Welcome to this edition of the Productive Business Magazine Blog – The power of collaboration. It’s an honor and a pleasure to bring to you the best and the brightest from all around the world as we talk productivity in business. Today, I have the pleasure of introducing you to a good friend of mine, Brian Wood.

Brian Wood is originally, from NJ, He earned his BA in Communications from William Paterson University. Brian earned his MBA in 2014 from the University of Phoenix while balancing family, community involvement, and work life.  His athletic background and corporate experience with American Airlines and Waste Management has enabled him to provide a unique perspective relative to coaching, achieving potential and success.

PBM:    Welcome Brian Wood, how are you doing today?

Brian Wood:   Dr. V, I am doing great. Thanks for having me on the show.

PBM:    Absolutely, I wouldn’t have it any other way, my friend. If you would, please tell the audience a little bit about yourself.

Brian Wood:   As a people and as a society, there are certain things that get in our way. If we can overcome those things, we can become the people that we were designed to be by reaching our potential, and leveraging our gifts. So what I do Dr. Vernet, is as an executive coach, I work with people to achieve their potential by understanding the things that get in their way.  Some of the things that typically get in our way are connected to the wrong mindset; so that’s a big focus for me. Staying away from a victim mentality, staying away from a fighter mentality.  Fighter, not in a positive gritty sense, but fighter in it’s everyone else’s fault and not mine; which is that correlation between anger and fear. So those are some of the things that are connected to the mindset that I focus on. As a success coach, I’m just passionate about helping people achieve and pursue their passion as they go after the things that are most important to them, their values.

PBM:   Brian, as we talk about values and people achieving and turning their dreams into reality; I’m reminded of something that I always tell folks and that is “You’ve only got one life to live, so you might as well live it to the fullest!” Let’s discuss the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) campaign that you have going on. Break that down for the readers and those that will listen to the radio show when it airs. What is LLS and let’s talk about how you got involved.

Brian Wood:   The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, nominated me for “Man of the Year,” which is a fundraising campaign. The idea is much like what you do Dr. V, you are in the business of changing lives and as a success coach, there’s a lot of stuff that gets in our way. I try to work through that with individuals. Certainly, cancer is one of those things that get in the way of a lot of people.  When you look at why I got involved, there are so many people that inspire me. Dr. V, there’s my running mate, I’m actually running with Bridget Weinberg who is running for “Woman of the Year.” There’s a couple of other people I wanted to mention like Brad and Peggy Taylor and their beautiful daughter Lily. They call her Super Lily (Sassafras) and she is tough as nails. When you think about the why behind what we do each and every day. You’re a dad, and I understand that; so am I.  When you think and imagine your child suffering from leukemia or any kind of cancer-related disease, you would do anything to serve them. As busy as we are, we’re all juggling lots. The reality is, we don’t know which dollar, which volunteer opportunity or which moment is going to help us conquered cancer and help all of these people achieve what they were meant to achieve.  I feel compelled to do everything I can because when it’s all said and done, just like you mentioned; life is short. I don’t want to look back and say, wow, I didn’t do everything I could do, to help all the people and change all the lives that I’m capable of doing.

PBM:   One of the greatest things that I can attest to life and leadership is being able to help as many people as possible along our life journey. We may not necessarily understand, our purpose right from the start. Some people get it early, and for some people, it takes them a little while. Brian, I was just having a conversation earlier with a family member talking about success. What does that actually mean? Success for you, may not be the same as success for me. At the end of the day, if I can help you to become a better person, If I can help you to become a better version of yourself every day and every inch that’s what it takes. I tell my clients one small step at a time, and if you can take the small steps, eventually you will start walking and then it will be time for you start running.

So as we go through this life and journey, the question is… and I’m posing this question to everyone who will be listening to the radio show as well as those who are going to read this article.  Are you maximizing your potential? Because if not, you are shortchanging and you’re cheating society, your community, and your world.  You may have the answer to the problem that the world is facing, your community is facing or your society is facing. So, I first and foremost want to applaud you for taking that mantle and running with it. Because many people can say, well, you know what that hasn’t really affected me or my family per se. I’m not going to put that on my back/plate as that may not be my pathway. Thank God for people like yourself who find a reason to get involved, in a day and age like today where people really turned their back. That’s one of the things, I love about the millennial generation. Millennials are always attaching themselves to a cause.  I think that’s something that we all can learn from the millennial generation. What is the cause that we’re attaching our life, our experience, and our trust to?

Brian Wood:    To your point Dr. V, as long as you’re moving forward, you may get attached to a cause that you find you’re not passionate about and then you just move on. As long as you’re serving and as long as you’re working. Again, to your point, as long as you’re getting better because I find this interesting Dr. V when you talk about the idea of just getting a tiny bit better every single day, that sounds easy, right?  What is fascinating, is we don’t really know how fast we can run because we have limitations that were programmed with. So all we have to do is just, like you said, get a little better every single day to serve yourself, your circle of influence, your community, society, and humanity.

PBM:   So we know the what, help us to understand the why. I’m sure if you’re reading this article, you have either had a family member or know someone in your life who has passed away from cancer. So let’s talk about that Brian, the why behind the push and the drive.

Brian Wood:   There is a couple, but the biggest one that comes to mind is; we have the ability to improve the lives of everyone we come in contact with every single day. The idea of expanding that platform, and creating that ripple effect, shows you’ll never know how many lives you truly will impact. Right?  If you continue doing the work every single day and impacting every person you come into contact with, you can motivate them to be a little bit better to get them closer to where they need to be. That impact is exponential and that’s one of the most important things.  See it the things that we don’t see, and the results that we’ll never know about that makes the difference. We just have to have faith and believe that we are positively changing lives; understanding that it’s always good enough and it’s never good enough at the same time. If you’re giving everything you have and it’s never good enough in the sense that you can always push a little bit harder, squeeze a little bit more in and squeeze a little bit more out of life.

PBM:   One of the things that I adore about life is having the opportunity to produce and serve. At the end of the day, as long as we are inhaling and exhaling, we have the opportunity to do those two things. We can produce something, but more importantly, we can serve! I want to park it there for just a moment, because in the day and age that we live in, everybody is more so focused on themselves instead of actually how can they make a distinct difference. Whether you call that an impact or a difference, whatever the case may be; at the end of the day, your needs may be taken care of, but you could possibly help someone else who needs assistance. For some it’s not always, in a monetary sense, it may be time,  it may be helping them to accomplish something that they never thought that they could accomplish before. If you find someone that you consider to be great, I promise you that service was at the top of their list. These type of people you will find serving mankind and show people how to do something, get better, do better, be better, as individuals.  When we look at that, the question is why not? When people often ask why the response back should be; why not? So how does one get involved with LLS?  Are there literally chapters all throughout the United States? Break that down for us as there may be people reading that have never heard of LLS before, but wonder how can they get involved?

Brian Wood:   Right? Thank you so much for that! Yes, they are literally all across the country and there are different chapters throughout. I’m obviously running in Phoenix, so that’s the chapter I am affiliated with, but it’s really as simple as doing a google search for LLS and then you’ll be prompted to different locations. As for the “Man & Woman of the Year” campaigns, you can pull up all the candidates from each of the chapters.  At that point, it’s essentially a fundraising opportunity. We’re trying to raise as much money as possible to impact as many lives as possible.  So that’s really what it consists of! There is a gala, which is the grand event when it’s all said and done. That will take place on June 9th, at The Talking Stick Resort, and that’ll be a tremendous event with tons of people that want to change the world in that one room. I’m really excited to be part of that finale.

PBM:   Another thing that I love about life Brian, is when you look at things, there are always patterns and systems, right? There are strategies to get everything done! What I’m about to do may seem strange to people, but what I want to talk about right now is the pattern, the system, and the strategy to even be able to produce and serve. A lot of times, when people bring businesses, organizations or an idea/theme or something of that nature together; they don’t necessarily have the structure. I want to talk from the perspective of how there is a strategy, there is a structure, there is a system, and there is a cause.  Attached to that cause are the system, the tools, and the strategies that it will take to make that cause happen.

With that in mind, there’s also an end state, not complete end, but every year there will be a “Man of the Year” and a “Woman of the Year” for those who care about this cause and have fixed their heart to serve in this capacity. We want you to be great at who you are and bring awareness to this specific cause and then at a specific time and date on the calendar, we’re going to come together to celebrate the work that has been done. This sounds a lot like a recipe for success, right? I’m talking to a success coach, so I hope that the people who are reading this are actually picking it up. Whether you’re talking about a cause, a dream, or whatever it is; first and foremost, you’ve got to write it out and make it plain.

Then you’ve got to put some order and structure to it before people can come in and attached themselves, you will have to tell them what it is. You have to give them a reason to want to be a part or remind them how they play a part. Does this make sense? What I love about this is, that we’re not making this up. If I was sitting in front of you right now, in a coaching session, I could almost guarantee that Brian would ask these questions? What are we talking about here? What is the issue? What is bothering you? What would you like to do? What is your dream? What is it that you want to birth, right? Then we walk it backwards and find a structure. Come on, talk to us, Brian.

Brian Wood:    Well, like they say, if you don’t have a goal, any road will take you there.  Back to your initial point, about measuring one step of success, how do you do that without a plan and how do you do that without enthusiasm? The other thing I want to mention Dr. V is you talked about the value and the passion for serving others. What’s ironic about that is we typically get way more in return than when we give.  To serve others, that act alone gives us satisfaction and that gives us success. You’re exactly right, everyone’s got their own definition of success, but it seems like that’s the common denominator; when you give you will receive. When you give without an agenda, you know through belief and faith it’s going to come back 100 fold. That’s not even an issue!

PBM:   I am absolutely loving this! It doesn’t matter what it is that you desire to be or do in life; the question is, do you have a plan? Is there a structure? Are you prepared to go the distance? See, everything has a start and a stopping point, but the question is, what does that line or that squiggly line look like in between. Brian, I reminded of a saying, “everybody has a birth date and an expiration date!” When you go to the cemetery, there’s this little thing that represents the span of one’s life. We call that thing a dash, right? Now my question to everyone who’s reading this is, what does your dash look like? What does your dash represent? What will people be able to say about your dash?

Brian Wood:   What could it look like, I want to relate it to your question about why do you do that? And you came back with why not? What is your dash look like, well, what could look like? What’s possible and what should it look like? I liked that big thinking as I know you’re a big thinker. What are the possibilities, right? What if we took away all the limited beliefs out of our head? Let’s look for something bigger, a bigger way to drive change through LLS, our community or in society. What would that look like? Think big versus going through the motions.

PBM:   We have to think so big, and I had a thought the other day that went something like this… If our dreams are not scaring us or making us uncomfortable, they’re entirely too small. The crazy thing about dreamers, thinkers, doers and those who go out and execute and make things happen is; it’s a choice. It’s literally just a choice. Some people can sit back and their big old homes and say, I’ve done all that I was supposed to do, but there is more than can be done. If they’re still life to live, then I want to live it. That’s it, If there’s still stuff to do, I want to do it!

Brian Wood:   Dr. V, you’re speaking my language, part of this whole process relative to the choice is you have the choice of who you surround yourself with.  I’ve told you this before, right? I want to be in the same room as you. I want to be with people that want to do big things that are positive.  If you’re surrounded by four negative people, you’ll be the fifth. That’s a big factor with success, whatever your definition is of success may be.

PBM:   The company that we keep is so important.  I’m glad that you brought that up because at the end of the day if you’re surrounding yourself with negativity, that’s what you’re going to become unless you are the flame or the match or whatever it is that ignites that fire for them to change. If you allow them to out, think out, do outwit you in whatever it is that they’re doing, then they will become the majority. You will be the minority and you will turn in to what they’re doing. I challenge everyone today to be different, dare to be different and say to yourself; I want to accomplish and whatever that is. I want to challenge everyone who’s reading today and call yourself out and say, self, I am willing to be better than I am today. I want to see myself succeed so that I can be a blessing to not only me but for generations to come. I am certain that whoever founded LLS, their vision has been exceeded at least 10 times.  You caught the baton and you began to run with it, just like someone else caught the baton and they begin to run with it. They caught onto the vision and added their enthusiasm, their thought process, and their desire to see more happen; and they took it further than what the person originally set out to accomplish. I think about this little character. Many people see a mouse and they run, but do you know how many people are running to a place they call Disneyland or Disneyworld because of a vision that someone saw when nobody else could see it?  You’re like, how many millions of people to date have gone to see the vision that someone saw many, many years ago?

Brian Wood:   It’s funny you bring that up, I always look at Las Vegas as that example as well, right? Someone said there was this desert here, but this is what I’m going to build and create. I am certain whoever was in the room said, you must be out of your mind. Another lesson for us to understand is when you have passion, dreams, and when you’re thinking big while being positive, there are going to be some naysayers; but you still have that choice as we talked before to accept that or to refute it.

PBM:   The question at hand folks, is what will you do today? What will you do today to make a difference? Whether it’s the LLS campaign, your neighborhood watch, whether it’s, you know, the kid that you see down the street. Right now, we’re in what we call graduation season and there are many kids that were counted out that nobody thought would make it right; but they’re making it. They’re making it because there are people like you, Brian, who are in their neighborhood who sees all they need is an extra push. Who sees, if we gave them something to do after school, they wouldn’t get caught up in the foolery that’s going on around them. Right? All it takes is a little compassion, a little awareness, a little resilience, and just the little bit of execution. Just a little care, that’s all it takes!  Once we get to that point, Brian lives begin to change.

Brian Wood:   The understanding that we all have gifts, we’ve all been given gifts and you may not see it in the folks that you’re describing. You may not see their gifts easily, but it’s our job, our responsibility, and it’s our obligation to find that talent and to harvest it. Then they will become the people they’re supposed to be, to help us become the society we’re supposed to be.

PBM:   I am super excited about the great things that are happening around the world. It’s awesome that we can sit here and highlight the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. There’s so much negativity that’s going on out there in the world. When are we going to start bringing positive stories back? We’re going to start showing people the good of the world as opposed to everything negative. I mean, this disease called cancer can literally transform and change the trajectory of a family and a generation, my friends. So it’s important for us, to support this type of work, get involved early and find out different ways of detection and things of that nature. We talked about the what and the why. Let’s understand some of the preventative things people can do like early detection and other avenues.

Brian Wood:   The biggest thing is what you mentioned Dr. V, and that’s consistent checkups. There are some things that help out with all aspects of health and that’s certainly the things that we eat, staying active, and the things that we think. There’s also a correlation between health, wellness, and being positive and optimistic. There’s something to that, but as it relates to LLS, I’d say the biggest opportunity is to consistently get your checkups and make sure you’re, doing all the recommended things from your doctor.

PBM:   I don’t think people realize, how important it is to be social. Some people think, oh my goodness, no, that’s not for me.  I’m not just talking social media. I’m talking about having relationships, people that you can communicate to, talk with, and get understanding from. Whether it’s being mentored, coached, or trained it’s important.  People who find themselves being in isolation, I hate to say it, but it’s statistics, those who isolate and insulate themselves die early and those who have and communicate with one another have healthy relationships. They tend to live longer, and I say that, to say this because we are truly better than we know and understand. If we would just utilize our gifts and talents to help other people instead of hurt or hinder them, this world and society would be a better place. We’re blessed with, many, many gifts. The question is, are we going to release our greatness? The world is waiting for people like you and me to release our greatness. And here’s the thing, If the youth see you and I do it, we’ve just given them something to look at, emulate or imitate so they can then take it a step further than what we’re currently doing.

Brian Wood:   Yes, and this will impact other generations beyond them. So it’s true that ripple effect and it’s interesting too when you talk about the power of community relationships as it relates to longevity. Longer life is great, but then a longer life connected to community and impact is even more powerful.

PBM:   So that’s what we’re challenging each and every one of you who are reading the article today, be productive in every area of your life. Seek out different things that you can do and be a part of it.  Find your community and work within that community. Be a blessing to someone else, right? We are honored to serve in the capacities that we’re currently serving in. LLS just happens to be one of those capacities. Help us to bridge the gap, show people that there is a kinder, gentler loving community out there who are willing to do good. Let’s highlight the positive folks and as we continue to do that, the world will become a better place. I’m sure there’s probably a link or some way for us to be able to show people what’s going on with the “Man & Woman of the Year” campaign for LLS. Even after the campaign, we want to be able to support you in any way possible.  Brian’s going to tell you a little bit about how you can actually click on a link and learn more, share or give. You don’t have to live here in the beautiful state of Arizona, to be a part because there are chapters all around the world.

Brian Wood:   I will say if there’s any talent, any dollar amount at all, any items that we can use to offer to raise money, anything at all, there’s nothing too small. Every single thing is a blessing. My email addresses Brian@ManfromMarscoaching.com.  I will absolutely respond quickly and do whatever I can do to help you help the cause and change as many lives as we can. Also here is the link: http://pages.mwoy.org/az/az18/bwoodh

PBM:   At the end of the day, what are we telling you, folks? There is a better version of you ahead, and the best you for today will not cut it for tomorrow. So you’ve got to be better each and every day, one small step at a time.  We’re challenging each and every one of you, whether it’s the LLS campaign or something else; get involved. Be a part of your community. Be The change that you seek to see. Because where does it start? It starts with you and it starts with me folks. Brian, Is there a way that they can connect with you socially, like on social media or anything of that nature?

Brian Wood:   So the best way is to go to my website and that’s www.manfrommarscoaching.com. You can also connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. And some of the other platforms I need to get my kids help with, but I’m trying to get there Dr. V. I’d be happy to connect with each and every one of you.

PBM:   Brian, I know you do executive coaching, but I know you do so much more than that.  I want people to know the man on the other side of the LLS campaign and the things that you do.

Brian Wood:   I’m also a certified agent with the, with the NBA, now the WNBA, and FIBA, which is the international side of basketball.  The whole idea behind that is it’s still connected to changing lives and impacting society. You think about athletes that go through things like we all go through, things. We all have baggage and we have issues, but some athletes at a young age, they feel like whether they were hurt or they were traded or maybe they took on a different role with the team, whatever the case may be, or maybe they’re moving towards retirement and they’re very young age. They’ve had the structure, they’ve had the plan, they had all those things that you talked about earlier, they’ve had that in place and now things changed. So now what do I do?  If these athletes are in a place where they can positively use their gifts and their platform to change society in a positive way versus going off the rails and heading in the wrong direction because they’re in the wrong, or have the wrong mindset. Again, mostly victim or fighter mentality. That changes society and not only society, it changes humanity. So that’s one of the things I’m very passionate about as well.

PBM: Thank you for reading the Productive Business Magazine blog – where collaboration is the new currency. You can listen to the audio version by clicking here: Productivity 360 w/ Dr. Vernet A. Joseph.  We look forward to hearing from you and all the reviews that will come from this awesome interview. Blessings, peace, love, and as we always say here be innovative, be productive, but most of all get out there and live to produce. Until next time, I’m your man. Dr. Vernet. A Joseph.