Britton Barbee, former D-1 athlete for Texas Tech, touches on his experiences as an athlete and father. He talks about the importance of being authentic, understanding, and being willing to put your ego aside to connect with people. Britton discusses his experience with 29029 Everesting on a hike equivalent to climbing Mount Everest and the endurance and mindset it takes. Following his experience, he has applied his insight to his life to be his most authentic self.
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Brett Gilliland: Welcome to the Circuit of Success. I’m your host, Brett Gilliland. Today I’ve got Britton Barbee with me. Britton, what’s up man? How you doing?
Britton Barbee: Man, I’m doing outstanding. I’m just happy to be here. Thanks for having me.
Brett Gilliland: Awesome. Well, it’s good to have you and, uh, you’re coming to us, uh, from Dallas, Texas. Right?
That was all Dallas, Texas treating you today.
Britton Barbee: It’s good. The weather’s been cold enough to, uh, cold plunge in the pool without having to worry about too much. And, um…
Brett Gilliland: There you go.
Britton Barbee: Yeah. So, so no complaints, uh, you know, hot enough during the day. Cold enough in the morning.
Brett Gilliland: Yeah, that’s perfect. That’s perfect.
We got, we’re lucky here, man. It was, uh, let’s see, A week ago it was five degrees here, and today it’s gonna be 60. So this only in St. Louis can we go from five degrees to 60 degrees, all in about seven days. Pretty…
Britton Barbee: That’s a pretty strong swing. Pretty strong.
Brett Gilliland: It’s a strong swing. It’s a strong swing. It literally, we will have, well we had snow on the ground yesterday and now today I look out and there’s not any snow on the ground anywhere, so pretty crazy stuff here, so. Well, hey man, uh, you are a former Texas Tech football player. You are an endurance athlete and a performance coach with Jesse Itzler and his programs and, uh, so doing some awesome stuff today. Before we get dive into all that, man, I’d love to just dive in and talk about what’s made you the man you are today..
Britton Barbee: Yeah, no, I mean it’s, um, it, it, it’s a lot really. I just, I went to my parents. Um, I grew up, I’m the youngest of three. Um, so being the biggest, but being the baby, it was always kind of fun. Um, but, you know, my, my parents were division one athletes. Both my brother and sister played college, uh, sports as well.
And, um, you know, I’ve said up before, man, my, my parents gave this idea to us of just growing up to be excellent and everything that we did. And uh, that was instilled to us from an early age and it’s something that I’ve tried to carry over, uh, into being a father now a three myself, and just applying, um, everything that we can with all that we can into everything that we do.
And so that’s, uh, my parents laid the foundation for us and we kind of took it from there. And that’s kind of what’s led us to some of these crazy adventures that we go on, that we seek out now.
Brett Gilliland: Yeah. So I think, uh, if I remember correctly in my research, you uh, and your two siblings and your mom and your dad all played division one sports, is that correct?
Britton Barbee: Yeah, so both my mom and uh, sister played basketball, college basketball. My brother and father played football. Um, and then I was the, um, you know, the, the last one. And it was, um, it was a good time. I like to say I went to the best school I went to, you know, Texas Tech played for, uh, the late Mike Leach. I was fortunate for that man to trust in me, uh, when I was 17, 18 years old to pay for my school.
And, um, I owe him a lot to, to the man that I am too. You think about how, uh, just in the, you know, all the things that you’ve seen about him since his passing, it’s how unconventional he was. And I probably could say the same thing. I don’t know that I have a normal path just describing what I do day to day, uh, for working for a guy like Jesse is, uh, not necessarily a, um, a normal path.
You know, when somebody wakes up for work, it doesn’t typically include going to bed at two or 3:00 AM from the cold plunge and the sauna the night before to hiking or, you know, waking up and going on a hike. And that’s, that’s work, you know. So, um, just that unconventional approach, um, through athletics and just through the lessons that I’ve been taught by my parents and my coaches, has really, you know, shaped who I am and, and, and what I see and, and what I feel is possible.
Brett Gilliland: Yeah. So what do you, what do you think your parents did right? You know, there’s a lot of wrong that parents do with kids sports these days, right? So what do you think those advice for us, I have four kids and most people listen to this, have multiple kids, and, but, but what, what advice would you have for them as parents of what your parents did, right, to make sure, one, you loved the sport you were playing, that you chose to play, you were passionate about it, you put in the work, but yet you also wanted to do it versus them making you do it. What advice would you have there?
Britton Barbee: I think that that’s key right there is that you, you know, they have to want to do it. You know, I feel like I now, my daughter plays travel volleyball. She’s 10 years old and I know so much about the human body and performance and recovery and I wanna like give her all that, but I have to let her want to do it.
When given the opportunity, um, cuz you know, I mean, ha having kids, I mean, the window for when you can mesh is really, really small. And, uh, for my parents, you know, my dad parents never forced me to play football. I grew up, I played soccer, I played hockey, I played, you know, I did track, I wanna say I ran track, but I, I, I did the field part of track.
Um, and so we, we, we tried everything and whatever that we were gonna do.
Brett Gilliland: alright. We got cut off there for a second, so you can continue on that.
Britton Barbee: Yeah, no, so, so really it it’s the fact that my parents never, you know, forced us to do anything. It was always a choice. And, um, my dad being, you know, my dad’s bigger than me, it was far more athletically gifted than me. Um, but he let me come to my own when, you know, seeking out, you know, sports, seeking out football, it was never, this is how you need to be.
If you want to be great, this is what you gotta do. It was me asking those questions and them being, you know, ready to answer because they both knew what it took. They knew what, you know, they knew what it took to be successful. Once I decided what success was to me. Meaning I wanted to go to college, um, you know, to graduate, but also I’d like to go there for free, for athletic ability, and they just told me what the path was and if that’s where I wanted to be, they didn’t let me deviate from that path.
They would just simply, you know, kind of a small hand in the back nudge of if this is what you truly want, this is where you need to go. And I think that oftentimes you see too many parents, especially, uh, so I live in South Lake, Texas, and, um, it’s pretty, uh, pretty, uh, strong on the youth sports front.
Um, you know, if you’re 5, 6, 7 years old and you’re not in private lessons for baseball, football, or lacrosse, you’re behind. Um, but I don’t really subscribe to that. I want my seven year old son to be my seven year old son, you know? He wants to play video games and then in the snapshot when he wants to play sports, I’m ready.
And, and that’s what it has to be. They have to learn to want to do it, otherwise they won’t ever wanna do it.
Brett Gilliland: That’s right. I couldn’t agree more man playing sports my whole life is, my parents never forced me to play, right. It was always me wanting to go out there and even if I wanted to impersonate somebody on the basketball court or a golf course or whatever it may be, it’s, it’s, uh, you gotta want it, man.
So, back to, uh, Mike Leach, the late Mike Leach great football college, football coach. Lots of stories that come out about him, uh, since his passing here the last month or so. Um, tell us maybe if you could, one, one thing you learned from him that sticks with you when you heard the, when you heard of his passing.
You know, I’m sure you put a lot of thought into it, but what’s some of the things you learned from him?
Britton Barbee: Just, um, I mean, just a, a, a tremendous amount of gratitude, um, for a guy like that. I was fortunate to hold a relationship with him long past, uh, my playing days. I finished in 2010, you know, he was, he was outta tech in 2009 my junior year.
And, um, always kept a relationship with him. And all the stories that you hear about Mike calling you on the phone and just talking about anything and everything is, is, is true. I remember he called me one time to ask, you know, what really happened to our 2010 team? He said, y’all should have been a 12 and 0 team.
You know, what happened? You know, all the tools were there and the entire time I’m talking to him, it, it sounds like he’s in a wind tunnel and, and it’s really hard to kind of understand what he’s saying. And, and then finally, um, he says, well, hold on. Um, you know, I have a flat tire. I said, oh, okay. Like, in, in your car?
He said, no, I’m riding my bike. I’m in Florida. I said, okay. So we had been talking for about 45 minutes and he was just on his bike outside. It was just something that he loved to do, and that’s just kind of the, the man that he was. And for, for Mike, um, I think really what he taught us was que question everything.
You know, when someone says, well, you can’t do it this way. He’ll basically say, well, why not? Can we not or do we not? And um, that’s where his offense came from. He said, why would I go 50 50 run pass if more of my players aren’t running backs that can, that can successfully, you know, move the ball down field? And so playing for an offensive guy when you’re a defensive guy was always funny too.
Yeah, because, um, as a defensive team, we always felt like, you know, Mike just had us there cuz he ultimately had to have defensive players, but if he could line up two offensives somehow, he would’ve. And, um, he, he, uh, always reminded us that we were, you know, good, not great. And, um, I remember there was a time, my, my sophomore year, he called me into his office and he said, um, you know, I, I’m thinking about switching you from defensive line to offensive line. What are your thoughts? And you know, when you’re 19, 20 years old, you just want to give the most opportunity to play. I said, well, sure, you know, what, what are you thinking about? What’s the reason that’s making you think me go from defense to offense? He said, well, you’re not particularly strong or fast.
Um, and, and you’re not really quick. Um, so that’s why I’m thinking about switching you cuz you’re smart. And it was like this truth bomb just, you know, right across the face of, hey, you could be a sinner in my offense. Cuz you have to be able to read defenses. You understand that, but you’re not really fast or strong, so it’s up to you.
Um, and that was, that was the way he would compliment you. Not being rude, just being truthful, you know?
Brett Gilliland: Yeah, but think about that though, man. That’s, that’s pretty direct.
Britton Barbee: A absolutely direct. So how, guess the way that I give feedback now, there’s, there’s no reason to, there’s no reason to sit back and tell you, Hey, you know, Brett, I was thinking about this and what are your thoughts?
He, he’d let you speak. He would always let you speak, but you were gonna hear what he, he thought and there was not, it was gonna be very clear cut. [Yeah.] There was no question around where you stood with, with Coach Leach, ever.
Brett Gilliland: That’s strong, isn’t it? I mean, I think that, you know, as a, as an employee, employer, you know, as an employee, people that are managers, not managers, whatever they’re doing, leading people, I think that’s the biggest thing.
I look back at my career, the people that have challenged me the most are the ones that also care for me and love me the most. Right? And I think that’s important, and I think that’s probably what Coach Leach did for you, is he, he loved you, he cared for you, he was all in, but he’s also gonna challenge the daylights out of you.
Britton Barbee: Every day. It was, it was a constant, it was a constant push every single day. And, um, I, I, I, uh, always carry, carry him and his lessons with me and try to impact as many people, um, that I can with the lessons he taught me.
Brett Gilliland: Yeah. Love it. So let’s talk about that hat you’re wearing, man. I wrote it down on my notes here to talk about the 29029.
Uh, that’s a, that’s a crazy race man. But tell me about that.
Britton Barbee: Yeah. So, um, a couple years ago, a couple of guys decided that racing flat was one thing, but racing up with vertical gain would be a different challenge. So Jesse and a couple guys, Marco Hoick, Collin, Collin O’Brady, um, decided they would rent a mountain and invite people out to climb it.
And so the idea behind it is it’s a 36 hour, uh, time limit. And depending on which mountain that you’re at, so they have Stratton, Vermont, they have Sun Valley, Idaho, Jackson, Wyoming, um, a couple others. The idea is that you climb the vertical equivalent Mount Everest in that 36 hours. So you hike up and then you take a gondola down, and you do that as many times as it takes.
So in Stratton, Vermont, it took 17 climbs up Mount Straton to reach 29,000 feet. Um, and it’s really, you know, I’ll tell you, you know, vertical gain is a great equalizer. You really can’t sprint it. Um, I’ve seen people who, you know, never ran a mile, haven’t done a 5K finish. And I’ve seen guys that, guys and girls that are incredibly fit, struggle.
Because that mountain, you just don’t know what you’re gonna run into. There’s different elevations. I mean, you know, I’m training for Jackson, Wyoming right now, which sits at, you know, 7,000 feet above, you know, sea level. And here I am at six. So it’s like, how do you train and prepare for that? Um, so it’s a real test of, to me it’s a mental test bar more than physical.
But the physical is there as well.
Brett Gilliland: Yeah. So have you done one before?
Britton Barbee: I have. So, um, I, I did, uh, in 21, I did, uh, Utah Snow Basin, Utah. Um, and I got pulled by the medical team after hiking for about 24 hours. Um, they thought I was getting into some type of high altitude, um, you know, having high altitude issues, which I, at the time, really disagreed with, because I really wanted this hat, it sounds silly, right? That you can’t buy this hat, you have to earn the hat. And that’s kind of what we talk about.
Brett Gilliland: I love it.
Britton Barbee: Um, and so honestly, I owe a lot to my wife because I was, I was down, I was really, I, there hadn’t been many things I had sought out physically that I hadn’t at least achieved.
And the goal was to finish. So leading up to it. And these events are sold out a year prior and um, so I really thought I was gonna have to wait another year and one day. My wife just kind of asked, are you gonna mope around like this for the next year or are you going to do something about it? And sure enough, I ended up calling the guys and was able to get into Vermont about six weeks later and was towing the line and Stratton, Vermont and ultimately finished there, uh, at about 26 hours.
Brett Gilliland: Unbelievable. So, so walk me through that, man. Are you sleeping at all or are you just literally staying up for 26 hours? I mean, what’s that process look like?
Britton Barbee: Yeah. So it’s, it’s really your journey, you know, um, for me, I, I want to go through, I kind of break it into to thirds 12 hour segments. So they have food, they have, um, you know, they have recovery stations and, and you can sleep. You have a room or a tent, and, you have the opportunity to do so, but anytime you sleep is time you’re not climbing.
Brett Gilliland: Right?
Britton Barbee: So for me, in Vermont, I hiked from six. So it starts at 6:00 AM Friday and ends at 6:00 PM Saturday. I hiked from 6:00 AM until about 4:00 AM the next morning, um, my wife was there and she said, you, you will sleep.
Um, because there was lightning in the area, there was a chance that the gondola would shut down. So we had a good little two hour window where I could have been stuck at the top of the mountain and not sleeping. So we decided to, to, so I took, slept for two hours and then was able to, to finish, uh, throughout.
But, um, it, it’s, there’s people who go through all the night. There’s people who go in and get six, seven hours of sleep and, you know, wake up and, and get after it again. It’s really up to you and your journey of what finishing looks like. An idea of pushing your body, doing something that you’ve never done because how many of us are really gonna go take the three months to go to Nepal and climb Everest and, and do those different things. It’s not gonna happen, but you can do it right here in, you know, in many people’s backyards essentially, and, and try to see what, what you’re made of. Because there comes a point and everybody has a different one. Some people it’s lap one, some people it’s LAP 15 where you break down and you have to decide how bad do I want this?
How, how bad do I want it because, uh, my wife is signed up for Jackson, Wyoming this year and I don’t wanna say she’s never done anything endurance, cuz she’s had three kids. But, you know, my goal for her is to finish this and, you know, so she’s training now. She’s excited at the opportunity. They do just such a great job and it’s uplifting.
There’s no ego on the mountain, right. It’s, it’s, Hey, I see, you know, br I want you to finish just as bad as I wanna finish. And, and that’s unique. That’s what really led me to the endurance world was everyone’s so accepting and they wanna see you help wherein football and basketball, all the sports that we play, and you know, in our youth, it’s, it’s about me.
How do I get ahead? And in these races, people are helping you out. Hey, try this, try. And that’s been something that’s extremely rewarding and, uh, and uplifting at the same time.
Brett Gilliland: Yeah, I mean, I, I, yeah, I think that’s an incredible f feeling, man, when you’re done, right? You got that last one. You’re at the base and you know, you got one more mountain to climb, man.
And, and I’m assuming this is like, you’re not like on the ropes climbing a mountain, right? You’re, you’re hiking, but it’s straight uphill.
Britton Barbee: Straight up is, is exactly right. Uh, so you’re using. You’re using hiking poles, things like that. And then if you can imagine, in many cases it’s just like doing step ups.
You know, you’re not walking, you’re, you’re, you’re hiking up, um, through, you know, uh, whether it’s, you know, packed rock or grass or different things like that. And it’s, it’s something that, you know, is outside of the norm for so many people. Like I said, I’m, I’m here in, you know, Dallas. We, we don’t have anything close, you know, resembling any kind of mountain or elevation.
And so it, it challenges you, the terrain challenges you in a different, um, in a different way than, you know, just going for a long run. So it’s something that you really have to focus on your breathing. You have to focus on your hydration, your nutrition, and it’s really a, you have to have a masterful plan.
And, and you know, my, my endurance coach is really big on you have to have a plan going in, but he also wants me to list out everything that could go wrong. And when you do that and you understand how you’re gonna respond to all those things, then it’s just show up and enjoy it.
Brett Gilliland: Yeah, I’m writing that down. Um, I can’t remember who it was this week that, or last week that talked about that as well on, on the podcast, it talked about listing out everything that could go wrong, uh, because then at the end of the day, man, when it does go wrong, you, you’re prepared, right? It’s like, if we only prepare for success and one bump in the night happens, it’s like, ah, crap. You know, now what? Right. And, and I think that’s a, that’s a big, huge takeaway, right there?
Britton Barbee: Absolutely. It’s, it’s, you know, it’s, it’s funny, um, even just setting up, you know, getting together with us. I mean, there’s always the high probability of a low probability event, and it’s something that, you know, was told to me a long time ago, and you sit back and think of it, we always sit back and go, well, why, why’d this happen?
Or why’d that happen? Um, the chance of something small happening, you know, uh, a blister on your foot, tripping, falling, uh, you know, scratching your knees, scratching your hand, your poles breaking, twisting your ankle. All those things are, they’re limitless at what can happen. But if you think through them, you build this mental resilience to know, okay, well if this happens, here’s how I’ll respond.
And then trust in your ability as a, as a person to respond the, the, in a positive way. Yep. And when you can remove all the negative thoughts, then you just show up and go.
Brett Gilliland: Yep. Love that. Love that. So what, what if, uh, if I followed you around every single day, Britton and I said, okay, here are the things that I’m gonna see every single day. What are those no miss items that I’m seeing?
Britton Barbee: Oh, well, you know, it, it, it’s, it’s gonna start pretty early. We’re gonna be up. Um, I like to, I like to get outside. First thing that I like to do is get outside, uh, throw the Frisbee with my dog. Um, my dog’s a early riser, um, nobody else in my house is, so it’s just me.
Um, so we’re gonna take the dog for a walk. Get outside typically before the sun’s up, but we’re also gonna, we’re gonna come back. We’re gonna get in the, get in the cold water. That’s a, that’s a must. Cold water exposure, uh, up to the neck, something that I try to make a daily practice. Um, it allows me to set an intention for the day and, and it provides a tremendous amount of clarity around what I want to accomplish that day.
Brett Gilliland: What temperature are you getting in? Do you know what the temperature of the water is?
Britton Barbee: So I, if, if it’s in the forties or below, I’m good. Um, I’ll, I’ll sacrifice and be, uh, you know, 50. It can still be cold, you know, no matter how much you do this, you know, 50 and below will still kind of, it’ll wake you up.
Brett Gilliland: It, it’s funny, I did 48, uh, just, I dunno, a few days ago I did 48.
You know, I set the camera up for the first time ever just to see what the heck I look like doing it. And man, it is brutal. I mean, I, I don’t even know, I’ve never done it in the thirties, but I mean, the 48 I thought I was gonna die for about, you know, 30 seconds and then you get your breathing right, you get your heart rate going, but man, there is, there are very few things in life where you feel different after doing something three or four minutes later.
Britton Barbee: Uh, it it, you know, it’s funny cuz it doesn’t take a lot of time, like you said. Yeah. It’s, it’s to really, um, I think for me and, and kind of what you’re talking about, I mean, cold water’s, cold water, uh, I think the difference between it being in the thirties and fifties it’s, is minimal.
You’re still gonna see the same effect. Um, but I think the big thing is, is we always try to fight the cold and it, and it’s such a, you know, it, it, it’s, it’s really, it represents life in such a way. There’s so many things that we try to fight against, right? Rather than just embrace it. When you embrace the cold, and that’s the thing people tell me all the time, are you not cold?
I’m cold, but I just let myself be cold. It, it’s really that simple. It’s really that simple. It’s, it’s, it’s this idea of what is comfortable and so when you choose to put your body through something that’s uncomfortable, every single and you, that’s where you go. When I wake up, I’m choosing to put myself in discomfort, whether it’s the cold or whether it’s some type of workout.
If you do that, how? How mentally prepared are you for the things that life throw your way? That that’s really what it’s about for me.
Brett Gilliland: Yep. Yeah. That’s awesome. So up, up early, so up by what, 5:30 – 6:00 or before that maybe?
Britton Barbee: Yeah, 5:30 – 6:00 in, in a perfect world, now that I’m, you know, uh, with the kids, it, it, it’s, uh, it, it depends, but that’s, that’s ideal. Up early out outside cold water.
Um, in a perfect world, I, I try to, I try to steal time for myself. Meaning if I can work out in that window of five to seven before my kids are up and I take them to school, to me that’s a successful day, because I’ve, I’ve done my duty as, as, as a man, as a father, as a husband, to put myself in the best health possible without sacrificing the time for my kids.
Brett Gilliland: Yeah.
Britton Barbee: And take my kids to school, work, uh, come home and, and those are the things that w while my kids are at school, that that’s when I, that’s when we operate. You know, that’s when we do what we need to do. Uh, but at home, you know, it’s something Jesse taught me that we’re, we’re never too tired for our kids.
And with a 10 year old daughter, a three-year-old son, seven-year-old son, that you can get pretty tired. Uh, but if it’s, you know, I wanna play this game, I wanna do this, it’s, it’s so easy in this day and age to talk about how tired we are. Um, but it, it’s, it’s, we have to do these things in order for, you know, our kids to want to be around us when we’re older.
It, it starts now.
Brett Gilliland: Yeah, it’s key. I’m, I’m looking at my eight year-old who’s about, uh, eight feet over here to my left, and it is, man, it is tough. And I see Jesse talk about that stuff all the time. You know, I got four kids and you, you know, you go to work, you come home, you go to sports and it’s one more game, right?
It’s one more thing they want to do, but you gotta be there for ’em. And it’s, uh, but sometimes it’s tough. And so it’s making that a priority. But, uh, so talk about Jesse Itzler. For those that don’t know Jesse Itzler. Amazing dude. I’ve been following this guy for years. Uh, wrote the book, Living With the Seal, Living with the Monks, um, both books.
I’m just looking at him right now. Both are phenomenal books. I would highly recommend reading those. He’s a great follow on social media because he’s got, there’s no, there’s no fluff, right? I mean, there is no fluff whatsoever. And you’re gonna see exactly what he does and all the things he’s done and, and, and it’s just incredible.
So what are you learning from Jesse and talk about your relationship with him.
Britton Barbee: Oh, I mean, uh, yeah, Jess is an incredible guy and if I could sum him up in, you know, one word, it would just be authentic. What, what people often put online versus who they are in real life are two totally different things. Being in and around Jess now for about five years, he is exactly what you see.
Um, genuine guy, um, really has discovered later in life. And he talks about it. He really pivoted, you know, right around the time he turned 50 into kind of understanding we wanna do more of the things that we love to do with the people that we love to do ’em with. Uh, we try to create experiences, experience over things is really important and, and it doesn’t have to cost money.
I think that’s the big thing is a lot of people are drawn to Jesse because of how he’s a serial entrepreneur. it’s like what you look up. I mean, this guy sold, um, you know, he was a, he started off as a rapper and then sold jingles to all the NBA teams. Sold that company. And while that company was flying him out to pretty much sign a sign over the deal, they flew in private and that’s when he was on the plane and was like, people fly like this.
We’re gonna, we’re gonna start a private jet company with no aviation experience. Did it. Sold it to Warren Buffet, then , took coconut water, sold it to Coca-Cola, then took mountains that weren’t his, and sold it to iFit. And so most people follow him for business, but if you can really see what he’s saying, really listen to the values that he’s placing on his family.
You know, spending time with his parents that that’s the lesson that I take from it. is money, is, is one thing, you know, and he’ll say it like this, he’ll say, you know, money’s nice to have, it helps, but it’s, it’s not the end all, be all, you know, he talks about he lost his father this past year and he says, you know, my father was a spiritual billionaire.
And you hear it all the time. I mean, there’s people who in, in many different aspects of what, you know, call their income is, is far less than others and their, their happiness meters through the roof. And that’s really what it’s about is, is being our authentic self. And, um, I tell him all the time, as great as he is with business, I take more from parenting from him.
And um, you know, we have kids that are similar ages and so we’re going through the same things and it’s like, how do you balance all these different, you know, stresses that we’ve put in our lives? And it’s, it really comes down to, I nev I’m never too tired from my kids. I seek out experiences. I’m going to date my spouse because that’s something that, you know, as you’ve been married, you know, I’ve been married, um, my wife and I have been together for 16 years.
It’s real easy to go through the motions with kids. But we intentionally seek out this time. because there’s all these different buckets. There’s our relationships, there’s our friends and family. There’s business, but there’s health and wellness, and we want all those buckets to be as full as possible.
Brett Gilliland: Yeah.
Britton Barbee: And that’s, that’s really what our focus is, is putting all those things down. Looking at your year at a glance with our, with our calendar club and saying, what are the things that I wanna do this year before everything else fills in, before weddings pop up, before there’s people robbing us of our time.
We gotta put down those things now because the truth is, is we don’t know how much time we have. And and that’s the reason we have to plan it now.
Brett Gilliland: Yeah. I think, I can’t remember which one of the books he wrote it in, but he said, you know, with money, if, if you were a good person before money, you’re an even better person with money.
Right. If you were a bad person before money, you’re an even worse person with a lot of money. Right. And I think that’s so true, man. And you know, I see it being in wealth management. Um, you know, we work with great people. And these great people become ultra successful financially. But man, they also are great people for the community.
They’re great people for their families. They’re great people for charities. They’re, you know, on and on and on and on, right? And I always say, well, were they that person first? And that’s why they became successful, right? Because I don’t believe you just overnight become successful. And then, oh, now I’m a good person.
Right? That, that doesn’t exist. And, and I get to see it, and I’ve seen it for 21 years. And so people listening, right? It’s like, think about the choices you’re making now. Even those 20 year olds, somethings that are listening to this, right? And they think, well, that’s easy for Jesse to say that he is. You know, they’re billionaires, right?
Yeah, maybe. But what was he doing when he was 20 and 25? And you know, he was thinking differently back then when he was broke, living on people’s couches and just trying to make a living, right?.
Britton Barbee: Yeah. Well, and, and and too, so for, for anyone who’s listening that’s, that’s in their twenties. I mean, I think the thing that you have to look at is, is Jesse’s 54.
So you, you see, hi. You see him now. But like you just mentioned, I mean, people don’t remember when he was sleeping on couches. It’s kind of like that, that’s something that it’s, it’s almost like fairytale because you don’t see that today. You assume it never happened. But I, I promise he remembers, because he still thanks those people all the time. You know, his 50th birthday, he brought ’em all in just to say, I am where I am today because you let me sleep on your couch. And so that genuine appreciation, because think about how easy it would be to, to be like, well, hey, yay, I slept on your couch. Look at me now, you’re welcome, almost. He’s not like that. And, and I think the tough thing for a lot of people to, to really get in their head is, is that, you know, if, if someone were to give you 10 million and say like, Hey, what would you do with this 10 million dollars? Quickly, everyone can come up with what they would do.
I would start this business. I would do that. I would be so happy. Then you have to realize that no one’s gonna give you 10 million dollars. And how many of those things on that list can you do today that don’t require 10 million dollars? And so much of it is there and, and really what we wanna look for is, you know, we always say that we want to be low aggravation, high reward, that like that’s what we want.
I’m working to a spot in my life where my business and the things that I do are low aggravation because I want to do them. I like the people that I’m around. And it’s high reward, it’s fulfilling to me. But when you’re tw in your twenties or thirties and you’re starting out, you’re probably high aggravation, low reward.
And you have to work to a spot. Or you have to determine how much money do I really need to make to be happy or to do the things that I wanna do to take care of the family the way that I wanna take care of. Because that’s not all, you know, income. And like you said, you, you see it in wealth management.
How many of these people have so much money, but it’s, it’s, it’s never enough. Or it’s, it’s not fulfilling and, and you sit back and go like, well, what, what else do you really need? The priorities are outta line again. Money helps. But I can promise you, when you’re sick, you’ve probably heard Jesse say this before, like, yeah, take all the money in the world.
But when, when you have, when you have a cold, when you can’t like swallow because your throat is swollen, what do you wanna do? All you wanna be able to do is just like, have a, not have a sore throat, but money can’t take that away…
Brett Gilliland: Nope.
Britton Barbee: So that’s really where we get into the health and wellness aspect of, you know, if you have health, you have hope, and if you have hope, you have everything.
It’s never been about money. It’s, it’s really about how we see the world and, and how we attack each day knowing that it’s not always gonna go the way we want it to.
Brett Gilliland: Yep. Yeah. And you’re spot on, man. It’s, it’s, and it makes me think about too, it’s never gonna go the way we want to, is the, I always talk about being a student in the game and your mindset and how powerful that is.
So what do you do to be a student of the game of life, um, amongst all the notifications and the noise and the news? All the negative crap that’s going on out there. H how do you stay focused in the right mindset to continue to produce every day?
Britton Barbee: Well, I think as leaders, right? It’s, it’s our obligation to make sure that we, we establish what the priorities need to be.
And in a negative filled world where it’s you, you can open your phone and it’s just a negative news bomb. That’s all it is, right? It’s, it’s how do you positively prime yourself? and, and understand that there is good in the world. And I’m not, I’m not, you know, pretending that I live in this fairytale where everything’s good and everything’s great, but I do choose the way that I react to the news that I receive.
Um, and, and I’m, I’m very, I’m a very firm believer in that, you know, when something bad happens, you know, as unpopular as it may be, nothing bad or good happens, it’s really just our reaction to it. You know, I decide how much anxiety something’s worth. And won’t give it anymore. And, you know, ultimately anything that’s happened to me, I, I, I try to endure it.
I remind myself I’ve made it through a hundred percent of everything in my life so far. Everything. So why would this be any different? Maybe it’s not ideal. Maybe it didn’t go the way that I wanted to, but we pivot, we pivot and we keep pushing. And if it doesn’t go the way that I wanted to, that was never the plan anyway.
It’s just what I thought I wanted to happen, and then we figure out a way. So where I am today, I promise you, four or five, six years ago, two years ago, I wouldn’t have said this is where I would be, but everything has led me to be exactly here. And so it’s the constant reminder too. I think as a leader you have to make sure that you teach your people vulnerability, that you tell ’em like, Hey, yeah, no, this is tough.
I don’t love this, but this is how we push through it. We don’t let us get rattled. We don’t get impacted by one thing. We keep moving forward every time.
Brett Gilliland: Well, it, it leads me to my question I ask every guest just about every guess is the fears, the fears we put in our minds. How many of those fears have actually blown up to the magnitude you put ’em in your mind to be?
Britton Barbee: Very rarely any, right?
It, it’s, if you think about it, we, what is it? Uh, the old saying, like, we, we suffer more imagine troubles, right? And, um, I really think about this idea of rumination of, you know, like that ruminations, like a rocking chair, sitting in a rocking chair, hoping to go somewhere. And so if you’re thinking about something in the past, present, or future with a negative thought, it’s rumination.
But if you think about it in a positive past, present, or future, it’s reflection. You can have anxiety and, and excitement. They’re the, they’re the same chemicals. It’s just how you, how you look at it. I have something coming up that’s big man. I’m nervous. I hope it goes, I don’t know how it’s gonna go, or I have something big coming up, I have a huge opportunity in front of me. Yeah, it, it’s really that simple. But we’ve almost kind of been told that, you know, you have to be, you know, hard-nosed and show no fear and, and why not? I, I, I fail so much every day, as a father, as a husband, you know, in business, all these different things, and it’s the humility to know that I’ll continue to make mistakes and I hope I make mistakes.
You know, one of the big things that Sarah Blakely talks about was the celebration of failure from her father. They would sit down at the dinner table and say, who made a mistake today? So, What do you think I do now? Sarah’s obviously super successful and we’re not talking about the inventions or the things that she’s made.
It’s more so how did you, how did you fail today? So my kids know when I say, Hey, how was the day? They already know what’s coming next. What did you mi make mistake? Now with my seven-year-old, I got to a spot where he was like, MI missed all the questions on my spelling test failed big. And I’m like, well, hold on.
That’s not the idea here, you know, but the, the, the principle is there, but you know, we want to make sure that we’re celebrating the attempt to do something outside of our comfort zone. And, and that’s where that, you know, fear right? Can come from, but we, yeah. We just have to dive into it each time.
Brett Gilliland: Yeah. It, it’s, it’s true too, man.
And I think, what was it? They, they hooked up, uh, you know, humans to their brain and, and it’s the, the brain doesn’t know the difference between, and the body doesn’t know the difference between excitement and nervousness or anxiety. They show up on a, on a wavelength, the exact same. So part of that is like how you start to embrace the fear.
And, and I know I’ve had to do that big time over the, over the years, is the things that I get worried about. I, I struggle with anxiety about those, some of those things. And so it’s now becoming an ally of mine to where I’m transparent and vulnerable and trying to help as many people as I can with that.
But it’s understanding that, oh, I may have this feeling. But my body doesn’t know if it’s excitement or nervousness, so now it’s how am I gonna train my body for what I’m getting ready to do?
Britton Barbee: Right. It’s, it’s how do we respond? How do we process that information? And, and again, I I, I’m not gonna sit here and tell you that I spend everything to a positive tune.
We all have that time where it seems like things aren’t going a certain way. It is tough. You have the kids. Um, life happens, and that goes back to what we were talking about, high probability, low probability events, something’s gonna pop up, that’s outside the norm. But you know, one of the things that Jesse really taught me too was that all these things that we do, when you decide to have kids, everything that happens afterwards with your kids, you signed up for.
So when your son wakes up in the middle of the night, 4:00 AM even though you’re tired and you know he’s having a nightmare and you need to do this, that and the other. You, you signed up for that when you decided to have him. And so you, you, you step into that role and you don’t complain about it.
Brett Gilliland: Yeah.
Britton Barbee: It can’t just be celebrate the good. You have to take everything with it. And, and you know, I’m very, very, very aware of the time that, um, the limited time that we all have on this planet, so why would I want to have negative interactions with, with my kids . I do. And I’m not gonna act like I don’t, but it really is something that you have to be so mindful of, so mindful.
Brett Gilliland: I’m, uh, I’m gonna pull up, I’m gonna be transparent and, uh, vulnerable as we sh as we talk about, so we talk about, people think things just happen, right? So people probably think we just show up. We hit record and we, we record a podcast and the rest is history, right?
They, they don’t see the, the messages through Instagram, you know, going through all this stuff, getting it scheduled, right? They don’t see, uh, uh, lemme see. Where’s the one I’m looking at here? This is me. Uh. This is my response to Britton the other day. So he’s, he’s getting ready to be on a podcast with me, and he thinks the guy that you know, asked him to be on the podcast is gonna obviously be there.
Uh, well, we, it was six degrees. We had a ton of snow. Uh, I drove a, a different car, uh, for safety reasons, and I, I didn’t bring my dang key fob with me for the office because it was the 23rd of December at that time. All of our staff was off. We gave him off before New Year’s Eve or Christmas Eve, and then the day after Christmas.
And I said, this is so embarrassing. I wasn’t thinking we gave our entire company the day off today. I drove my Jeep to work because of the weather, and I’m locked outta my damn office. This is so rude. I’m embarrassed. My sincere apology. Here’s his response, which you’ve heard him say on the, on the, uh, podcast today.
No worries. Every day there’s always a high probability of a low probability event. No need to apologize, brother. Next question was for me, what does one o’clock central on the 28th look like? And so point being is, man, that could have gone one or two directions. This guy’s a clown. He can’t even show up to a podcast that he, that he scheduled.
I’m out. Right? But yet how we respond to things matter, right? Then how we interact matter. And then there’s that trust, there’s that respect. Even though you screwed up. Take responsibility. Talk about you’re embarrassed, you screwed up, and it’s okay. Things happen, right? So when you hear me share that about our situation, what are you hearing? What are you thinking?
Britton Barbee: Yeah. I, I, I think, I think messages, um, even something as simple as, as messaging through Instagram or, or text messages, right. You know, it, it, you can learn a lot about a person through how they respond. And to me it’s, it’s, it’d be very easy. First and foremost, I’m very, uh, I like to think, uh, I have a humility about me that if someone asked, and this was a Coach Leach thing, he used to tell us all the time when we would have, uh, autograph signings at the beginning of the year, whether you were a walk-on or you were the starting quarterback, you sign every autograph cuz there’s gonna be a day no one cares for your autograph. And it’s the same thing with conversations. It’s, it’s giving the opportunity to, to say, Hey, I would love to have a conversation with you, whether this is recorded, whether this helps anybody or not. Sometimes it’s just connecting with people. So for you to sit there and tell me, Hey, this is so embarrassing.
This is what happened, this, that, and the other. In my head I’m going, yeah, man, I get it. I understand that that’s, that’s a hundred percent something that that could happen. It all makes sense, right. And so what it tells me is, is what you value. So let me break that down for a second. You said, I, I, you know, I took another car and your father four kids, so safety’s a priority to you.
To me, that means you’re a family oriented guy. Not only that, then you said not. I didn’t realize our office was locked. We gave everybody off. So in, in the business that you’re in, it would be really, really easy to have everybody working that day to be more convenient for you , but you didn’t do that. You, you prioritized your employees time with their families over your convenience of getting into work an extra day, right?
Yeah. So that means you put a high level of trust in, in, in, in, uh, you know, really free time for your, for your people for the holidays. So in one sentence of you telling me like, oh man, I’m having a pretty crappy day. I’m like, wow, this guy cares about, you know, his family cares about his employees. Yeah, man, we’ll reschedule.
You know, it’s real simple. And, and that’s the big takeaway. You can learn a lot about somebody in two minutes. You know, so if I’m late, right? If I’m late, uh, to this, and I tell you like, I’m so sorry. I was, I was, I was up late with my son last night. You know, he’s, he’s struggling with, uh, you know this right now.
And I was up early with him, and then I’m doing this rowing challenge where I’m doing a thousand meters a day. It’s the 28. I have 20, 28,000 meters to do, and I just did that. Didn’t get much sleep, but I wanted to make sure that I was here. I apologize for being a few minutes late from that, you can go, okay, hold on.
The guy cares about his fitness, but he also cares about his family in, in, in, in 30 seconds. So you can quickly establish who you are and what you’re about in such a short time. And people who are truly authentic and, and have the be have your best interests in mind. They’ll respond to that. Authentic people attract authentic people. That’s why we enjoy conversations with each other is because we know, okay, hey, he obviously has values and here’s the best part about it. It doesn’t matter what you think politically, religiously, or anything else. You can have mutual respect for somebody just by seeing what they’re about because it’s like, Hey, all of a sudden you and I have similar values.
I value, I, I enjoy being, you know, married to my wife. So I always tell people I have a high interest in remaining married to my wife. So I try to do things that lead to that, and if it doesn’t, I’m out. Right. And so we can really connect on being fathers, you know, being, being married, having these different things.
We have so much in common, though we’ve never met in person or anything like that. I can quickly see from your, what you would call like, oh, this is an embarrassment, right. Not an embarrassment, brother. I get it. I know. We’ll, we’ll, will we schedule, you know?
Brett Gilliland: Yeah. That’s awesome, man. Well, that’s, I think that’s good.
That’s a, that’s a great conversation and, and you know, things, I’m, I’m glad again, as, as guys, we can be transparent all and share those things, right? Because that’s important. That’s part of this living a future greater than your past. I mean, that, that’s our mission, uh, for our firm as my personal mission in life is helping people achieve a future greater than their past.
I mean, everybody wants a future greater than your past. It doesn’t mean you had a bad past, but it means you want a future that’s still greater than your past. And, and that’s what we’re trying to help people do every day through this, through our work with investments and so on and so forth. And I’m just thankful for that, that conversation, man, and, and for us to be able to share with that.
So what, what are you when you look at 2022? We’re winding down here. We got a few days left. And then we look going into 2023. What are, what are you thankful for for 2022. And what are you excited about for 2023?
Britton Barbee: That’s a great question. Um, Extremely thankful for the opportunities that I’ve had with, with my family this year.
Um, I’ve, I’ve moved us from Dallas to Houston, Houston to Austin, Austin, back up to Dallas in, in the last few years. So, um, buying a house is probably the worst time to ever buy one in history, but being able to have my family settled and feel home was really important to me as, as a father and a husband.
So I’m grateful for that. Um, I’m back close to a lot of family. That’s really important for us too. Uh, so I’m, I’m grateful for that. And, you know, being able to create some of these memories that we’ve made through, you know, even in a 48 hour trip, you know, we, we were able to bond through adversity while, you know, we, we took our coaching group to Minnesota, we slept outside.
It was minus 14, we cracked the ice of a frozen lake, got in it and just really got outside of our comfort and it really set a tone for the year. Like, what else is possible? You know? Um, it, it was, it was just…
Brett Gilliland: So we’re gonna, we’re gonna call time out there. We’re gonna call time out. So we slept outside in negative 14. We cracked ice, we got in the water, which tells me it’s probably negative something. Uh, and and you were in that water? Taking the mind to a whole nother level of, of places that nobody can think you can actually go to.
Britton Barbee: It’s, I’ll tell you, um, there’s been very few times that I can recall as an adult where I had a tremendous amount of stillness.
And when we were in Minnesota, so we, we took a group of people out there and, um, we were in the tent. Jesse actually owes me his life because I, I kept the fire burning, uh, to keep us somewhat, you know, below freezing. Um, but the being in that ice. So when I’d never, like I said, I’m in Texas, so we don’t have anything like this.
So imagine a whole lake frosted over. I mean, the ice is super thick. We were out there with axes, chainsaws, trying to crack through it. When I went underneath the water, I was, it was, it was completely silent. I heard nothing. I was under, you know, however many, you know, uh, miles of ice. And I could just, in that moment really what stuck out was what’s important. Take care of your family, take care of yourself, take care of yourself so that you’re here for your family and, and make more of these memories as easy as as possible for everybody and share that message. And so creating that stillness is super important for me.
As we look to 23 and with as busy as we are, so many of us are just looking for not a break, but we’re looking for clarity. We’re looking for stillness. and we create that in little pockets of time, right? It’s not an everyday, you know, 23, 24 hours a day where I’m just super calm, super chill, but if I can get 10 minutes, how much better can I be if we magnify that out by 365 days in a year?
And so that, that’s super important and that’s really, The reason that we do the things that we do is to establish that even, even further, and pass that message along. Like you said, if we want our future to be better than our past, we have to really learn from it and, and find out when are we at our best, what are the things that we do each day that make us great and do more of those things?
But having the, the, the commitment and the discipline to stay at it.
Brett Gilliland: I think the important thing is there too, and I think Jesse’s great at this, especially this big ass calendar club, but um, is schedule that stuff, right? I mean, I’ve got, it’s over here, but I’ve got a, I’ve got a journal. At the end of every 90 days, I go through, uh, what I call my gratitude session.
And I’ll look back at, you know, every picture I take here on my iPhone, right? And I’ll say, okay, here’s, and I’ll write down, you know, did this, it went, you played, put putt golf with the kids, or did you know whatever, right? Did this thing and write it down everything we’ve done over the last 90 days. And think about how thankful I am for that.
But then, What am I gonna do the next 90 days? Right? And it’s not perfect. There’s things spur the moment, things that happen, but let’s schedule something, but get it on the calendar so we can make sure it happens.
Britton Barbee: I, I think it’s, it’s so critical, you know? And, and if you don’t, if you don’t do that, if you don’t reflect, if you don’t plan, you’ll look up and somebody else will live your life for you.
Um, that’s not a, that’s not a thread. It’s, it’s really just think about it. If you don’t prioritize your weekends with your kids uh, you know, with your family it will fill up. And, and you know, one of the lessons Jesse taught us is how expensive the word yes is. How expensive it is when someone says, Hey, can you do this?
And you say, oh, I have this going on, but it’s not on the count. Yeah, I can make that work. Yes, I can do it. That, that’s robbing your time, especially if you don’t, if it’s not something that you want to do, and this isn’t about thinking that you’re holier than thou or better, or you don’t need to be in this, but it’s really like I would rather do something with my kids. I’d rather do something with my family. Right? And if I have that scheduled down, it’s, it’s, it’s honest to say, Hey, would love to, but I already have this. Let’s book another time. And when you look at the calendar, at a glance, you find pockets of opportunity. And it’s kind of crazy, right?
If it’s like, Hey, you know, Brett, let’s get together, let’s play some golf. And you’re like, Hey, yeah, I have March 3rd available, kinda like what, but there’s also something that’s you can really appreciate about that. That you’re, you’re optimizing at such a high level because, you know, Jesse says it all the time, he’s 54, average man lifts to be 75.
He’s like, I love summer and I only have 20 plus summers left. I love summer and I, and I, you know, hopefully have more but only have 20 left. And when we think about our relationship with time, it really changes our perspective on how much time we have. Right?
Brett Gilliland: It does, absolutely does, does. I’m gonna put my, uh, eight year old in the spot over here.
Uh, he doesn’t know this, but I’m gonna ask him to ask a question. So this is my eight year old, Asher. This is, this is Asher .
Britton Barbee: Asher.
Brett Gilliland: He’s my, uh, fourth boy. He’s keen to work with dad today. So any questions you want to ask Mr. Barber here?
Asher Gilliland: How’d you start…
Brett Gilliland: barbee?
Asher Gilliland: How’d you start out in life?
Britton Barbee: Ooh, man. Great question. I should do the whole interview here.
Brett Gilliland: Good question.
Britton Barbee: Yeah, that’s a great, that’s a great question, Asher um, how’d I start out? Oh, you know, I can take that a lot of ways. Um, but I started out like I was the youngest in my family. , um, everyone in my family, you know, played sports. I grew up going to all my brother and sisters sporting events.
Um, so I grew up on soccer fields, basketball courts, baseball diamonds, just running around, catching foul balls, trying to get snow cones. You know, that whole thing that you do is the youngest. And what I chose to do was it became, you know, competitive. Like while my brother and sister pretty much got all the glory because they were older, they were in the more competitive sports, I wanted to compete with them.
So I would practice with the older kids. And I got beat a lot. I’ll tell you, I, I, it didn’t look good at the time. I wasn’t faster than them, but I pushed myself to be that way. And then probably year eight, so probably about the time I was like 11, I was bigger than my brother anyway. So, um, it allowed me to really kind of step into and just keep pushing.
And, uh, when the, when you’re the youngest in the family, um, I personally think that you get to learn all the lessons, and you get to learn from all the mistakes that they made, that your siblings make, and it helps make you a better person.
Brett Gilliland: I love it. I love it. It’s funny because we always joke with him that he literally came home from the hospital and went to a baseball game before he went home. So it’s like…
Britton Barbee: I, I’m right there with you, Asher. I understand. I understand how it is, but you’ll be better for it. Trust me. Just hang in there.
Brett Gilliland: Yeah, yeah. Sometimes we’ll, we’ll have some, a little bit of, uh, discussions because his big brothers might have, uh, you know, kicked him in the shins or done something when they’re out there playing soccer.
But they just keep fighting back. Man, it’s important. Well, Britton, it’s been awesome having you, man. There’s tons of wisdom, tons of takeaways for me. This is an awesome interview and, uh, even though you know, you get yourself locked outta your office sometimes, good things can still happen. And uh, and we did it.
We had a great podcast, man. So I appreciate you being on the Circuit of Success.
Britton Barbee: Thanks for having me, y’all. Y’all enjoy it. And Asher, keep those questions coming, man. I love it.