Watch Your Mouth- Words have power. We have all heard that before and probably took it lightly. But it’s been proven that the words we use can help us or they can hinder us. Our minds work in images so whenever we say or hear a word a picture is created and that picture makes a feel an emotion no matter how subtle, that emotion or feeling will then influence our behavior. This is why utilizing empowering language in sports or work is important to reach your goals.
As a part of our series about “How Anyone Can Build Habits For Optimal Wellness, Performance, & Focus”, I had the pleasure of interviewingQuentin McCain.
Quentin McCain aka Coach Q” is a Master Mindset Coach, International Speaker, and coauthor of “Think on These Things”, an Amazon #1 Best Seller. Through Coach Q’s own methodologies and specializations in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), Hypnotherapy, and Timeline Therapy, clients are able to maximize confidence all while releasing the negative emotions and limiting beliefs that lead to anxiety, depression, overwhelm and an unfulfilled life. Entrepreneurs, athletes, professionals, and companies call on Coach Q when they are tired of seeing the same results and ready to have a clear, compelling vision along with the actionable steps to get there.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?
I was raised as an only child to a single mother in Phoenix, AZ. My mom always encouraged me and expected the best from me and was definitely a positive force in my life. As I came into my teen years however I was influenced by People involved in gangs and street activities and started to follow that same path fighting, late nights, carrying weapons you name it. When I was 18 I fell asleep at the wheel of my car and crashed into a light pole which caused me to break my right femur in half, chip my hip, bruise my liver, and fracture 3 ribs on my left side which punctured my lung! This was a life changing point in my life that began a shift in where I was going and what I was doing with my life.
What or who inspired you to pursue your career? We’d love to hear the story.
In 2009 a friend of mine let me borrow a CD and when I popped in the Cd it was none other than Jim Rohn. At that time, I hadn’t heard of Jim Rohn or anyone else in personal development for that matter. When I listened to the CD it was like a spark was lit! It resonated with me so much and from that moment on I realized that no one has to settle for anything and can literally create the life they desire while helping others. I decided then that I wanted to help people have paradigm shifts
like Mr. Rohn had done for me. I then started to listen to more CDs, read books, and go to seminars and it became a motivational snowball effect for my own personal development and life.
None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Was there a particular person who you feel gave you the most help or encouragement to be who you are today? Can you share a story about that?
As far as business goes I have had many mentors and coaches that I have learned different things from that have helped me grow. In life in general I would say it is my mom and coauthor to my first book “Think on These Things” E. Marie Hall. I strive to be more and more authentic, have integrity, respect everyone,
punctuality and a list of other things that values in my life and have no choice but to carry over into business and those are the things I learned from her.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting mistake that occurred to you in the course of your career? What lesson or take away did you learn from that?
Becoming an entrepreneur, I had to realize that I was in for lots of mistakes and that is okay. With that being said, I have made many mistakes and run into so many funny situations on my journey of learning myself and my business. I remember I booked a speaking engagement with an organization earlier in my career and was super excited! It was at a fancy newer hotel, business professionals would be attending, and they even provided a professional photographer and videographer.
Everything sounded so good that I did little to nothing but show up, shake some hands, network, and even got a plate of food lol! When I was up to give my keynote, I was in for a rude awakening. There was no microphone, people were eating, and there was a partition between the two sides of the room I was speaking in. So I basically had to yell and stand awkwardly in the front of the room in the middle of the partition so I could yell back and forth between the two sides of the room so people on both sides of the room could hear me! At the end of the speech I got a standing ovation, sold books, and had people coming up afterwards asking for coaching information and telling me how great the speech was to my surprise. The lesson I learned from that event however is NEVER assume someone else is going to handle the details and that everyone operates at the same level of expectation as you do.
The road to success is hard and requires tremendous dedication. This question is obviously a big one, but what advice would you give to a young person who aspires to follow in your footsteps and emulate your success?
The first thing I would tell them is make sure you are passionate about it because if you are in it for the wrong reasons, not only will people see through you but you will most likely quit because the road to entrepreneurship is paved with hard lessons. There are just some things that you can’t be taught, you just have to go through it. The second piece of advice I would give is to get really really good at what you do. If you are passionate about it and feel called to do this work, then you owe it to yourself and the people you will help to truly become an expert at what you do and do your part in changing the world for the better.
Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?
I am an avid reader and I devour books like snacks lol. This is a tough question for me because I read so many books and get value in different areas of my life or business depending on the season I am in when reading the book. With that being said I lots of classic favorites like “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill and “Awakening The Giant Within” by Tony Robbins however, this season has been about thinking outside of the box and going for it no matter what so right now the book that is resonating with me is “The Third Door” by Alex Banayan.
Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?
I love quotes and use them with myself and others depending on what’s appropriate to the situation. One of my all-time favorite quotes is by the late Wayne Dyer, “Once you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” This resonates with me greatly because I believe that all of our thoughts, beliefs, and values are all a culmination of our own perceptions. This means that we are not always right and to get a different outcome than we have been getting in life we may need to change the way we are looking at that thing.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?
Aside from seeing one-on-one and group coaching clients I am still speaking and training organizations both in person and virtually. The most exciting project however is my own methodology that I’ve created. This new methodology takes the best parts of all of my years of training in different modalities such as Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Hypnotherapy, Life Coaching, and Timeline Therapy to name a few and combines them to help anyone release negative emotions, limiting beliefs, reduce or eliminate stress and anxiety and achieve extreme confidence. This helps people especially during these times when stress, anxiety, and lack of self-worth are at an all-time high.
OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. This will be intuitive to you but it will be helpful to spell this out directly. Can you help explain a few reasons why it is so important to create good habits? Can you share a story or give some examples?
When it comes to habits for optimal wellness, performance, and focus it all boils down to mindset. The mindset is comprised of the conscious mind and the subconscious mind. The conscious mind is where decisions are made, logical thinking occurs etc. The subconscious mind is where habits are formed. This is why we can consciously say that we want to create new empowering habits or get rid of habits that are negative and unsupportive but for some darn reason we just can’t seem to change. Habits and behavior change MUST happen on the subconscious level before they show up in our behavior. The subconscious mind loves repetition, the reason being is that we take in so much information on a daily basis that the mind is constantly trying to figure out what it can turn into a habit so it doesn’t have to consciously exert energy thinking about it. So the reason it is important to create good habits is that the subconscious mind does not have any prejudice as to if this thing you repetitively do is towards what you want or detrimental to your success.
How have habits played a role in your success? Can you share some success habits that have helped you in your journey?
Habits are everything, so they are not just a role they literally are your success. Every great leader will tell you that you must have discipline and systems in order to scale. The way that one develops discipline and systems are through doing those little things every day(repetition) that eventually become habits. One of my success habits is more like three in one. It’s a morning routine that I call “The Vital 3”. This is a morning routine where I make sure to activate, well…the vital 3, mind, body, and spirit. In its simplest form this could be something as quick as reading something mind stimulating for 10 minutes, doing a quick home workout or go to the gym from body, and prayer or meditation for spirit. When “The Vital 3” are activated it will transform the rest of your day!
Speaking in general, what is the best way to develop good habits? Conversely, how can one stop bad habits?
Developing good habits first starts with the will to do so. What is the reason you want to do this? In my experience the reason has to be one that YOU truly want and not for someone else. Once you truly want to develop good habits for yourself you will start instilling the good habits and make sure you are engraining them in you just like the old habits you performed day in and day out that made them a part of you. Depending on the importance of the habit and outcome you wish to achieve it could be extremely helpful to hire a coach or someone you trust to hold you accountable of this as well.
Let’s talk about creating good habits in three areas, Wellness, Performance, and Focus. Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum wellness. Please share a story or example for each.
Wellness is defined as the state of being in good health and our health directly relates to our quality of life so it is super important to cultivate good habits that can lead to optimal wellness. Here are my top 3:
1. Rest- It is super important to make sure you are getting the right amount of rest for your body. When you are not well rested you typically cannot think clearly which will block your creativity. Make sure you are well rested and sleep sufficiently so you can be at the top of your game.
2. Nutrition- There is a popular quote I love by Jim Rohn, “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” Just like you wouldn’t feed your car swamp water and expect it to move we shouldn’t eat things that are not going to help us to operate at our fullest potential. Trust me I am a foodie and absolutely love food so I definitely don’t eat salad all day every day but I do set the intention to not eat badly in excess and to listen to my body. Our food is our fuel so it’s a good idea to watch what we eat to keep us running smoothly.
3. Exercise- For optimal wellness it is key to keep the body moving. When most of us think of exercise we think of long grueling hours at the gym and feeling horrible because we are comparing ourselves to the super fit lady next to us who has been working out for years. Exercise can be having a gym routine but doesn’t have to. Exercise can be taking a daily walk, stretching, jogging, jump rope, or even playing with the dog or the kids just keep moving and get that heart rate up. Your body will thank you.
Can you help explain some practices that can be used to develop those habits?
One of the main ways to begin to develop the habits for optimal wellness is to start small. What I mean by that is when we set out to accomplish these grandiose goals that go from 0–100 faster than a Lamborghini we are setting ourselves up for failure. For example, instead of from one day to the next saying you are going to totally change your diet you may want to be more realistic while still reaching for your goals. Maybe today you can make just one of your meals a healthy meal and build up from there. The same goes with rest and exercise. If you are not use to it maybe you can go to sleep just 30 min earlier or workout for 10 min and build your momentum and thus your confidence from there.
Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimal performance at work or sport? Please share a story or example for each.
1. Watch Your Mouth- Words have power. We have all heard that before and probably took it lightly. But it’s been proven that the words we use can help us or they can hinder us. Our minds work in images so whenever we say or hear a word a picture is created and that picture makes a feel an emotion no matter how subtle, that emotion or feeling will then influence our behavior. This is why utilizing empowering language in sports or work is important to reach your goals.
2. Body Language- We all know the typical body language of someone who is depressed right? You got it! Head down, shoulders rolled in, slightly slumped over and looking at their feet. We also can recognize when someone is confident c’mon you have definitely come across those people that when they walk in the room their presence alone makes everything stop. If you take notice to their body language you will find they typically have their head up, shoulders back, a confident walk and a smile on their face, wouldn’t you agree? Practice using your body language to send a message to your brain that you are powerful, courageous, and on a mission at work, in sports, or in your business.
3. Visualization- The top athletes in the world have been recorded numerous times stating that a HUGE part of their success is seeing their goal achieved in their mind and replaying the outcome over and over again before it even happens. That my friend is the work of great visualization. The trick is to visualize vividly and with detail and make the visualizations of what you want as if you are looking through your own eyes, hearing with your own hears, and feeling with your own body, make it real! This is not just for athletes either, I recommend that everyone have a visualization practice for their life and career goals.
Can you help explain some practices that can be used to develop those habits?
Those habits are those that you need nothing more than your mind, time, and your body to perform, basically everything that you already come equipped with. As we spoke about earlier, the subconscious mind loves repetition in order to form habits, so the key with each of these things is practice, practice, practice. I would recommend carving some time out of your day that you will solely focus on these things. Watching your words and body language can be practiced throughout the day during your encounters, heck even at the grocery store or the gym. I would recommend doing your visualizations however first thing in the morning when you wake up as your brain waves begin to change and or right before going to bed.
Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimal focus? Please share a story or example for each.
1. Quiet Time- This may look different for every individual but quiet time is essential especially for those of us who are always in “go mode”. Think about it, everything in our environment is calling for our attention at all times nonstop, our businesses or career, family, friends, politics, and we can’t forget about social media. When do we take the time to just quiet our minds, shut out the other voices yelling at us and be with our own inner voice and thoughts? When we do take the intentional time to do this it can be transformational for our focus.
2. Journaling- This is nothing new be warrants being mentioned, journaling is a great way to get all the thoughts that are swirling around in our heads down into this physical world. It is so interesting how actually putting things down on paper can bring so much clarity and focus into our lives. This is one of the main reasons I wrote the book “Think on These Things” so people could have a daily transformational message to reflect on and then have the space to write down their own action steps, thoughts, and aspirations down on paper.
3. Walking- As with all of these things we must find the things that work for us and stick to them. For me and many others, I can focus and my thoughts come more clearly when I am moving. Whenever I have a lot on my mind of a big decision to make I walk while I think and things just seem to come to me. This could be true with working out or other types of movement as well which makes sense because when the body is in motion it gets the rest of the whole you flowing as well.
Can you help explain some practices that can be used to develop those habits?
When it comes to quiet time it could be beneficial to start small with maybe 10min so it doesn’t seem so drastic and then move up to a comfortable time that you could consistently do. With journaling I found it helpful to have prompted journaling like or to simply let go of your expectation of what you are writing as some tend to want what they write to be “perfect” grammatically or make absolute sense. Just let the expression flow out of you without being attached to what you actually write. As far as walking or movement try starting out with walking around your neighborhood or find a nice park or somewhere with nice scenery and the time will pass so quickly.
As a leader, you likely experience times when you are in a state of Flow. Flow has been described as a pleasurable mental state that occurs when you do something that you are skilled at, that is challenging, and that is meaningful. Can you share some ideas from your experience about how we can achieve a state of Flow more often in our lives?
I notice I am most in a state of flow when I am doing what I love. When I am coaching understand they are successful already but still know they always have room to improve or when I am speaking to a room full of people that are eager to improve the world in their own little way that is when I am flow. With that being said I believe that we can only attain a constant state of flow when we are truly present in each moment. We cannot get to flow when are minds are constantly dwelling on the past or worrying about the future too much before it even makes its way to us. Find what you are skilled at, or develop the skills of that thing that you are called to do and just do it! While you are doing it be present and really breath in life and enjoy the moment and the state of flow will stay as long as you allow it to.
Ok, we are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
The movement that I would love to inspire is #endmediocrity and I don’t mean that in a way that says we are superior or better in anyway than anyone else. I mean it in a way that says anything that is not building everyone up as a person like racism, judgement, limiting beliefs, fill in the blank are all the result of mediocre thinking and keep us stagnant so let’s #endmediocrity together!
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them 🙂
I have been blessed and fortunate to have been about to meet and connect with many people along this journey that I have been able to learn from and I am sure there are many more that I can still learn from as I also continue my journey to never ending growth. However, if I had to pick someone top of mind right now I would say Steve Harvey. I love his story, passion, talent, and heart. He is someone who came from nothing and now that he has made it to what most people consider success he gives back to people and really strives to pour into the youth as well and I love that. He also seems to be someone who has been able to thrive in many areas and I also strive to be that type of businessman with great impact.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
Readers can visit my website at www.QuentinMcCain.com or social media @coachqmccain
Thank you for these really excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success.