Overcoming Challenges: How to Find the Silver Lining in Difficult Situations

Overcoming Challenges: How to Find the Silver Lining in Difficult Situations

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Mr. Biz Radio: Overcoming Challenges: How to Find the Silver Lining in Difficult Situations

Unedited transcription of the show is included below:


Welcome to Mr. Biz radio, Biz. Talk for Biz owners. If you're ready to stop faking the funk and take your business onward and upward, this show is for you. And now here's Mr. Biz, Ken Wentworth


All right, welcome to another episode of Mr. Biz Radio with me, Mr. Biz Ken Wentworth. And today we're going to talk about a top topic. I got to be honest with you. I'm going to sound like grouchy old man here for just a second, if you allow me. How many of you guys get a little tired of, I mean, honestly, there's no way to be nice about this. A lot of the whining that goes on about people and their situations, and I'm not saying that people don't go through bad situations. Of course, life can be very challenging. I'm not belittling that whatsoever, but being just negative about everything and just boohoo me and boohoo this and boohoo that over seemingly trivial things.


And I don't mean just trivial to me. You guys have to know there are people in your lives that just sometimes you're like, oh, my gosh, they're an energy drainer sometimes, right? You ask them how things are going and they give you six different things that are going wrong in their life. And again, I get it. Life happens. And sometimes you hit a bad spell and there's some bad stuff. But coming out on the other end, I think, is very important, obviously.


And there's a lot of different ways to do that. And I think our guest today is going to help us do that. There's an amazing new book that talks about when 120,000 people, including 50,000 american children, almost half were children, were thrown into concentration camps. Easy for me to say here in America because of their race. And incredibly, it also shares a true story about a man who volunteered from a camp to fight for the US army while his loved ones remained imprisoned by the US army. Think about that for a second.


He became one of the most decorated american soldiers in World War II with not one, two, three, or five, but six Purple Hearts and went to a successful career in the automobile business. It's an incredible story, and we have the author of that book right here to talk with us today, John Suzuki. Welcome to Mr. Biz radio.


Hello, Mr. Biz. Good to be here. Thank you for inviting me.


Yeah, absolutely. I know we talked several months ago when we got your booked on the show, and it didn't take long. You talked about your story, and as I recall, it John, I might be wrong, but as I recall it, when you first said, you said, I don't know if this will be good for your show or not, but you tell me. And I thought, oh, my gosh, this is amazing because I think people need to hear more stories about like this to think more broadly about all. So before we start diving into to, John's going to help us, right? We're going to talk through a lot of different things here.


We're going to talk about the book, obviously, and then the third segment, he's going to tell us how to think more of living a life of gratitude despite challenges. Right. How do you look challenges in the face and keep moving on? And I think the book that he's written goes a long way about that. But before we dive into all that, John, tell us a little about your.


Career journey, your entrepreneur journey, my personal career. Well, I was in technology since 1984. I started with IBM. And back then you lived in a day where you went to work for a company, hoping for 30 years. Then after 30 years, you got a pension. Those days are long and gone. But I've been in tech my entire career. I was in tech during the.com bubble, which was really fun. I was with the company called Sun Microsystems, and I spent the last 20 years of my life or so in the travel business with companies like Expedia Group.


And travel is such a wonderful thing. Folks ask me, especially young folks, if they should follow my career path, and I tell them absolutely, positively not. Because when you think about today's times, pensions don't happen anymore. Right. And the farthest you can think ahead in terms of your career situation is maybe two years, because things happen so fast. And the days of pensions are gone. Even the days of ten year jobs are gone. I mean, very few people have been at the same place for ten years. And so with the gig economy and everything that's going on, Warren Buffett said something that stuck with me and will stick with him forever. He says the best investment you could possibly make in your life is in you.


And it's especially true these days. If you don't have a side hustle, get one. And if nothing else, maybe you'll make a little bit of money. But more importantly, you'll learn new skills that you can apply. And learning is cumulative. And so I've lived a really wonderful life. I'm 62 years old. I retired a couple of years ago from my work life. I think that we all have three careers. The first career is to learn and go to school. The second is to earn a living for yourself and your family. And the third career is to return and give back.


So learn, earn, and return. And that's what I'm spending with the rest of my life doing, is giving back to your points a little bit earlier. Our world is broken and it needs help and it needs healing, and folks like you and me need to help that process along.


Yeah, I love that. Well, and especially in regard, I was the same way. So I grew up in a blue collar town. Everyone in my family, the males, they all worked in a steel mill, right? We worked for 30 years. You got a pension and you made some decent money, you got a good pension. And so that was my mentality. Even coming out of school, when I came out of school was I wanted to find a company that I could.


Work at for 30 years.


And it was still kind of in the mix when I was coming out of school. But still probably now, looking back now, even then, it was probably an antiquated way to think about things. But as you mentioned, especially right now, where with remote working, you could live in South Africa and be working for someone, a company, in mean, it's just so important. John, so you mentioned the world being broken. How much of you think, I don't want to get too controversial here, but, so answer however you'd like. But how much do you think that is due to social media and some of the media?


Oh, huge. Absolutely huge. Social media is a double edged sword. And with all the wonderful things associated with social media in terms of keeping people together and communicating and stuff like that, holy smoke. You think about the unintended circumstances and you think about the companies, and I'll call them bad guys who are using it, the whole dopamine thing and addicting people to social media, it's terrible.


To me, the worst thing about it is that you don't know who to believe, right? Anybody can get on social media and spew anything they want to. And so folks are confused, and understandably so. And there seems to be this culture of what I call a culture of victimhood, where everybody's blaming somebody else for their circumstances or something else for their circumstances. And the problem with blaming people is that when you blame people for what's going on in your life, you take the power away from you and you give it to somebody else.


And the whole idea of taking accountability and taking accountability leads to empowerment. It really does. And that's a big part of the book that we're going to talk about. But without going into it, I think that the whole victimhood and blame mentality and culture is something that we need to figure out a way to reverse. At least I want to try to help that along, too.


Yeah, I love that. And that's one of the reasons why I have you on the show, because especially with social media, I feel like it creates such an echo chamber, right?




If all I do is like and comment on posts about a specific topic, that algorithm, from whatever that social media is going to feed me more of that, right? More and more. After a while, all I'm seeing is that I don't see the other side. I don't even consider the other side because, geez, all the news I see on social media, John, is all about. You should paint your house red. That's all I see is red houses. So why should I consider a black house or a gray house or a brown house? I think that's a big part of this as well. And again, social media can be really good. It can be really bad as well. So we're going to hit a break here. Again, we're talking with John Suzuki. You can find out more at www.JohnSuzuki.com we'll put that in the show notes. You can also follow him on LinkedIn and Facebook.


We're going to come back and talk about the book, why he wrote it, what it's about, all that good stuff.


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All right, welcome back to the show. It's time for the Mr. Biz Tip of the week. And this week's tip is actually a quote and is from someone those have been watching or listening to the show for a while. You've probably heard me mention her name before. Absolutely admire her. Very inspirational person. Her name is Sarah Blakely. For those unfamiliar, she's the person that started the women's undergarment brand Spanx.


She's amazing. If you're on social media and you don't follow her, she is a breath of fresh air. Her and her husband, Jesse Itzler, I talk about him on the show sometimes, too. Their parenting style, the way they live their lives, the way how real they are. I know social media can be a bunch of look at the plane and the Lamborghini and all the fancy crap and all that stuff, and they show the real stuff. And it's amazing. Anyway, her quote, I love this. And she's talked about this in her childhood.


She said, go ahead and make mistakes. The worst thing that can happen is you become memorable. And her little bit of a story, I won't go into a whole lot of it, but about that is when she said, when she was a child, when the family would eat dinner together, her dad would ask her and her brother, what did you fail at today? Which seems like an Od question to ask your children, right. And if they didn't have anything to say, he would say, well, you need to try some new things. Right?


You learn from failures. And so a refreshing thing to think about. And again, their social media is absolutely hilarious. They show you the warts. They show you all this stuff. I mean, it's hilarious. Absolutely hilarious. They seem to be really great people. I've gotten to talk to them directly a couple of times and they just seem like be amazing people and definitely would suggest following them. Very inspirational people, very successful people as well, in many different aspects of life, not just in business. So that is the Mr. Biz Tip quote of the week.


All right, John, let's talk about this book. So first of all, why did you decide to write the book?


Yeah. So I decided to write the book because I discovered a story that nobody even I didn't know. I knew about the concentration camps during World War II in the United States of Japanese Americans. And I knew about the men who, the japanese american men who were part of a segregated war unit called the 440 2nd Regiment Combat Team, who went on to become the most decorated war unit in the history of the United States for its size and duration.


What I didn't know was that there were men who volunteered out of the concentration camps to fight for the United States army, who put them and their families in the camps, and who kept their families imprisoned in the camps while they went off to fight for the United States and Germany. Unbelievable story. And it's a true story and it's a story of, and I wrote the book to inform and educate that concentration camps in America really did happen and also to do my part to prevent them from ever happening again.


But it was also an amazing story of people. There are 120,000 people, as you mentioned, were incarcerated and a lot of people were victims. They viewed themselves as victims of a really unfair, unjust situation. But then there were other people who refused to succumb to victimhood, refused to be victims, refused to blame, and they decided to take it upon themselves to figure out how they were going to get the heck out of these concentration camps and build a life in the United States and fulfill their american dreams.


Some of the guys, there were 3000 men who volunteered out of these concentration camps to fight and die for the United States army. And so my book follows the life of one of them. And it kind of gives a perspective of what happened in his experience from the inside out and what he thought. Did he feel betrayed? Did he feel lonely? Did he feel confused? Did he feel lost? I mean, all those things. When you're looking outside at the world from behind barbed wire with american guards pointing their guns at you, how do you feel? And then how the heck do you bring it upon yourself to do what they did?


And this guy, as you mentioned, when you get a purple heart, that means you got injured once. If you got shot four times at one time, you got one purple heart. This guy had six of them. So he got shot or blown up six different times.


Six different times, yeah.


And it was common for these guys to go and get patched up and then run away from the field hospital before anybody could stop them so they can go back and join the fight. I don't know about you, Ken, but if I got shot, I'd stay in the hospital for know. They refused to be victims. They empowered themselves. They looked for programs that they could participate in. The one program they found was called the army.


And, you know, it was just about their courage and their resilience and their grit to really go for it and fight for their future lives and their dreams of the american dream for them and their families. So we talk about the woe is me and all that kind of stuff and everything that's going on in the world. In this culture of victimhood, I mean, holy cow, can you imagine? You've lost everything. The only thing you were able to take with you to those camps was two suitcases.


Everything else, your business, your job, your car, your farm, everything was gone. So you think to yourself, okay, what would I have done in that situation?




And it's a story that I hope inspires people to go, you know what? God forbid my life is ever that bad, right? But look at what these folks did. And they made a life, not only a great life for themselves and their families, but for America, for the world. And the things that they did and the hardships that they fought through were just so that's a story that I feel like a lot of people need to.


You know, there's one thing I want to address specifically, John, is if there's anyone out there right now that's a cynic. And you're thinking, well, if I was in a concentration camp, I'd probably go to the army, too. Look, don't even think about that way. Think about this. If you think they were trying to escape by going in the US army, you're risking your life. First of all, like, get your head out of know where, right? And second of all, think about these. Most of these men, I'm guessing, had families.


So they're not only risking their lives and fighting for a country that incarcerated them for no reason, and now they're leaving their families. They may go off to a foreign land, die, and never see their families again.


And here's the tragic know when you lose a loved one in battle, a contingent of officers from the United States army comes to your front door and presents you with the gold star and american flag. A lot of these families got presented the gold star and american flag while they were in the concentration camps. And you think about that and you just think about how tragic and cruel that is, and it's just kind of mind boggling.


But in this world where we're whitewashing history and we're trying to just forget and cover up all the bad things that have happened, stuff like this needs to be heard and understood, because absent that understanding, it's going to happen again.


That's exactly what I was going to say, john, is that forget even some of the political aspects of all the tearing down statues and all removing things from history books and all that stuff. That's what I feel like. You're going to allow history to repeat itself. It could be generations down the road, but you have to learn from the history.


Yeah, and not only that, you learn from the history to be better, to be better, right. To become a better country so that we don't repeat this stuff. We know that these things happen so that when we start seeing them, and we saw it start to happen during 911, when somebody came up with the crazy idea of incarcerating all muslims because they must all be terrorists, we got to get out in front of it. And the way we do that is through education.


Yes, for sure. Guys, again, talking with John Suzuki this week. We are going to hit a break here. We're going to come back and we're going to have John help us learn to live a life of gratitude despite challenges.


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Check out all three of Mr. Business best-selling books at mrbizbooks.com. Now, once again, here's Mr. Biz.


All right. Welcome back to the show. If you're a business owner out there and, or an entrepreneur, maybe even a solopreneur, whatever you might be, and you've been super frustrated with some of the health care costs that we've all seen increasing. Gosh, over the last, I wanted to say three or four years. That's been, gosh, it's got to be ten years now. They seem to go up higher than the rate of inflation every single year.


I got something I wanted to mention to you. I've been going through this with some of my clients as well. It's a company called, you can go out to mrbizhealth.com. I don't own the company. I'm not affiliated with them. They just bought that domain. So it make it easy for viewers and listeners of the show to remember at mrbizhealth.com. But they've got over 500 different pricing options. They have 24/7 telehealth. You can keep your same current providers. They're a nonprofit healthcare company, cuts through a lot of the BS that allows them to pass through a lot of the savings. They don't turn down claims and things like that, like you may deal with on a regular basis.


On average, they save folks 30% to 70% over what they're currently doing with their healthcare options. So if you are frustrated by that, and it's not open enrollment, so you can enroll at any given time, so you don't have to wait till a certain time of the year or anything like that, definitely recommend checking that out. I've been very impressed with what I've seen with them so far. You can go out to mrbizhealth.com and I think the person you'll probably talk to is Rachel. That's who I've dealt with in the past, and she'll help you.


You can kick the tires. There's no obligation, obviously, you can kick the tires. Maybe see what kind of options they have, see if something might be a good thing for you. If not, no worries. Wanted to pass it along, thought it might be helpful. All right, John, so given what we've just talked about during the first two segments and the media, social media, woe is me. Victimhood. Gosh, I feel like we could do about 3 hours on that, at least.


We've already talked about a lot of things.


Yeah. There's so many different rabbit holes that go down.




From that, especially with the echo chamber thing. Even on television, you had mentioned, I think, earlier, it's difficult to see how reliable the source is. Right. Depending on where you're getting your information from. And I've got people that I know that only get their news from one source. And so that source, depending on what it is, could have a slant towards one side or the other or up and down or sideways or whatever it is. And so, again, creating some of that echo chamber. And so we want to avoid that.


So what are some ways that you think, John, not only from your own personal experience, but especially from what you learned writing this amazing book, are ways that we can really think about finding the silver lining in challenging situations and living a life with more gratitude to sort of work through those challenging situations. Because let's face it, life is tough. Life is going to knock you down. It's going to knock you down. But what are some ways that we can do? We can use or utilize their practical tips that we can have more gratitude to really push through some of those difficult situations.


Yeah, well, I'll tell you some of the things that you mentioned. It really helps if you know and are aware of what's going on. Bad news sells. Bs sells. I try to fill my mind with goodness because there's so much badness out there that you really have to make it a point to. Garbage in, garbage out is basically how life works. You look at what's going on today, and you look at social media as we talked about, and you see a direct correlation between the rise of social media and all this activity happening and the mental health crisis.


It really does happen. And so I love that you want to focus on gratitude because that is something that is so important. One just quick thing I have learned, and everybody out there has learned at some point in time to be grateful for something when you lose it, right? When you lose your job or you lose your health or you lose a home or you lose a friend. I lost my best friend when I was 16 years old.


Boy, did I appreciate him when he was gone. And boy, did I wish I appreciated him while he was still with me. So a lot of times what I'll do is I will try to imagine my life without what it is I should be grateful for, right? Tomorrow, tonight, I could get in a car accident, and I can be laid up in bed and lost my health. And you think you'll appreciate your health when that happens, right? And so imagining things that you have and imagining losing them is one way that I find helps me be thankful for what?


One thing. One thing. And I learned this from a guy named Jim Quick. He does a podcast on managing your brain, and he says, got to get. And this is something I'm going to steal from him because it's wonderful. It's something you could do, right? Says, you know, whenever you think yourself, I got to go to work or I got to pick up the kids, or I got to go grocery shopping, replace the word got with get.


I get to wake up, I get to go to work, I get to pick up the kids, I get to go grocery shopping. And it pivots your mind. It's crazy how powerful that is, because all of a sudden, it's not a thing that you have to do. It's something that you get to know. I find myself going, yeah, I do get to get up. It's not that I got to get up. I get to get up and you can't be more thankful. There's nothing you can be more thankful for than that.


And John, look, if I can interject real quick, I've used that. And by the way, I love Jim quick. I read his book, which is massive. I love him. I've seen him speak multiple times. The got to get is huge, though. And sometimes it sounds a little funny, like someone out there right now might be saying, oh, I'm going to say I get to go to work. And when they hate their job. Think about it this way. If you're a 40 year old man and you've got three kids and you lost your job and you're the sole breadwinner in your family and you lost your job tomorrow and you have no income and you've got to take care of your family, now you understand how you get to go to work. You get to job.


Exactly. You got to really reframe things. And so that got to get, I catch myself doing that.


That's a wonderful point. That's a wonderful point. And that is kind of the entire point, right? I mean, you got a job that you hate, and then imagine all of a sudden tomorrow, because it's happening every day, you get that layoff notice, right? And you don't have a job, and all of a sudden you're like, oh, my gosh, today you'd be thankful for that job if your boss came back and said, you can have it back, right?




Yeah, it is. We live in a country, and this goes back to my book. We live in a country where you have a choice. And on my podcast, I talk about that. That's one of the first things I talk to people about, is that everything in your life is there because you chose it. It is your choice. We have freedom of choice in this country to do whatever we want. And one thing that I have learned in terms of being grateful for this country is that it really is amazing when you travel abroad. And I encourage everybody to travel abroad because one experience I have every single time I get off the airplane when I come home is a feeling of gratitude that I live in this country.


And it's just one of those things to get the kinds of experiences. And unfortunately, like we talked about, a lot of times, it's the experiences that force the gratitude, like when I lost my best friend. But at the same time, living with gratitude is so much more fun. It's so much more fun than living with anger. And you know what? Living with gratitude helps your relationships because everybody appreciates being appreciated.


So when you just say, hey, thanks. I mean, try this. Go up to your budy and say, you know what? Thanks for being here for me. I really appreciate you. You know what that guy's going to say? He's going to say, are you going to die? What's your problem? Right? But then you say, no, I just really appreciate you. Right? It changes everything. And you realize that you really do appreciate that person. And so try it. You might like it and it might help things along a little bit.


Yeah, I love that. I heard someone say, when you get frustrated with someone, think about three things you're grateful for about them, and it wipes away your frustration very quickly. And I've used that myself. Unfortunately, we're out of time here. John, again. John Suzuki www.JohnSuzuki.com LinkedIn Facebook John, thanks so much for coming on the show.


You bet. Appreciate you. Thank you, sir.


Yeah, absolutely. Guys. Thanks for watching. As always. Thanks for listening. Have a fantastic rest of your week. And don't forget, as always, cash flow is king.


To become part of Mr. Biz Nation, follow him on all social media platforms or never miss a show by going to mrbizradio.com. If you prefer free video content, visit the Mr. Biz YouTube channel or check out his streaming channel, which is available on 100 plus streaming platforms at mrbiznetwork.com.

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