fact that there is never truly an end. There is just a pivot. What that really means is that once you make that pivot and it doesn’t work, you make it again and eventually it will and you’ll find exactly what it is to get to the S, which is your summit, which is fantastic.

I love that word pivot, Mitch. I think I’m going to use that in my own podcast because you’re right. The word that I actually have used and it’s the same word is reinvent yourself. It says life is full of opportunities. When you lay down and you quit, and I’ve got so many examples of people doing that, there’s nothing good that comes out of that. You’ve got to fight through it. Hard times always pass. My dad used to always tell me this and he was so right. Good things happen to good people. If you just hang in there, persevere, you can get to the other side.

Mark, I want to mention that people should go to MarkPattisonNFL.com. Take the assessment. Find your own summit, listeners, and use Mark’s amazing brilliance to get you there. Mark, I have a couple of questions for you. The first question is one I always ask my guests. I think it’s entertaining to hear the answer. Who, in all of space and time, would you like to have one hour to enjoy a walk in the park, a quick lunch or an intense conversation with?

I would love to do that with Sir Edmund Hillary, the first guy that ever climbed Mount Everest.

Tell me why.

Essentially, nobody had ever done that before. There weren’t fixed lines. They were literally fuming their way all the way up the mountain. They didn’t understand about the super storms that hit, the monsoon season and they essentially did it in a tweed suit. If you go back and you take a look at these old classic pictures of him and his partner, a Sherpa, they just have this outdated and it’s just like, “How did you not freeze your hands up?” I don’t know how they did it. I don’t think they had oxygen. I would just be fascinated to listen to. He’s quite the explorer, the adventurer, and I just love to pick his brain.

As a favor, I’m going to ask you to take me along on your hour with Sir Edmund Hillary because that would be one interesting conversation. Here’s the grand finale question. This again is the question that I think really tells me a lot about what’s inside your heart. This is the change the world question. What is it that you are doing or would like to do that truly has the potential to literally change the world?

This is something that I’ve really come to terms with because a lot of times we do things because we have to or you forget the golden handcuffs on. As I’ve learned through my path in life that the things that I’ve done, the best at, are the things that I am authentically feeling the most purposeful about. I didn’t get into mountain climbing because I was out to make a buck or figure out how I can monetize on all this but I have a true love for doing this. I’m absolutely just going crazy about my podcast, Finding Your Summit, because of interviewing all these people who have a passion about what they’re doing, whether they’re a climber, they’re NFL player, they are singer, they’re an artist or business person about the adversity they have gone through. I’m so inspired about their journey. I just know for myself that anything I do from here on and out, just like my module that I’ve created, if I’m not doing it for the right reasons, I’m not authentic about my true intent, it’s not going to work. My joy is not going to be behind it.

I think we have a lot in common in that regard. Just like you, I’m here to change the world through the words and actions of others, inspiring others, sharing what they have done and what they know and sharing what we’ve done and what we know. Mark Pattison, this has been an incredible experience. I want to thank you again for being on the show. I want listeners to go to MarkPattisonNFL.com and for heaven’s sakes, take the assessment and get some of this incredible wisdom into your life. Thank you. We’ll talk again soon.

Thank you so much, Mitch.

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