Learn to Speak with No Fear

Mike Acker is an executive and communication coach, a keynote speaker, and the author of four books including the bestselling Speak With No Fear, which has appeared on numerous booklists even getting designated as the #1 book on overcoming fear of speaking on Forbes.com.

Do you need confidence moving forward: leadership, communication, decisions, goals, business?

Find out more at MikeAcker.com

Transcript / Show Notes from Learn to Speak With No Fear Featuring Mike Acker

Speak with No Fear Book Cover and Show Notes Graphic

Tim Kubiak 0:00
Thanks for listening to bow ties and business. I’m your host Tim Kubiak. As always, if you haven’t done so please subscribe. You can find us on Facebook and Instagram at bow ties and business on twitter at bow ties and b i z. And you can find me at Tim Kubiak at Timkubiak.com on Twitter and on LinkedIn. Today we’re going to take on what a lot of people are truly afraid of. And that’s public speaking. Our guest is Mike Acker. He’s an executive and communications coach, keynote speaker, and he’s the author of four books, including the best selling, speak with no fear. He’s appeared on numerous book lists, even getting designated is the number one book and overcoming the fear of speaking on Forbes. We go into his backstory. It’s a really entertaining episode. He’s a highly inspiring person. And I hope you enjoy it. Mike, thanks for being here. Welcome to this show. Do you mind telling our audience a little bit about yourself?

Mike Acker 0:54
Yeah, my name is Mike Acker, and I’m an author of four different books. I do a lot of leadership coaching, a lot of executive coaching. And I launched a publisher not too long ago, because I needed more things to do.

Tim Kubiak 1:09
You launched your own publishing company, then?

Mike Acker 1:12
Yeah, you know, what had happened, I had written for my own books, and I had done the work of publishing them already, you know, so I figured out I learned a lot about that. And then I had several of my clients, I work with many executives, some doctors and all kinds of thought leaders. And as they’re reaching out to me, they said, I want to do that. So I kept on pointing to different places. And ultimately, I said, you know, let me work on this with you. And after I did it for about six different times, with different people, I thought, I should probably make this legit, and really build out this company. So just started it a couple months ago. And we have several books that are getting ready to be hot off the press. So pretty exciting about it. It’s just a continuation of the work that I was already doing, working with a messenger. And now we can publish the message.

Tim Kubiak 1:59
That’s really great. I mean, it brings it all together in a beautiful way.

Mike Acker 2:04
Yeah, it really does. It really does.

Tim Kubiak 2:07
I’m sorry, how did you decide to take that jump? Because a lot of times we talk to entrepreneurs here, and it’s sort of a last minute thing, where they’re like, Oh, wait, Hey, did you just look at your client roster and say, Man, you know, these people really need the help?

Mike Acker 2:23
Yeah, actually, the publishing work was something that you I for entrepreneurs, I mean, just anybody who’s checking this out, entrepreneurs, think through the thing that people keep on asking you to do, and then lean into that sometimes we try to create a business niche, and a business need that’s out there. But often, people are already coming to you about something. So that’s what was happening to me, I published this book one got on forbes.com, it’s got over 300 positive reviews. So people are giving me calls and clients are giving me calls, doctors are giving me calls, and saying, Hey, tell me more about that. So I kept on giving away this free information, right. And then I realized, hey, this, there’s something here. And so quarantine hit, and I was slowed down for a little bit, and yet some of my clients, so perfect time for them to write a book. And so I just offered it as kind of an extension of the communication coaching. Now, it’s just working in communication writing. So I did some book coaching. And then I’ll just walk them through a self published aspect of things. It was also during this time that some large traditional publishers reached out to me about writing some books for them. And what I’ve just compared what I was making on my own, to what they were offering, I thought it’s actually better for me to go on my own. So just putting all this together, it just kept on creeping at me people asking me for help people asking me to do this. And that’s when I realized, you know what, I need to go bigger on this, I need to actually create this as a separate business than what I’m doing. And and build that team out instead of just trying to add it into the coaching and the leadership, the communication, the speaking and all that work. So it kind of happened into it wasn’t something I really planned. I just followed the need.

Tim Kubiak 4:05
that’s the sign of a great entrepreneur. Right. Solve solve the problem. That’s there. Don’t reinvent the wheel.

Mike Acker 4:13
Yeah, absolutely. And it’s the same way. I mean, the first book I wrote was all about, just follow the need. I was coaching on the side, I was actually working in sales at the time. And in the evenings, I’d have these different clients I’ve been just doing some side coaching for for quite some time. And again, and again, people are asking me, how do I have more confidence? How can I overcome my insecurity? So I just follow the need, ended up writing out the strategies that I coach people through, and that’s how, how, that’s how I got going. So I some of these things that are really well thought out and planned and other things is just follow the breadcrumbs follow the breadcrumbs until you find the cookie.

Tim Kubiak 4:53
So you follow the breadcrumbs because obviously you mentioned you’ve got a book that’s on the Forbes list, right? So do you mind talking A little bit about the book, what people can get from it.

Mike Acker 5:04
Yeah, absolutely. So, so as I said, I was just doing this coaching on the side. And again and again, mostly top level professionals, CEOs, even of some really large, well known company, and many doctors who are giving presentations on their expertise. Were just asking me again, again, Mike, I’m nervous. What do I do? How can I have more confidence? Well, I had a full time job. So I was actually limiting my coaching to about eight hours a week, that was Max, it was 6am. In the morning, my time, sometimes in the evening was just max. So I thought that I would do less work by just writing all my thoughts down. So that is sort of how I got into writing this book, I did a good job in launching it, I studied a lot and very thorough, so I read a whole bunch about it. And I put it out there. And then it just took off. And from there, it got all these reviews. And then Amazon promoted it, Forbes brought it on by one of their contributors. And really, ultimately, I talked about seven strategies that will help you overcome your fear your nervousness, or anxiety, so that you can be actually energized, excited, and passionate about what you do. So it’s been a lot of fun. There’s seven different strategies in there. I’m fully aware that not all seven strategies are relevant to every person. Sometimes it’s just one nugget that people walk away with. Sometimes it’s five, one guy did pick it up at the Minneapolis airport. And he he called me from the book. And he said, This is my new Bible, which I thought was a little bit of exaggeration. But it’s fun.

Tim Kubiak 6:37
That is fun. It’s got to be a big deal to have somebody have bought your book in an airport. Right? Yeah, I’m guessing you’re like me, you’ve seen your fair share airports, right? And probably bought your fair share books there. But have somebody pick up your book and reach out to you because of it?

Mike Acker 6:52
Yeah, absolutely. Although I will say this, Tim, and I have never seen my book in the airport, and I keep looking for it from there. So I’m hoping that I could actually buy my own book at an airport someday, that’d be, that’d be a little fun.

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Tim Kubiak 7:07
So you go off to the store manager every time go, Hey,

Unknown Speaker 7:09
do you have Mike actually, kind of plant the seed? I, you know, I

Mike Acker 7:15
did it one place? And they said, yeah, we can order it for you. So it was at Barnes and Noble. And so I said, Yeah, that’d be great. So I ordered my book, they said, Who do we send it to? And I said, Mike achor. So that was a little bit embarrassed by the fact that asking them to carry my own book on that sense. But But I have promoted it well, elsewhere. It’s been really cool. Really, people in Singapore have called me reach out to me, I have people United Arab Emirates, and Zambia. I have people in Sweden and Germany and France, several places in UK and across all across United States. And ultimately, my big desire from that whole book is still the same desire have for now is that it would help people really overcome that nervousness, which I believe there’s multiple benefits when you speak with no fear. And one of the benefits is simply this, that when you speak with no fear, you’re not giving into the health consequences. There’s a lot of stress that people carry when they’re going into these presentations. They’re nervous, they’re wondering what people are thinking. And that right, there is a benefit of speaking lindow fear is simply not having stress, not having something keep you awake. There’s other benefits as well, like, it helps in your relationships, you can get rid of that anxiety, and you can communicate better, it helps you in your promotions, it helps you move forward. So ultimately, that was my desire. From there. I really built a business that came out of that coaching, I had to either lean out of it or lean into it. And I chose to lean into it.

Unknown Speaker 8:48

Tim Kubiak 8:49
the most unique thing that came from leaning into and building that business? Whether it was personal growth, a client story?

Mike Acker 8:58
Yeah, you know, and I think this is really relevant for so many people. You’re talking to your audience as they listen in there. They’re entrepreneurs. They’re people who are developing thoughts and want to get it out there. And and so when I leaned in, I continue to grow, continue to push. And at some point in time, I had to say, Okay, what am I going to do? And there’s fun of just the notice, it was fun. Getting up on Forbes is fun on that for a long time. For me, it was fun. And I had, I had this consultation job, this sales job paid well, very secure. And when I leaned in, there came a moment where the two were in competition with each other. And that was that was a nerve wracking moment. So I say when when you lean into something, be careful because you might have unintended consequences. And there was a moment where I was quite nervous about what I was going to do. I have to get rid of this thing I had built, or I gotta get rid of this thing that pays me well. very secure. So I actually got rid of the corporate fortune 500 job and lean fully into, to, into entrepreneurship into business building. And the first thing that happened, the first thing that happened to your question is I lost a lot of money. That’s the very first thing. This one over here, the first job, it paid well, but in some ways, there was a cap, and it was definitely a nine to five, and more likely a seven to seven. So it occupied my time. So the trade off was, I’m going to initially make less money. But I’m going to have more freedom, I’m going to also have some, in some ways more work, it’s going to be on my mind more. But more rewards. tential of me into entrepreneurship, in my opinion, is that you have more potential, you have greater heights that you could potentially reach. And that’s what I’m already seeing. And I’m new to diving full time into this. The business has been established for a little while. But it was a side hustle. And now as a full time. There’s incredible benefits. Like, this is my favorite part. Tim, I get to pick up my son from kindergarten every day at 2am. Not to say, Wow, what a kindergarten. It’s an overnight kindergarten.

That’s good for sleep.

Yeah, and everybody, all the kids have masks and all kinds of stuff, a whole different world. But it’s been really cool to have that time with him.

Tim Kubiak 11:37
See that kind of thing? Right? And I was a longtime corporate guy, and just you know, 10 months ago jumped out, right? Because I haven’t, I’ve been bought a number of times I the last ride was a good ride. And I’m like, I don’t want to do this for anybody else. Because it is 1216 hours a day. And at the end of the day, you don’t have that control. You miss school things and can’t work your schedule. You know, we joke before we started recording. I’m not dressed up today, because literally, you’re my last phone call. It’s been client calls all morning. And I’m going to go ride my bike for two hours. Yeah. And guess what? Nobody can tell me not to? Well, I guess they could but I don’t have to listen anymore.

Mike Acker 12:14
Yeah, well, and and what I told you is, I was disappointed that you’re not wearing a bow tie, because I was ready for you to come with a bow tie. So I will say the next time we’re face to face like zoom to zoom. I do want to see a bow tie, Tim? Because, okay, it was part of the promise in my mind.

Tim Kubiak 12:31
You know, it’s funny, this is the third time I’ve not worn one. And it’s the third time somebody was disappointed. So I learned it.

Mike Acker 12:38
Yeah, yeah, no, I do love the freedom in. And there’s two parts of that there’s freedom from embracing entrepreneurship, even with all the work and even with the different rewards of finances. But I also love the freedom aspect that this is something I strongly believe in, I really believe that communication is currency. And then if I can help people, improve their communication, I’m going to improve their relationships and improve their health. And I’m going to prove their financial well being that if they can speak better, they can come get their ideas across if they can pitch their ideas better on Shark Tank, if they can hold the attention of a seminar, it’s going to bring back more business. So it’s something I’m passionate about. I help in leadership and coaching as well. I wrote that second book lead with no fear, but ultimately communication. For me, it’s it’s one of those ignored aspects of leadership. So many people just lean into the technicalities of leadership. But communication is a huge part of that. That’s my soapbox right there.

Tim Kubiak 13:43
Yeah. And I think that’s the perfect soapbox to be standing on. Because if you look, since the pandemics hit, there’s been more and more written and more and more importance on how leaders are communicating to their team, you know, and what they’re doing and how they’re managing that. And whether or not key employees stay with the companies based on that communication.

Mike Acker 14:04
Right? Absolutely. And so many people are reaching out to me now, I mean, now that the pandemic has kind of got just spot where it’s not going to go away right away, people are realizing that, Hey, I got to figure out how to do this zoom thing. I got to get out there and present and I was bad in person. I think I’m bad on zoom. How do I get better at this? So I walk them through a framework of confidence. And really speak with no fear was just the first part of that framework. But really, for anybody who that you’re reaching out to your audience here, let me just give them three incredible, incredible areas sources of confidence that your confidence in communication, your confidence to be an entrepreneur so that you can pitch your idea, get venture capital, get out there in front of people go to the rotary write a book, whatever, it’s whatever it might be, is going to come from three sources. And so those three sources I walk people through, this is actually not my book. This is just me. My coaching programs is first, your identity, who you are as a speaker. And you and I know this, that we’ve realized that our, our identity is not that corporate aspect, although when you’re in that world, it feels like it’s your identity. Yeah. And so many people get caught up in that. And that’s the first source of confidence is not your ability to get the message across. It’s actually who you are, and understanding who you are. As a speaker. You probably had a examination of that when you started launching this podcast. So what am I doing? Who am I?

Tim Kubiak 15:37
In redefining myself, right? So for years, I played very openly, I played sort of the nerd in the corporate world, I was not the type a right, I’m not the super networker, I’m fine. in a room with a dozen people, you put me in a room with 5000 people, I want to go somewhere, read a book or look at an economics report. Right. So, you know, I know I’m a numbers guy and things like that. So when I did the podcast, I did have the benefit of I had a lot of experience in speaking in a technical realm on specific technologies over the previous 20 years, I had a coach that VP hired for me, it would be 23 years ago now 22 years ago, named Paula paycheck, just retired. She’s out in Nebraska, they flew her into Pittsburgh, where I was living at the time. And she came in and I spent three days learning how to give a 10 minute talk and not die. Yet, in all of my success, literally built off of that first set of confidence to do that is you know, a younger guy. And I was running to $80 million a year business at that point, I wasn’t running a little book of business. But getting on stage was a different thing.

Mike Acker 16:49
It’s amazing. When I talk to people, so I’ll do these, essentially sales call, right? And so people will come talk to me and, and I’ll say, Hey, you know, you can do a program for for this amount. And it’s amazing how many people will pause and we’re not talking excessive amount of money, right? We’re talking thousand 2000 3000 7000 depending on what they’re looking at. And they’ll pause as if that’s an astronomical amount to spend on something that can actually break them through to an increase of 20,000 per year. Yeah, just like what you said, there’s, there’s a huge value in that I did some communication classes, a lot of them, but I did some additional courses. When I was about 2324 25. And I paid for it on a credit card. There’s 2000. At the time, I think the same course from Dale Carnegie’s 5000 now, and and I paid for it on credit card. But I do not regret it, I paid it back. And I’m not a guy who likes to spend lots of things on the card, but I paid it back. And really, I’m so glad I invested that much time and effort. So any younger entrepreneurs, business leaders out there, I’d say this is the time to invest in it. So that you’re not like a lot of other clients I work with that are so stuck in their communication habits, that it’s hard for them to learn how to be effective. And they’ve actually built a separate identity. That is actually not who they need to be in front of people, which is one of the reasons why they’re so insecure. So many people have these two identities, they have this personhood, and a public persona that they put out there. And this is exhausting them to try to keep living up this, this ideal of what they have in their mind as a public persona. So I bring it back. And in the book, I have a strategy called ubu. And the books full of anecdotes. One person on Amazon, I got like over 300 positive reviews, but there are some negative ones. And one person said it’s mostly anecdotal pep talk, like, that’s fair. Yeah, there’s lots of stories that encourage people and hopefully encourage them to be themselves so that they can have confidence that comes from their identity.

Tim Kubiak 18:57
You know, he can’t write a blueprint for everybody. That’s what I found even in sales. Right? You could do all the work in the world, but you can’t write the same blueprint for everybody.

Mike Acker 19:06
Yeah, absolutely. My favorite review to look at is this is garbage. This is trash, there’s nothing to value in it. So anytime I just need a little bit of humility, I read that review. To remind myself, you’re not gonna please everybody.

Tim Kubiak 19:22
So I don’t admit this often. But one of the things I love to do when I’m going to make a purchase is I go read the bad reviews. If they’re just anecdotal themselves, if there’s not specifics, like the wheel falls off this bike every two miles or whatever, right? You’re just like, yeah, personal difference. Okay. And then I’ll go read the good reviews.

Mike Acker 19:43
Yeah, yeah. Well, mine are kind of funny. So there’s some, hey, I get it. It’s not going to be for everybody. But that identity aspect really is that identity aspect that you learned. I love what that Warren Buffett said and he’s one of my favorite examples in this that he had done. his MBA, he was an intelligent, he’s educated. He had great internships. But one of the things that he has hanging on his office still, to my knowledge, is a certificate of a public speaking course that he signed up for. At today’s I think it was like $27. I don’t know, hundred dollars, the time was equivalent today is $970. They said, that’s the best money I’ve ever spent on my development is this ability to communicate in any good communication coach is going to walk you through, you are the message. It’s not just what you say, it’s not just how you organize your thoughts. It’s who you are. It’s what you think of yourself when you’re on stage. It’s what you think of yourself in? And do you have value to add to people? Are you someone that’s worthy to listen to? So many people rush? In fact, I just to your audience here right now, if you’re rushing, when you speak, why is it that you’re rushing, it’s not a skill issue, you do know how to speak slower. If you have a hard of hearing relative, you can exercise the skill to speak slower, so you have the skill, and your message does not necessitate you rushing. So where does that rush come from? And it’s typically an identity question. Not as, like who I am as a person, but who am I as a person who speaks. I’m a person who has something valuable to say. And so I do not have to brush my worth, because I have value to add. So identity and then I go on with people and I work on their messaging because I see you have to be coherent, have your thoughts organized, and be able to get them across. And then skills so often that people work on just skills like Hey, Mike, I just need some tips and tricks to get better. And there are some tips and tricks to get better as a communicator. You know that? Yep. But if that’s where you start? That’s like, that’s putting the icing on the cake and just expecting everybody like it because there’s lots of icing. Or Or maybe sprinkles is a better example. Yeah,

Tim Kubiak 22:01
but you forgot to bake it right? Yeah.

Mike Acker 22:04
Forgot to bake. It isn’t. There’s nothing of substance underneath. And some people are like, that’s great. That sounds great to me. Oh, one two sprinkles Anyway,

Unknown Speaker 22:12
what sprinkles an icing.

Mike Acker 22:15
Great cake right there?

Unknown Speaker 22:17
Do you find

Tim Kubiak 22:19
people hiding behind slides? Or too much content on slides or shared screens in the zoom world? Because they’re unsure themselves? Yeah,

Mike Acker 22:30
I think, yeah, you know, you’ve gone into those mixers where you’re wondering what to do with your hands. And so back in the day, when I was a teenager, we all smoke cigarettes. Because we’re hiding behind the cigarette. I didn’t like cigarettes, but I just wanted to hide behind it. It made me feel like I had something to do. And, and then nowadays, we got coffee cups, or really a cell phone, right? And so you got all these people hiding behind a cell phone. So if you go into a place, and there’s lots of people around you, and you’re feeling a little bit uncomfortable, what do you do for your cell phone, and then then you’re busy, people think that you’re doing something of value, and you’re probably just playing the latest version of whatever Angry Birds type of game is out there. And that’s how slides and workbooks and screen shares can be that we’re hiding behind something. When when you think about a visual, and you think about a supplemental material, it’s always supposed to be supplemental, which means it’s added on top right? It’s not the main thing, when you’re speaking, the most important thing when you are speaking is you as a speaker. It’s not what you’re saying. And it’s not what you’re showing, it’s you. And some people push back on that when they hear that and say, well, Mike, I have to say something of value. Obviously, it’s not just you getting up there and modeling something to somebody, and just standing up there and looking good. That’s not the case. But if it was just about the content that you were about to deliver the material that you were about to deliver, then you would just put it in a brief handed to them and they could read it themselves. The reason you’re speaking is because they want a speaker, they want someone to give that material, they want someone to present that material, they want someone in front of them, relaying that information to them. So that means you are the most important person, the important part of the speech, you the speaker. So who are you don’t hide behind what you’re saying and don’t hide behind what you’re showing. So you’re the primary, the material secondary. And that means that thing that we typically put as primary is actually tertiary. Really, we don’t need that you could describe it in words. There are some cases where that’s not completely true, but it’s really tertiary. So if I was walking you through a whole bunch of numbers right now, I would not be looking at it walking you through frame by frame. I would probably pause my message would say, pause right here and allow people to processes and then I would use this skill of stepping aside pointing at the visual. But ultimately I come back and draw the conclusions that we need to draw from that because they wanted a speaker and not just a slideshow. So for anybody who’s got worked decks, slide decks and workbooks, slide decks and visuals, screen shares. Remember, whenever you’re presenting, you have are of primary importance. Don’t hide behind anything else. look good, feel good address the identity question. And you’re going to come across way more confident than you just pointing out a slideshow and in bunting it over to that. So so a long answer to your question, but it is something I’m passionate about your people hide? Yes.

Tim Kubiak 25:47
So you work with doctors, you work with executives. And I think a lot something that I preach a lot myself is people earlier in their career don’t realize how many people it takes to stand up that executive, if you will, there’s a team behind them. There’s coaches, there’s experts, there’s everything, right? How do you get past that? imposter syndrome, if you will, right, that somebody feels that they have to be the absolute authority on everything and doesn’t ever want to get peppered with a question they can’t answer.

Mike Acker 26:20
Yeah, absolutely. I’m a big believer and being humble in your presentation. And so when I do more on the executive coaching, and working with people, identifying what you’re good at, and then really finding that team that that you can bring around you. So this morning, I led a team meeting for a company, there’s, it’s a, it’s a startup, it started up in February. So I’m working with them on building the team, and what for one person with vision, and now he’s got eight team members, which is pretty cool. And well, I’ve been walking him through this whole pathway of delegation, that the first thing that you need to delegate is the things that you’re not good at. The second thing that you need to delegate are the things that you don’t like to do. The third thing is the things that you like to do. And the last one, the things that you are good at, and he never delegate responsibility. So I walked him through this, and we’re walking through this with a team, any executive who’s leading well, and I’m sure there’s lots of people who are just more than positional role, but they’ll have already delegated that. And it doesn’t mean that those are tasks that are not important, and they’re not needed, they are, but to really be effective as a leader, you need to be operating in what’s most valuable and profitable for you to be doing. And then really acknowledge what everybody else is doing that brings value to you. I love the books by by Patrick lencioni. I’ve been a fan of his for years. And one of his books, he talks about the leader who just sits back, and is processing all the valuable information from his team, including his executive assistant. And then he brings that all into himself. And he draws a conclusion or he brings the conversation to a close. I think it’s so valuable for executives or people who want to be there, learn humility, whatever spot you’re at, learn humility, and learn the ability to praise the people around you. One of the biggest difficulties I ever had was learning humility, though, the hard way. And it’s much better to humble yourself than to be humbled.

Tim Kubiak 28:27
That’s a very important point and a great lesson in and of itself. If you don’t mind, can we step away a little bit from the business world? Can we talk about your background? Because you have a little bit different of a path?

Mike Acker 28:38
Yeah. Do you mind sharing? Yeah. I actually love starting about my background, actually, with my parents, because my dad was a drug dealer, and my mom was a witch. So that was the most what’s the most interesting thing about you, my dad was a drug dealer, my mom was a witch. Or if I want to put this in more like more business terms, my my, my dad was a entrepreneur. He started his own business when he was in college, and he realized how much money he could make. And so instead of pursuing a, his degree he, he did that. They then had a radical transformation in their life and change their own values. They became Christians, and very involved in helping the world be a better place. So in the 80s, we were helping people with HIV back when you still thought you could catch it by sitting on the wrong toilet. And then we were helping food banks, and we’re going down to the nursing homes. And my parents just felt so grateful for this change in life that they just wanted to teach us how to pay it forward. And so they just did some really cool things that led us down to Mexico where we were serving the poor and disenfranchised and outskirts of Mexico, where a lot of the kids grew up to be the cartel of cinema. And so a lot of the people we’ve worked with, have been influenced by the cartels and Sinhala which is where we lived. So I lived there for seven years. And then I was at this crossroads. Where was I going to go in the professional world? or What did I What did I want to do. And at that point in time, I was looking at just, I was just looking at money, I was just looking at that. And so I was accepted to the top law school of Mexico. And you go straight into law school for five years, I was accepted as a big deal. And then I had a change. And just in talking to some people really decided that I wanted to maybe more follow in the footsteps of my parents. So I ended up becoming a pastor did that for 19 years, did all kinds of church plants and missions work planted schools, and churches and feeding centers, and Mazatlan and Senegal, built wells, and all kinds of really cool things in the United States and outside the United States. And then, and then I just hit a wall, 19 years into it, I didn’t want to go to church, which when you’re a pastor, and you’ve been a senior pastor for 10 years, and you don’t want to go to church, it’s, it’s kind of a deal breaker right there.

It’s kind of what you’re having to do. And I had just, and this is when it comes to that pride. I didn’t so well, for so long. That I kind of thought that I kind of thought I was pretty amazing. And, and it led to some issues. And it led to me stepping down. And just just ultimately then saying, well, who am I going back to that identity question, maybe a reason why I pushed into identity so much is because I had to ask that. And so who am I, I thought I was a pastor. And that’s, that’s who I was. And I realized that it’s a classic cliche, I’m not a human doing, I’m a human being and pulled back, be relocated back to town, I lived in 20 years before just on the other side of Seattle, and just took a pause. And that’s when I ended up going into sales and just enjoying the professional life did quite well in sales territory grew at large, and just took a breather and reevaluate why I had been doing different things. And so often, so often when someone goes into ministry, and this is true in other areas, too, is when you start really, really high on passion, and low on skills. But the longer you’re in whatever you do, and I’m aware that it could happen to what I’m doing now is that over the course of time, whatever happens that your passion lowers, and for me, there’s several factors, pride was one of them. But the passion lowers as your skill goes up. And now you’re not leaning into hearts and faith and those internal aspects. But you’re really leaning into your skills and your own ability, which builds that pride right here, you know that you’re not good at it. But you have heart for it. You’re launching a business, right? You’re an entrepreneur, you’re launching something, and you know that you’re not actually great at communicating, maybe you’re not great at sales, but you man, you you work hard, you have tons of heart, but over the course of time your skills go up. And that heart those internal values goes down. And and when I stepped away from ministry, and just had a time to really think through who I was, what was important to me revisit the values I had written down so long ago, I’d realized that I had relied more on what I could do, and then really focus on who I was. So I reiterated this, find a balance in my life, I actually had several churches reach out to me about becoming their pastor at large churches. And so I had an opportunity to go back in, and then my wife and I just decided that we liked what I was doing on the side, and that I would go full time with that. Now, that’s the story a little bit obviously, there’s many nuances and there’s more details, but the story of ultimately grace in my life, grace that affected my parents, and for them to restart and grace for me to experiment prays for me to be myself, grace for me to have some failure in my life to be humbled grace to start in a job that I didn’t know anything about. And then grace to start something on my own. That grace will do a lot and amazing series of transitions if you really look starting with your parents, to your childhood, all the way through where you are today. Now, I’ll tell you all along the way I get that you were selling something it was just different.

Tim Kubiak 34:34
The sale Yeah, right. Yeah. And those are all skills though they probably built on each other. If you look at your time as a pastor, that probably helps you develop a territory would be my assessment just on the surface. And the ability to develop a territory obviously grow into a side hustle that turned into your business.

Mike Acker 34:51
Yeah, and the ability to articulate my thoughts and, and so much I’m so glad I trained on how they’re to articulate my thoughts. I took all these Master’s classes. And, and as part of a Master’s I was doing, and all these other things to just learn how to communicate better because I was a pastor. But what’s interesting is the whole way and, and for 19 years as Pastor, I was training others because I raised up lots of leaders and business leaders in the church would come to me and ask me how to communicate better. And so I would do little workshops for free for the people in my church. And I would train other churches and I would train missionaries. And I would just, so I had been doing this on the side for a long time. That’s why it was a side hustle. That was just a natural way for me to make some extra money. And, and then I wrote the book. And then I just kept on, as I said, at the very beginning, I’m following up that breadcrumbs and typing the cookie. And then I found another cookie to find from

Tim Kubiak 35:46
things. So you took those breadcrumbs, you found something else, but you’ve also written more books, what led to the other books and that you’ve done?

Mike Acker 35:55
Yeah, so I wrote the speak with no fear. And, by the way, I think it’s a fantastic book, I like it. It’s got all these five star ratings on Amazon. And I’m kind of a realist, and like, it’s probably a four star, it’s probably not a five star, but it’s hitting home to a lot of people. So it’s, it’s been a great one, then I wrote, really, I was just going to do a free works of free little small book for people. So I wrote on one on how to write speeches, but then I realized that it’s actually more relevant. And so I kept on writing more on it. That one’s been picked up by some colleges as part of their curriculum on how to write speech. So it’s been cool to see just colleges pick it up and reach out to me. And so just some community colleges, nothing major. It’s not an academic type book, but it’s really relevant. So if you have a speech, right, interview, to give presentation to give it’s great book. So that’s called right to speak part of a series. And then, and then from that no fear framework that I was talking about earlier, another executive coach and speaker and he’s got a really big name. And he’s all over the place doing these large keynotes. Well, he and I were connected through family. And so he just pitched an idea to me, the week before the pandemic. So, right before quarantine happened, we were meeting at a cafe. And we were just talking about ideas and such and just ideas that we’re getting across, and I was just having lunch with him. And he pitches this idea. Well, the next week, we can’t leave our house in the Seattle area. And we’re just so what do you do? So we wrote a book. So we spent the next 45 days ish, writing the book collaborating every day working together. And that was this whole idea of how to lead with no fear at all. Originally, we were kind of thinking about pandemic, and how do you lead in a time of fear. But then we realized that it was really relevant for all over. So we got that done. And it was in production process. And while it was getting in the production process, I took an old book that I had written years ago. And I was looking at it. And I had this thought in my mind where, when I was, when I was in that spot where I didn’t want to go to church, I had this thought in my mind, go back and read what you wrote years ago. So I went back. And I read my own preaching my own teaching. And that was actually one of the reasons I got back into faith life and back into serving others was going back and listening to my own advice from when I was 27. So I read that. And then in quarantine, while I was getting lead with no fear produced, I put it together, wrote a new introduction and conclusion. And then went ahead and got that published as well. So those are my four books, speak with no fear, right to speak, lead with no fear and grow your soul. And they’re on Audible, and they’re on Amazon, and they’re Barnes and Noble. All over the place. And it’s, it’s been a fun journey. And we’ll we’ll have some more books coming out. And Tim, I’m, I’m ready to publish your book now to

Tim Kubiak 38:45
you ready to publish my book? I’ve got a title and came up with it the other day?

Unknown Speaker 38:50
Yeah, I think

Mike Acker 38:52
I think you should I think every podcaster should should publish a book about their main content.

Tim Kubiak 38:58
You know, it’s interesting. So I’ve looked at that. And I got hooked up with and by the time this comes out, it’ll be public. A company called health trends AI through a woman who had been our general counsel in a previous corporate life. And I show up at the first meeting, and it’s a public health initiative is what it really is, it grew out of the pandemic. And I show up and everybody’s got Ivy League degrees, right. And they’re speaking a language I don’t understand. I know nothing about infectious diseases. I know nothing about medicine, other than my wife is a nurse and my daughter is a nurse. And that’s great. I leave that to them, right? Yeah. I know how to sell stuff. And I’m sitting literally in a room with a bunch of are in a zoom with a bunch of people with Cornell, Yale and Harvard degrees. Yeah, and they’re all going on and on and on. And I jokingly titled the dumbest guy on the zoom. Because these people are so brilliant, but they don’t getting a product to market and making it so the average you know practitioner, even in their professions can understand it. is a whole different challenge. So we’ll see where it goes.

Mike Acker 40:03
Yeah, we’ve seen, I think it’s a very vital, vital role that, that Oh, by the way that we can get our message out. And so putting it together, even if it’s just for the people that weren’t immediately influencing, it’s so vital. So I have not pushed to my grow your soul book, because that’s not really the space that I’m mostly in. But many people have picked it up and said, Hey, thank you for that I was in the same spot. So you can touch that life with those, those words that you write that it’s like sitting down with somebody, I want my books to read as if they’re having a conversation with me. And I’m just coaching them.

Unknown Speaker 40:41

Tim Kubiak 40:42
money in accessibility, right? You know, because it’s just a conversation. It doesn’t need to be, you know, 6000 pages long and very technical.

Mike Acker 40:52
Yeah. Yeah. So what’s next? What’s next. So really, right now, it’s, I just launched out full time, like it was grown and grown and grown on the side. And when I was doing both, it got up to about 20 hours a week, and it was just too much to manage quarantine hit, opened me up a bit more, my sales job came back online, close me down a bit more. So I said, I’m just gonna go full in. So what’s next is what I just started, which as I just did, as of a month ago, jumped into this full time. And just this is what I do. I coach leaders, and I coach speakers. And then on the side. Now, my second company that I’m building out, is we publish books, we have a team that’s working towards that those are the two things we do. Ultimately, I think there’s going to be a trio of companies that I oversee, that I’m involved in, and we’re going to have the book, that’s one part of it, we’re going to have the messenger and then we’re going to have the business and really coaching business. So I’ve been able to leave businesses, I’ve been able to coach business leaders been able to do that. So some people come to me with that. So there’s a whole pipeline of different things, books are coming out this pipeline of some leadership programs that we’re launching, and there’s a pipeline of a mastermind group that I’m doing. And then there’s a plan in the future of building a business. But right now, right now, it’s enjoying, this is the most important part, with all of the goals and ambitions and desires to help people with the businesses and the products I’m building. For me, the best part is that I get to pick up my son at 2pm every single day. That’s next, I get to pick him up.

Tim Kubiak 42:33
That’s, that’s a lot of fun. So if people head over to Mike achor.com, they can find everything you’re doing right?

Mike Acker 42:39
Mm, yeah, they can do that. And then there’s a great spot where you can book a call with me, and I do these 2030 minute confidence calls. Just be very frank, they are a sales call, in the sense of, I would love for you to sign up for a program if it’s going to bring value to you. But in those calls, I’ve had some people show up, and they’re just thinking it’s gonna be a pitch. And I say what is something I can do during this time that’s going to have add value to you. Let me just give you something for free. Let me find something in you that you’re doing that I can improve in this time, that let’s not just spend 30 minutes on a sale that may or may not result in you purchasing something. Let’s do something that you go back and go, you know what, I didn’t sign up for a program. But man, I appreciate Mike spending some time with me. So right now, because I’m new on that I’ve just opened myself up and not just team members up. And I’m excited to do 30 minute zoom conference calls with people. So there’s gonna be that link, I gave that to you. But it’s super easy. advanced.az.me forward slash confidence, set up a conference call with me and let’s improve your confidence and leadership and speaking or other areas of life.

Tim Kubiak 43:49
What did I ask you that I should have?

Mike Acker 43:53
Yes, I think we did go away from our attended script, but we went some great places that we wouldn’t have gone. And I don’t think there’s anything that is really hugely lacking other than our years of life combined. And I’m sure you and I could find many different ways to connect. what’s lacking. Hey, thank you so much for having me on your show. That’s what’s lacking. I appreciate what you’re doing here and I appreciate having a chance to be on it.

Tim Kubiak 44:19
It’s been a real pleasure. Obviously for anybody Listen, links are all in the show notes will be featured Mike in upcoming newsletters as well. So if you don’t subscribe to those, please go do that and thanks for being here.

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