#37: How To Find True Fulfillment & Understand Real Success
Play • 34 min

Our guest today, Tony Grebmeier is a serial entrepreneur, whose current ventures include co-founding ShipOffers, which has been on the Inc. 5,000 list 7 times!  He has also created the Be Fulfilled Brand. On the show today, Tony will be talking about how to find true fulfillment and understand real success.

Learn More Earn More Business Growth Podcast

Host: Brian Webb

Guest: Tony Grebmeier

Episode 37: How To Find True Fulfillment & Understand Real Success

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PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

John Maxwell

John Acuff

Jim Rohn

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RESOURCES & HELPFUL LINKS

Whatbox Digital

Be Fulfilled Journal

Tony Grebmeier Website

Shipoffers

September Book Promo

  1. Building A Storybrand - Donald Miller
  2. The 10X Rule - Grant Cardone
  3. Dare To Lead - Brene Brown
  4. The Common Path To Uncommon Success - John Lee Dumas
  5. Never Lose A Customer Again - Joey Coleman
  6. Atomic Habits - James Clear
  7. Never Split The Difference Again - Chris Voss
  8. Leadershift - John Maxwell
  9. Expert Secrets - Russell Brunson
  10. Beyond A Million - Jim Dew

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TRANSCRIPT 

Brian Webb:

Well, Tony, it's great to have you on the show today. You and I got to talk a week or two or three ago about talking about being fulfilled and what that looks like. And so, it's just great to have you on the show today.

Tony Grebmeier:

Thanks for the opportunity to be here. This is a great topic. A lot of people don't dive into finding fulfillment in their life. And so, I'm glad you asked me to come along for the journey.

Brian Webb:

Yeah, it's going to be fun. Before we jump into that, though, I'd love to hear you give the CliffsNotes version of your story about how you started ShipOffers and what obstacles you've overcome to get from where you were when you began to where you are today. I'd just love the audience to hear a little bit of your story if you're willing to share that today.

Tony Grebmeier:

Yeah, I appreciate it. Funny thing on my way to the radio station when I used to be a DJ one day. A buddy asked me, "Would you be interested in going to Vegas and talking about maybe a new business opportunity?" And I'm like, "Yeah. I'm going to starving like 20 some year old and I would love to make more money, sure." And one thing led to another that I started figuring out how to build and design websites. And 24 years ago, I really got into the internet and started figuring out how to control and drive traffic, build websites, sell some stuff. And we just kept working and working. And I've been a part of a couple of dot coms, some successful, some not. And I just learned a lot that I wanted to be my own boss. I didn't want to show up and report to anybody.

Tony Grebmeier:

So, I guess on October 20th, 2000, I said, "Screw the old job." and I decided to go out and venture on my own. One buddy came along for the ride and we started what was the beginning of EyeFive. And EyeFive later turned into ShipOffers. And so, started selling products out of my garage, shipped out of my garage for a short period of time, got to the point where we realized we needed an office. And then, in March, of 2001, we got our formal office and that was in Van Nuys, California. We've been going strong for 20 plus years, offering products in the health and wellness space for online marketers, direct response, and primarily help people do the stuff that isn't so sexy, which fulfills those products. And we now have just a boatload of clients all around the world. We also provide a lot of just, I'd say, off-label consulting services to help you scale your business and find the things that aren't working and help you to tweak them, introduce you to great people, and really just help you to grow your business

Brian Webb:

And along the way the Inc. 5,000 list, seven times, not too bad.

Tony Grebmeier:

No, not too bad. And one of those things, when you look back at the Inc. 5,000, I remember when we initially threw our name into the hat, we were like, "Are we really going to show up? There's a, there's a lot of people who supply their name to that." And it's been neat to see year after year growth. And along our journey, we didn't make it one year. And I call that when you figure out what you need to make adjustments in your business, certain things need to take a back seat. So, I was a little disappointed when we didn't make it seven years in a row, but I had a good friend who spoke to me. He's like, "Hey, look, man, you focused on growing your business. You made some adjustments and some powerful changes. Now, look what you've been able to do." And then, it came as a gift this year to making it for a seventh time out of basically the last eight years. So, I was excited.

Brian Webb:

Amazing. You've probably seen it. It's all over the web, but this graphic shows two different journeys. One is just this perfectly straight line from a lower point to a higher point, illustrating what we want success to look like. And then, it shows another graphic where the line goes up, and then it plummets down and comes back up again, then it plummets down. But the overall trajectory is up, but that's really more realistically what life and success are typically really like.

Tony Grebmeier:

Yeah. Entrepreneurship, that's what I fall into is not a straight line, it's a squiggly. It goes all over the place. And I've learned that if you look at a really tall mountain, it never goes straight. It's got to bend, has some switchbacks, and takes you on the side of it and then up some. And that's the journey that I've been on. I've never said, "I'm going to start on the top." I said, "I want to start down below because I want to learn how to get my way to that cliff." but nobody stays on the pinnacle of success for long. Somebody is always trying to pull you. So, I've learned to become a Sherpa on my journey up and down success mountain, help others.

Brian Webb:

Yeah. I've heard that, I forget who said it but said that what success is a leased space. It is not a place we purchase. It's a space that we lease temporarily and try to hold on to it, basically.

Tony Grebmeier:

Yeah. No, I love it. And one of the interesting parts about being my own boss is that along the journey, I have built a wealth of friends. People often say, "Tony, do you have a lot of friends?" "No." I say, "I have a lot of good friends." and these are people who will help me see my blind spots. And so, a couple of weeks ago I was sitting down with a colleague. We were just chatting about life and business. And some of the things that I face now in my journey are a lot different than when I began my journey, and we were just talking about our blind spots and how you and I can't see them, but others can.

Brian Webb:

Wow. So true

Tony Grebmeier:

And that when you make a mistake, it's a mistake one time. After that, it's a choice. So, the things that I was constantly making mistakes on became choices. And then, when I realized that I had power and control over my choices, I could begin to change. Tony Robbins talks about it. Jim Rowan talks about it. For things to change, for things to get better, you've got to get better. So, that journey up and down success mountain is a lot sexier and a lot more fun today than it ever has been in the past.

Brian Webb:

I was once talking to a buddy of mine, and by the way, another friend of mine that I would say helps me to see my blind spots. And he asked me this question one time. He said, "Brian, what is your definition of success?" And now, in this particular context, it was financial. Now, you and I both know that success expands way beyond money. You and I probably both know a lot of people who have lots of money, but I wouldn't say that they're really succeeding in life. But anyway, he says, "What's your definition of success financially?" And I just didn't have an answer right off the cuff. And then he said, "Because if your only definition is more," he said, "then success is basically always going to elude you because no matter where you arrive to financially, there's always more to go get." What are your thoughts on that?

Tony Grebmeier:

Oh, it's a preface of what my podcast has been for almost four years. What's your definition of success? It's the question I've asked probably over 500 different entrepreneurs and people who've come on the show. Success is simple. The most common answer I've received is freedom, time freedom to be able to do what you want with whoever you want when you want. You've probably heard that in many different variables, but the thing that's best for me is the ability for me to spend time with my family. That's success because there was a time, some of the people who are listening may know my story and some don't, that I wanted to take my own life. I sat and contemplated that whole thought for many, many hours and attempted to commit suicide. And I received a phone call from a friend who says, "Hey, I'm coming over."

Tony Grebmeier:

And I'm like, "All right. Let me go put all my stuff away." and he came in and he gave me a big hug and his name's John [Montazeri 00:07:16]. And he said, "You know, Tony, your life has meaning and purpose, but what you're doing right now doesn't." And we sat down for about 45 minutes and had a really in-depth conversation. He proceeded to leave and I said, "Oh, my gosh. Now, what am I going to do?"

Tony Grebmeier:

And a few hours later, a different buddy called and came over, who happened to be a pastor of the church that I attended. And he helped me to see some stuff that I couldn't see for myself. He painted a vision, "Tony, you have an ability and a gift. I see you on stages speaking, sharing your story, your message with lots of people, but impacting lives all around you." And that really became the vision that I hold for success is being able to have a really passionate and open, honest conversation with another human being, helping them today to make a decision to do something about what they've been given as an opportunity in life. So, relationships is success for me.

Brian Webb:

Yeah. Because of my previous life, a lot of people might not even know this, certainly not the podcast audience, but before I was in business, 18 years ago, I was actually in full-time ministry. And so, as a result of that, part of what you do is, I've been to many, many, many more than I'd like to have been, to many funerals. And without a doubt, inevitably, every single time someone's on their death bed, there's never the regret of, "I wish I would have worked harder." There's never the regret of, "I wish I would have made more money." It's always, "I wish I would have spent more time with those that I loved."

Tony Grebmeier:

The interesting part. There's a former basketball player on his bed right now fighting COVID in the hospital. And he put a message out to the world, basically saying, "If I've done you wrong, I apologize." And I don't want to go through life with resentment or regret. I want to go through life knowing that I gave 100%, I did the best I could and along the way, I cleaned up my messes so that I could live free. Because part of success is freedom, and so, how do you get to do that? Part of the gift that I've been given and the ability to do is I meet with men five days a week to talk about where they're at in their journey. And I give it 100% because it's easy to give away because I receive so much in return.

Tony Grebmeier:

And so, relationships, my buddy, Nick always talks about relationships are the rocket ships that take you places. I'm like, "No. Relationships are the currency that helps you to really create anything that you want." And the way you show up in a relationship, the increase of the value of your currency goes up. So, you can be cheap in a relationship, be a taker and you're being, in my book, a cheap coin that won't buy you anything and. And my buddy Nick's calling me, by the way, that's called life and fate right there. How also, your currency grows is by what you bring to the table.

Tony Grebmeier:

My buddy, Jim Gnome, always talks about, "What are you bringing to the table of life today?" because most of us are just takers. We show up at a buffet, and you're like, "Man, there's no more pancakes." I'm like, I'm raising my hand, stomping my feet. "I paid good money to be in this buffet line. Why are there any pancakes?" And Jim really helped me to see, "Why don't you be of service today and go cook in the kitchen? Why don't you go show up and serve instead of take?" And so, a good question that I posted a couple of weeks back on my community is like, "What are you bringing to the table today?"

Brian Webb:

I want to share this with you because I want to get your perspective on this. And this isn't just some placard on the wall, it really is my personal mission statement. And here's what it is, is my mission, personally, Brian Webb is to have an indelible and profoundly positive impact on as many people's lives as possible and to always give more than I ever take. I'm just curious. That, for me, is where I tend to pursue fulfillment. Being a servant, having a servant's heart, servant leadership.

Brian Webb:

You were talking about blind spots. I've even told employees on more than one occasion that I said, "If you ever see me handle a situation in a way that I could have done it better," I said, "not only is it okay for you to come and tell me," I said, "I welcome you to come and tell me." No, I said, "Please do it in private and do it with love," but I said, "I don't want to be the person who has all my blind spots that go unnoticed for my whole life. I want to always be on that improvement journey." How do you think most people that may not have that mission statement, they may not even have awareness around this thing that we're talking about today, how do you think most people find their fulfillment?

Tony Grebmeier:

Oh my gosh. That's a really interesting question. And I could go in either direction. I'll tell you this. You've probably heard this somewhere in your journey too, Brian. You either are living your dream or you're living somebody else's. And so, if you're not living 100% your dream, it's all right, don't worry about it. Once you take the right pill, the new trailer for the Matrix 4 is coming out, the red pill or the blue pill. But once you realize that you have a choice, that's a blind spot. People often don't think that they have a choice. I'm like, "You get to create the life that you are living." And I want to break it down an extra level because I want to get to the core of the human, not just the gut. I think the gut's great, but I want to get a little lower than the gut today, just a little lower than that.

Tony Grebmeier:

What I think that most people are on their journey, and I was sitting talking to a gentleman this morning about it, where we get let down by the people in our lives. And so, we exert more energy and we try harder. And then, we feel that people stepped on the toes and they've hurt us and they brought frustration to our lives and we began to get resentments. And then, we're not living to the truest and the form of who we are. I learned probably about 10 years ago or so after finally getting sober, I've been sober coming up on 13 years. I was pretty addicted to a lot of things and I didn't understand how to find joy and happiness in my life.

Tony Grebmeier:

I didn't know what I didn't know. And then, someone broke it down for me really, really easy. When I wake up in the morning, I've got options. I can think good or bad, the moment I wake up. The moment I wake up, I can think, "Oh, my gosh, I have all this bad stuff going on in my life today." And I'm instantly over there. But if I'm super grateful and in the presence, for me, it's God. God gave me an opportunity to wake up, open my eyes and get out of bed and is guiding, I believe, 100% of my life in all directions that I go and helps me to see that it's my responsibility to show up today as a good human being. I've been given a gift. I've been given an opportunity because I didn't kill myself.

Tony Grebmeier:

So now, I experience life at a high level. I feel like in the movie with Bradley Cooper, Limitless. I believe I've been able to swallow the opportunity pill of a lifetime and start living out my dreams. In the last three weeks, I've taken my entire calendar, did it about three years ago and I believe all of us need to become good at archeology. We all need to dig up our past to look at it because we can learn from it. We can see what's maybe holding us back because if we don't, I promise you, your past will show up in the future. It'll knock on your door and say, "Hey, Brian. Hi. I missed you. I'm back. Did you miss me?" And it's like, "What the heck are you talking about?" Your past will always show up in your future unless you understand your past and learn from it and make adjustments.

Brian Webb:

Just to add to that, I think you'll probably want to steal this and it's not mine. Andy Stanley, who pastors, I think it's the second-largest church in America at north point up in the north Atlanta area. And he once was quoted as saying, "Your present will at some point affect your past, which will then affect the present and your future."

Tony Grebmeier:

Yeah. Most of us are all trying to figure out what to do today. Very few have it figured out. You live and die by whatever your Smartwatch or your phone or your calendar or the hidden agenda that somebody else has for you is basically putting in your way. And I think COVID, for myself, and I know a lot of people have been affected good and bad by it. I'm just saying, COVID helped me to learn about me in a completely unique way because I have always needed to be around a lot of people, not to feel good, but to feel like I was adding value to the world.

Tony Grebmeier:

And so, during COVID and lockdown and our business went to, basically remote other than our warehouse for shipping products and services out for people, I launched this thing called networking remote, and I interviewed three individuals at the time in a Zoom and we had a panel and we asked a lot of questions and what are you doing? How are you doing it? And it was a really interesting thing to recently go back and look at those 10 plus episodes and really start seeing, once people regained confidence, how things began to change in their life.

Tony Grebmeier:

At first, there was a bunch of uncertainty. Then, "Well, I don't know, this thing's going to be over next month. This can't go on forever." And then, another individual I talked to said, "Any pandemic that we've ever experienced in the last 100 or so years, actually has a two to a four-year cycle." This is a pandemic, and we're seeing the legs of it play out. And so, I'm not here to say, do this or do that, I'm just saying, I learned so much as an individual about myself, that ultimately helped me to prepare what now is my new goal, which is to get everything off my table, everything off my plate, everything off my calendar, everything off so I can be 100% free to make choices again without feeling like I'm letting somebody down when they ask me.

Brian Webb:

That's amazing. And yet, for so many people, I would imagine listening, it's so counterintuitive. But I can absolutely see the wisdom in what you're talking about. Not too long ago, I think I even referred to this in a previous episode, I saw where Johnny Acuff was interviewing John Maxwell. John Acuff has written several New York Times bestselling books. Of course, we all know who John Maxwell is. And he says, "What is it that gets you up in the morning?" He's talking to John Maxwell. And he said, "Is it discipline?" And Maxwell's response, he says, "No, it really isn't discipline." He said, "It's anticipation." He said, "I just anticipate, what will I get to do that will have an amazing impact in somebody's life today?" When it comes to finding fulfillment and even defining success and then pursuing that definition of success, what are two or three things that you think holds people back, Tony?

Tony Grebmeier:

Number one, for me, it's always been the same, fear. And there's a couple of fun definitions you can find online, if you just say what's the definition of fear? F everything and run, for a lot of people, or false evidence appearing real. But fear, I would put at the very top. I think the second thing is, is they don't believe that it's possible. And you could counter, you could categorize that as fear, but they just don't see themselves as that possibility.

Brian Webb:

They're not convinced.

Tony Grebmeier:

Nope. No. I was sitting with an individual this morning and we were going through some processes and he was sharing, he feels like people have wronged him. And I said, "Do you believe you're a good person?" He says, 100%," I said, What are nine other values that you see for yourself? Write them down." I said, "You have a choice in this moment to operate from that or what you believe, which is false evidence appearing real in your mind as to why these things are happening."

Tony Grebmeier:

We're doing some step work now around making amends. And making amends is something that holds all of us back. We don't believe that they should hear us apologize or say we're sorry, or that we made a mistake. They hurt me, so I would put resentment also holds us back because we're just afraid. And it's okay to be afraid. I just watched the Halloween Kills trailer right before this. I wanted to see the new John Carpenter preview. And I don't want to watch a scary movie at nine o'clock at night, but I can watch it at 8:30 in the morning. I know better when to watch a scary movie. I can watch a trailer at 8:30 and be okay. So, knowing that, I've trained my brain to do things completely different.

Brian Webb:

A couple of things came to mind while you were talking. One, I'm going to ask this question, even though I really know your answer, but I just want to give you a chance to speak into it. I feel like gratitude is the antidote or the penicillin to depression, to a bad attitude, to having a bad day. I've been taught that by so many of my mentors. And whenever I am coaching someone, I try to pass that along. And I tell people that depression of feelings, I heard it said that feelings are just visitors, so even if you are having a bad day, just realize that that doesn't mean that you have to have a bad day all day. That feeling is just a visitor in your life. I'm guessing you agree with all that though, am I right, or am I wrong?

Tony Grebmeier:

An attitude of gratitude will take you places that you've never gone before. And most humans that I have done work with, and I've been really grateful to have the opportunity to sit with well over 1,000 men and sit and really uncover gratitude. Gratitude is the only way to really live your life. And the interesting part is that what's going wrong in your life, and then gratitude can't live on the same page in the same space.

Brian Webb:

That's very, very true. I've also heard it said that fear and faith have one thing in common, they both believe in a future that does not yet exist.

Tony Grebmeier:

What is faith, if you really want to talk about it? If you were going to go down that road for a moment is, for me, I have a quote and I can put it and share it in the notes for you, but it's taking a step that you can see exists already, but just being willing to take a step no matter what. Most humans and I use most a lot when I describe people that I'm talking about in a general practical way. Most of us want to do better. Jim Rowan has a great quote, paraphrase a little bit, there's only seven or eight miserable people in this world, they just seem to move around a lot.

Brian Webb:

I have heard him say that many times.

Tony Grebmeier:

So, if we know that to be true, then when you're having a conversation with your partner or life partner or a child today, and they're having a bad day, that doesn't mean that they're a bad person. We all have bad days. You were just talking about it. A lot of it means that something else is going on and are you the friend that'll get below and get into the gut and really show up today and hold space for that person, just to maybe talk about what's going on in their life? Everything in my life comes back to the same part of this conversation, finding fulfillment. Gratitude is about finding fulfillment. Living your most authentic and true life is finding fulfillment. Showing up in such a way that you allow others to, I don't know, talk about what's going on.

Tony Grebmeier:

I just don't have time to be around people who don't want to do something about what's going on. I make that clear when I sit down with an individual, I'm like, "Look if we're going to work on life and transformation, doing stuff that's meaningful and purposeful in my life and yours, then are you willing to take certain steps? Are you willing?" I once told I've told several individuals because I did it myself. "I put on a pink tutu and stood on a street corner before. Are you willing to put on a pink tutu and push a peanut across the street today? And if your answer is no, than I'm most likely can't work with you, because if you don't have the willingness to go all out, then you're going to hold back from going all in."

Brian Webb:

We've talked a lot about Jim Rowan today, which apparently has been a mentor in both of our lives. And I remember one time I heard him talking about, he said, "Imagine if someone were to hop on your back," he says, "how far do you think you could carry that person?" And he said, "Maybe a little while, maybe a few feet, maybe even a quarter of a mile if you're really strong," he says, "but what if we put two people on your back?" He says, "You're probably not going to move forward at all." But, obviously, the point that he was making was, you can only help someone by walking beside them. You can't carry them because it's just not sustainable. You can't really help them if they're not willing to truly help themselves.

Tony Grebmeier:

Yeah. I'm not better or less than, than anybody. And anybody listening right now, you should think about that too. You're not better or less than anybody. You're doing the best you can with what you've been given. And I have a little weird way of saying it, but I says, "You're doing exactly what you've said you wanted to be doing until you decide you don't want to do anymore. And then, you'll make a decision to change." Jim has been masterful at helping to unpack a lot of stuff. But yeah, I stopped carrying people up success mountain and became their Sherpa and walk beside them. I may be a couple of steps ahead of you because I'm six foot six. However, my goal is to be there with you, help you because I'm going to need help along my journey as well.

Tony Grebmeier:

I'm willing to ask for help today. That's something I wasn't able to do 13 years ago. I wasn't able to ask for help. Today, I raise my hand and say, "Hey, look, I'm stuck. This is what I'm dealing with." I recently bought a ranch and live on 35 acres. I didn't know how to drive a tractor. I didn't know how to put a cistern. I didn't know how to put casons. I didn't know how to do any of this, culverts in the ground. And then, I'm Googling how to do this, how to do that. And I'm learning every single day. And every single day I make mistakes, but I'm willing to keep making mistakes. And that's why that Japanese proverb, Brian, is so powerful, fall seven, get up.

Tony Grebmeier:

Are you willing to get up today, even though you had a bad day yesterday? Yeah, get up. This is the time of your life, now. This is the best time. I've heard this too, now stands for no opportunity wasted. Now is the best time of your life. So, no matter if you're listening to this on a Friday afternoon, on a Tuesday morning, wherever your life is, know that if you want it to get better, it will. But if you want it to stay the same, it'll stay the same. That's why we have choices and we have to be really open-minded to what choices are we making in our life.

Tony Grebmeier:

Everything we do is impacting it in some way and impacting the reality around us, and also causing energy to shift in relationships and also the attraction of all the stuff that's coming in and out of your life. If you think about, "I'm going to get pulled over." Well, guess what? Eventually, you're going to get pulled over. It's just the law of life. If you think about like, "I want my life to get better." and you focus on things getting better, it'll get better. So, you do have a choice, and gratitude plays a huge role in all of that.

Brian Webb:

There's a verse in the Bible that says that it rains on the just and the unjust. Something I've tried to impart to my kids and my kids are all grown, but I always told them that life is a series of setbacks. And I said, "So when you just understand that setbacks are normal. When you understand that they're going to come to you and everyone else around you. It doesn't mean that you're going to love the setback when you have to deal with it, it just means you're not shocked by it. You're not going to behave as though somehow you're cursed or here we go again, woe is me. You just recognize we all go through it. It rains on all of us." So, I got to tell you, I love every guest I've ever had on the podcast before. This is my favorite interview, so far, Tony. So, kudos to you. Let me ask you this. For the people in our audience who might want to know more about you or find you online, where's the best place for them to find you?

Tony Grebmeier:

Yeah. Thanks for the compliment. I appreciate that. Let me back for one second, I heard it. A setback is just a setup for a comeback. You can check me out. Tonygrebmeier.com. It's a long German name, but you try to put it in the Google, it'll correct it and get you to the right page. You can learn about ShipOffers from there. The stuff that I've put out into the world, the free courses that I have.

Tony Grebmeier:

My heart is about giving and if I can serve in any way, if there's something I said today you want clarity on or you want to talk a little bit more, send me a message. I'd love to have a conversation. God presented it today as an opportunity and if I live that out 100%, then a complete stranger could become my best friend, like Brian, you and I got connected from a mutual friend, amber Spears. Conversations led to an interview, interview leads to opportunities. You don't need anything from me. I don't need anything from you, but an opportunity for us to become friends can begin. And that's the gift that all of us have to offer the world to make it a better place.

Brian Webb:

So true. Well, thanks for being here, Tony. You have been an amazing guest. I know the audience is going to love what you had to say today.

Tony Grebmeier:

Thank you so much for the opportunity to be here.

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