An NFL Player’s Business Struggles and His Identity Shift: Anthony Trucks

An NFL Player’s Business Struggles and His Identity Shift: Anthony Trucks


Check out all episodes on the My Favorite Mistake main page.

My guest for Episode #97 of the My Favorite Mistake podcast is Anthony Trucks, a foster kid turned NFL athlete. This is the first time I’ve interviewed somebody who was on American Ninja Warrior

Anthony is the author of the new book, released this week, titled Identity Shift: Upgrade How You Operate to Elevate Your Life. Scroll down for a chance to enter to win a copy of the book!

Anthony's also an international speaker, host of the Aww Shift and Shift Starter podcasts, author and founder of Identity Shift coaching. He’s a serial entrepreneur with one serious super power: Making Shift Happen, no matter what, by accessing the power of identity. 

In today's episode, Anthony shares his “favorite mistake” story about the first business he started after the NFL, a personal training business with a huge lease in the economic downturn of 2009. How and why did he seek out help and why was “being forced to figure it out” his favorite mistake?

Other topics and questions:

  • “When you drop your ego, past mistakes, flaws, and fear of failure, you can find your internal fire to catapult you into the life that you want and deserve.”
    • EGO – Everybody’s Greatest Obstacle
  • Fear of failure? —> How did you view the possibility of making mistakes on the field as a football player?
  • What are the 6 levels of failure – above or below the learning line?
    • “Version failure” – learns from the mistake
    • “Predictable failure” – knowing we can’t be perfect
  • What is identity?  — we have different identities at different times
    • It’s who we are when we’re not thinking about who we are
  • What does it mean that your survey says I'm a “slow dreamer”?
  • How did you find you new identity after your NFL career ended suddenly? Identity shift?

Scroll down to find:

  • Watch the video
  • Enter to win a copy of the book!
  • How to subscribe
  • Full transcript

Watch the Episode:


"None of us are perfect. So if I predict the fact that I'm going to fail and not do perfect, it's actually good."
"Our identity is who we are when we are not thinking about who we are. It's the actions we take unconsciously. "
"I call ego everyone's greatest obstacle."

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Automated Transcript (Likely Contains Mistakes)

Mark Graban (0s):

Episode 97, Anthony Trucks, foster kid turned NFL athlete, author of the new book Identity Shift.

Anthony Trucks (9s):

And I think my greatest mistake was opening a business after the NFL. It's such an interesting oxymoron, right? Like your favorite mistake…

Mark Graban (23s):

Ribbon. This is my favorite mistake in this podcast. You'll hear business leaders and other really interesting people talking about their favorite mistakes because we all make mistakes. But what matters is learning from our mistakes instead of repeating them over and over again. So this is the place for honest reflection and conversation, personal growth and professional success. Visit our website at myfavoritemistake, For show notes, links to Anthony's book and website, and a whole lot more. Go to Thanks for listening. Our guest today is Anthony Trucks.

Mark Graban (1m 3s):

I want to tell you a little bit about him. He is a foster kid, turned NFL athlete, and we've had some other pro athletes on the show, but Anthony is the first person I've interviewed who did well was on American Ninja Warrior on NBC. So before I tell everyone more about Anthony, let me first off say thank you and welcome to the podcast.

Anthony Trucks (1m 24s):

Oh, thank you, man. I appreciate it. Yeah. First Ninja Warrior guy. Yeah, so good.

Mark Graban (1m 29s):

I was watching before we got going, you know, I researched, you know, your, your business work and everything that you're doing. But the, the clip that I saw from American Ninja Warrior was, was impressive. So maybe that's something we can chat about later on here in the episode.

Anthony Trucks (1m 42s):

Yeah. Count me in man. Happy to, but that's fun times. Good memories there. So

Mark Graban (1m 47s):

Anthony is an international speaker. He does a lot of things. He has a host of a podcast called off shift and shift starter. You're going to hear a pattern here. We're going to talk a lot here today about shifting. He is an author. He's a founder of Identity Shift coaching. Anthony is a serial entrepreneur. He, as he describes it, he has one serious superpower beyond the ninja warrior skills. He describes it as making shift happen, no matter what, by accessing the power of identity. So his book is make shift happen. How to up your game and elevate your success in life. It's out here August 24th, 24th. So I hope you'll check it out.

Mark Graban (2m 27s):

I was being so careful to not mess up or make a mistake with the word shift. I messed up trying to read a date. So

Anthony Trucks (2m 37s):

Yeah, you got to roll with the punches, man. You gotta just gotta make shifts happen. We'll be all right.

Mark Graban (2m 41s):

I don't want to have to go back and bleep myself if I that's

Anthony Trucks (2m 45s):

Good. That's the stuff. The best stuff. The most normal stuff is we have to mess it up and you'd fix it in real time. People go, oh, they're human. And then where do we continue? Rolling.

Mark Graban (2m 52s):

That's that's the main theme of the podcast. We are all human. We all make mistakes. So Anthony, to, to get the ball rolling here even more, we'll jump in. I'm curious to hear your story, looking at the different things that you've done in different domains. What would you say is your favorite mistake?

Anthony Trucks (3m 7s):

Hmm, that's a good question. So I had some time to think about this and I think my greatest mistake was opening a business after the NFL. And, and I love the thought of like your greatest mistake that it's such an interesting oxymoron, right? Like your favorite mistake. But here's why it was a mistake is like I opened it in 2008 in a, a pretty it's like is my hometown not, not in a fluent town by any means. And I was giving this, this service of a gym. I was going to go and train youth athletes in an environment where no one knew about it. This was before like crossed it, even entered the area. No one knew what I was doing. And I had no clientele. I'd never even owned a gym business.

Anthony Trucks (3m 47s):

I'd never even had a gym membership. I knew nothing. And to be honest, I was about to sign a lease. My wife and me bring a lease down. But I signed a lease in fact for 8,000 square feet of space. And I had no clients, no plan. And I only got like two months of free rent and I, my head I'm like, I'm a good at done and fast forward nine months. And this is after the NFL is actually right after I left the NFL fast forward nine months, a guy rolls up on a Harley. He gets off the bike. He gets an envelope, walks in side, are you Anthony Trucks say, yeah, hands me. The envelope walks out the door. I open the envelope. And if you guys don't have this works, this is called service. So you serve me when the landlord, I hadn't paid rent in three months.

Anthony Trucks (4m 28s):

I had no, I couldn't make money and money. I know what I was doing. So I naive, you know, and I even tell my, have a young guy, how so at the same time had a wife and three kids as I'd just left the NFL. We'd had a couple more kids. So I'm in this situation where I'm looking at possible bankrupts. I got two weeks to figure out how to pay more money than I have easily four times more than I had. I had to figure out how to pay my mortgage at home, how to be a dad. Like I was, everything was falling apart all because I had this thought of like, let me jump into business without knowing anything about business and having, I didn't even have an internship. This is right after the NFL, I left the NFL got hurt. August 8th, 2008.

Anthony Trucks (5m 9s):

I opened the gym business. This was pretty much January 1st, 2009, four months after getting hurt. Right? So that was the biggest mistake, but it led to a lot of stuff, man. It, I don't even know how deep you want me to go, but it led me to the depths of my, of my humanity. Because at a moment in time, like I grew up in foster care, a lot of stuff happened there. I also grew up in a really poor all white family, adopted at 14, had a kid at 20 years old, met my real dad at 20 years old lost family to suicide and cancer and a lot of different things happen. And at this moment in my life, after the NFL, like I didn't have any other identity to, except for the one that's like when football is gone, I'm a, nobody.

Anthony Trucks (5m 49s):

That was it. So football gone. So now football's gone. I got this gym biz I'm trying to build and I'm trying to sink into that. That's it's falling apart. Then my marriage falls apart because I'm at place all day. I'm talking 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM trying to figure it out. I'm gone. My wife's at home with a four year old, a newborn twins, which is crazy on top of that. I'm out of shape. So like I'm stress eating and I'm at the gym, covered my belly with a hooded sweatshirt. And then I just, I don't know what I'm supposed to do. So I, the way I say it is pretty much everything that made me me was washed away. And while I'm talking about me, anybody who's had any time invested in something in their life, whether it's I've been invested in a business and I've been involved in marriage or in my health, or I'm a parent, no matter what it is at some point, whether by choice or by chance, like the choice could be, I want to sell the business.

Anthony Trucks (6m 40s):

I want to get a new job, right? Or by chance, you know, something happens in my health or whatever is when you wake up one day and you can no longer do that thing you've been doing. You're met with this gaping hole, like who in the world am I? And I had that whole immensely, large, all the, all the stuff from my passport in. And so I, I was actually suicidal. I'm like, I don't want to live here anymore. If this is what life is like after the game of football, I'm like, I don't want to do this thing. And the reason it was with my greatest mistake is because if I don't start that gym, I don't get put in that, that really like that pressure situation to have to revisit everything, have life completely fall apart to then force me to finally figure it out.

Anthony Trucks (7m 20s):

And I think what's crazy is whenever you finally figure it out, you start to see all these things as actually never being mistakes, which I think is kind of part of this show, right? It was, it was actually, that was necessary. I don't like what happened, but man, do I have such a depth of appreciation for every single moment of those sleepless nights, arguments, fights feeling like nothing. Even the mistakes that led from that. When you get divorced, you don't always go do the best things. You know, you're hanging out in parties and you know, multiple partners and stuff, which I not a fan of. Like I was a Christian man is still am. But at that time I disappear from the faith a little bit, to be honest, but all these mistakes, they get me to the point where I'm like, now I'm like, oh man, I got wisdom.

Anthony Trucks (8m 4s):

Cause what they say, they say that good decisions are born of bad decisions, right? Like it's more of a, yes, it is good decisions, bad decisions. I don't know. Good decisions are born of experience and experience is born of bad decisions. That's what a good decision. The board of experience. So my decisions are from experience and experience came from bad decisions, bad things. I did mistakes. So for me and my life now I'm like, man, yeah, I don't, I don't like that. It happened, but man, am I happy? It did. Cause I would not be where I'm at living the life I am now, which you've mentioned the ninja warrior. I actually remarried my ex wife. We have an amazing marriage. I'm happy. I'm healthy, thriving business. I serve people. I got happy kids that see their dad every day.

Anthony Trucks (8m 44s):

Like yeah, man, my life is completely night and day from what it was. And it's all. Cause I, I naively opened up a business after football.

Mark Graban (8m 53s):

Yeah. So how, cause the, the theme here is not to shame anybody over mistakes of course. But the talk about the, the, the learning and the redemption and, and the other chances from that moment of having those papers served. Y I I'm, I'm guessing that business kind of came to a close and, and, and how did you apply those lessons into your next ventures of, you know, like you said, having been maybe a little naive going into that first

Anthony Trucks (9m 23s):

One. Yeah. Yeah. So it's funny thing, is it didn't close. I'm a mad man. Dude, I'm a weird human. So I, in my head, I hear listen outside of my head. I had two voices that were very important. My wife's voice and my best friend's voice. And both those voices said, close it down, chalk it up, file bankruptcy, move on. We don't get time for this. Do something other party was like, well, I technically have two weeks to figure this out as a technically. And even then I came to find like eviction processes, like that's a process. You gotta go through like the courts. And I'm like, so I really got more than two weeks. Right? So I'm like, well, how, what do I do? Cause I'm, I'm built in a way where I'm like, I'm going to go ahead and make sure that when I lay my head in the pillow, I can at least say that everything I, I did, I, everything was in me to figure out I'm going to do that.

Anthony Trucks (10m 11s):

If I, if I don't then I'll care that for the rest of my life, that's the same thing we talked about before that show I was talking about like, I that's how I'm built. I cannot walk away and not know that I did every human part of me. So I did, man. I, I said, okay, what does it look like? Well, first off I had no idea what I was doing. If I kept doing what I was doing, I was going to get to the same place. So I was like, I need some help. I actually went out and I, I sought help. I just will give the actual numbers. At the time, after investing in the gym, I had about $4,000 to my name. I owed $16,000. It, so I was like, all right, well, this is, this is not talking about mortgage paying bills, taking care of the kids at home. I right. So I couldn't even give it over. So I had 4,000 in my name and I had two weeks to figure it out.

Anthony Trucks (10m 53s):

And I'm like, well, shoot, what do I do, man? And so I was like, well, I need help. And so I went, found a coach. I had a guy that had someone recommended. And so I reached out to him and he's like, I charged $6,000. I can, I get a discount. He says, no wisely. And I said, well, what can I do? He says, well, you pay whatever you got. I was like, well, all I got is $4,000. That's all I got is like, well, we'll start there. I was like, damn. And I'm telling you, man, that was a hardest choice in the moment to make. Cause I don't know if it's coming back, but I did. I paid them for, and I said, don't let your, not only to the extra, two's not coming unless we helped me get the extra two. And so that was the fastest and hardest two weeks in business in my life that ended up itself was like a year of college.

Anthony Trucks (11m 35s):

Cause I, I learned more about myself and what I didn't want to know about myself and that time than ever the first couple of days, he poked holes in me. He broke that ego of the NFL guy quick. That I'm amazing. That I'm great. I have my degree in kinesiology, Edwards and a train with me is like, no one cares about what you did, dude. Nobody cares. What can you do them in a gym business? What can you do for them? He says, what happens to someone walks in the door? Like what, what, what do you say to him? I don't know, whatever. I feel like that's how the system, what if somebody says, I want to buy something, what do you offer? I don't really kind of make it up a little bit. Okay. Well, what happens if you know this person, you know, comes in, want to bring in a friend? I don't, I've never had an app. I don't know. Like nothing is like, I don't even know you've been live this long dude. It's like, you don't have a business. You have a doors with weights inside.

Anthony Trucks (12m 16s):

This isn't a business. So I'm like, oh, he's like, can you start making systems on top of that? He's like, you need to go. And you need to find a person who can help you understand on how to renegotiate this lease and be able to take what you owe and work it into the future of what you will like. So pretty much your rent's going to go up three, four months from now, but that's how we're going to keep you alive. And he says, then do this. He made me make, what's called an ABC list. This was the scariest thing ever. So ABC is simple a as the people that have taken part in what I do and are ambassadors for the brand, be people who know what I do, but have not taken part in what I do yet. See people have no idea who I am or what I do. He says, I need you to go tonight and get your phone out and fill the list of seasoning 250 people on the C list.

Anthony Trucks (13m 1s):

And I go, man, like, I don't know if I got 250, he goes, open your phone right now. So open the phone. He says, do you see the names and numbers in there? And I go, yeah. He goes, how many? And I was like 500. Somebody goes, okay, we're going to add to the list. I'm like, this is like my uncles and my aunts. So I was like, he's like, well my uncles, aunts, family. And we're wanting to say, he says, tell him your business. Isn't doing very well. And you need some help. Do they know anybody who might want to train with you? I'm like, you want me to tell people I'm not doing well. Yes. Do you want to, do you want to succeed? Right. So I started doing this bro. The first call, it felt like it took me an hour just to work up the gumption, just to hit the dial and hit sin. But you do the first one. It's like pulling teeth. And the second one third one by the 10th one, I'm like, oh, I'm not going to die.

Anthony Trucks (13m 42s):

And then here's the crazy thing, dude, within that week, by the next week, we'd already brought in $8,000 in new revenue from simply making a phone call. Matter of fact, three months from there, we went from bringing in about six to 7,000 a month to, and that, that was before paying the trainers and paying that power to keep the place alive. It cost about that much to run it. Three months later, we were bringing in about $27,000 a month. It was like 27, 28 in that window, three months later. I, in fact, we invested in a couple of years that are opening to a new location. And so like that business dude was a hard, hard push. We actually got it figured out. It just took a whole lot of really like gut wrenching exercises of doing things out of my comfort

Mark Graban (14m 22s):

Zone. Well, it's, it's good to seek out help. I mean, when you think of your time playing football, you have coaches, you have mentors and it sounds like you, you dropped yourself into a business world with, without coaches and

Anthony Trucks (14m 36s):

A hundred percent in

Mark Graban (14m 38s):

When and so on your website. There's a really interesting phrase that I'm going to just read it for the audience and maybe ask you to elaborate on this, Anthony. So there's when you drop your ego past mistakes, flaws and fear of failure, you can find your internal fire to catapult you into the life you want and deserve of, of the different thoughts. Or you already mentioned, you know, the idea of, you know, being really successful at a high level, playing football, the Oregon ducks, being in the NFL for a number of years, I'm making a mistake here and trying to ask a question or built to ask you to kind of build upon that thought. I mean, do you think how, how much did that ego adjustment help you here in, in other ventures?

Mark Graban (15m 26s):

The, the, you know, cause people will say all the time, here's maybe a better form of question. I think people use the word humbled incorrectly sometimes. Like they, they win some award and they say, this is really humbling. It sounds like what happened to you at the early stages of those business of, of your gym business was really, truly humbling as stumbling through a question as humbling. I'll I'll get out, I'll get out of your way

Anthony Trucks (15m 49s):

Here. No, I got her, man. I, you know, you do this enough, you start to understand, like, I can tell your brains going. It's like expand upon that. But like where does ego play in? And, and what, like this humbling aspect, what does that actually mean? Cause that's really what it is. Tumbling. When you play at a high level, you have success anywhere. You have a natural part of an EGO that's built and I call ego everyone's greatest obstacle. So we don't realize that the ego is actually the thing that protects the current identity of who we are. So for me, and it looks at shows up negatively. My ego is protecting the identity of the football player for a long time. I good, I got this. I don't need your help. I could fight. I could figure it out like, wow. You know? And the reality was like, no, you don't know what you're doing at all. There's no part of you that has any clue.

Anthony Trucks (16m 30s):

You have no experience. You just, you can work real hard in the weight room. You can tackle people, you cannot run a business. Right. But the problem is our ego will not let us feel the pain of an adequacy. And so what happened for me was like where, where I initially was able to grow as a better person was in a business. But it meant it trickled out to the rest of my life later on. Cause I understood like, okay, well it's okay to say, I don't know how to do this. In fact, if I, if I can do that, I actually give myself permission to improve. If not, you cut off the people trying to help you get better and you don't get any better. So like, yeah, when that they were that statement, it's like when you can drop the ego, right.

Anthony Trucks (17m 11s):

And put all that stuff aside and like, and let go of the fear of what could go wrong and realize this, this is a crazy thing that it took me a while to understand as, as a man now is I do not attach my ego to anything I've created or to outcomes. I think a lot of people, they attach their ego to the car. I've got the house. I have, you know, that my hair, how my skin looks maybe or whatever it is, the money I've made. Right. They attach to that. And then what happens is these things they can, whether they can die, they can fall apart. We can lose them. I have always had this since that moment. I've attached myself to the effort. So that way I'm not afraid of failing and ego doesn't play much of a part.

Anthony Trucks (17m 51s):

Right. So when I look at things, I don't want to do how I feel like, Hey, here's all I know I can do. If I am a guy that I trust that I'm going to work hard. Like, and I, and we know what hard means, right? And hard for me is like, I'm going to work myself to the point where I don't want to do it. And then I'm going to do more because that's the actual level of my dream needs past my current level of what I believe heart is. So if I can do that, then inevitably either you win or you can go to sleep at night, knowing you did your best. Now nine times out of 10, you actually win and you win better than you thought you were going to win, but it doesn't happen if you let your ego protect you and force you not to do the effort and put the work in. Or if you're so afraid of failing, you create really good excuses to avoid the situation.

Anthony Trucks (18m 36s):

So when you can do that, that's why it becomes this catapults to a whole new level. Because now it's like, well, you know what, if I fail, I'm not a failure. I just failed. But I tried my, I literally tried my best, right. Or if something happens and all of a sudden, like I'm embarrassed by it. It's like, all right. Yeah, try it. Let's do it. But I made this claim and didn't come out like, Hey, you know what? I legit, I tried more than you did. And to be honest, when I go to bed at night, I know I can't think of anything more I would have done. And if it's ever been more, I'll go do it. Right. So when you can drop the ego and let go of that fear and attach yourself to the effort that creates the outcomes, man, it catapults to a whole other level of effort you'll give somewhere else.

Mark Graban (19m 15s):

Well, I think that's really insightful what you said there, Anthony. The idea of I did something that failed, but that doesn't mean I am a failure. I think that's really powerful to let that kind of sink in one of the ask you also about the idea of fear of failure and, and I've, I've had the chance to ask, you know, another former NFL player of a retired NHL hockey player, about the idea of making mistakes on the field, where, you know, you're on the defensive side of the ball. There might be mistakes that a casual fan like myself wouldn't notice, but then there's something let's say, you know, an interception that goes right through your hands.

Mark Graban (19m 56s):

How did you view mistakes on the field? The, did you have a fear of failure that, that did that affect your play? Or did you get better at bouncing back from the idea of failure or mistakes on the field?

Anthony Trucks (20m 11s):

Yeah. So there, there is the times that I was in the middle of it and in the times now where I look back upon it and they're different. So in the middle of it, it eats at you because you just want to be, you want to do great things. My coach was actually pretty good in college. He was a first that's the first time I played at a high level of college, but he's like, Hey bro, take the chip out, put a new one in. I was like, what are you talking about? He goes, whatever you play, you gotta, you gotta chip like a video game chip. And there he's like, take that, play out, take the chip out, put a fresh one in and go to work at the end of the game. We'll put them all into the computer and take a look at all the chips he's like, but I can't have you bring that chip to the next play. You're going to ruin the next play. And so I was actually was, he was wise, man. He's like, well, yeah, you made a mistake. I know you did. It was horrible.

Anthony Trucks (20m 51s):

We could've looked it up and then lost the game. But right now, the only way we can make the game better is by this next play, you doing better. If you bring that over, we ruin the chance of that happening. So that was the perspective. I came to learn later about a concept of, of like how you can reframe failures. And this is actually I live my life. Now there's actually like six levels of failure. And there's like three above what I call the learning line. The top one's called abject, which is the end of the world. You know, somebody died, can't come back. The next one is called structural, which is like a big piece broke. It can be fixed. But the amount of effort made like in place to fix, it would be so heavy. It'd be, most people want, or don't want to do it then glorious. Like I don't even wanna look at it. It sucks. I'm walking away. Those three people usually it's so painful emotionally to revisit them that they don't, I don't learn from it.

Anthony Trucks (21m 35s):

I just keep repeating the problem. I'm like, I don't wanna talk about it. And you move on. And what happens, you're dating the same girl with a different name because you can't figure out how that, you know, realize these girls aren't for you or you can't figure out why your business won't work well. And you keep bombing businesses. Cause whatever it is you just don't learn. Right. Then you have what's called the learning line. And below this is where most of the learning takes place. It's the common failure. Why the apology was made. I made a mistake, absent minded messed up my bed. The bottom two are my favorite. The one that's below that's called version failure. This version of me tried its best do what it did, but realize it could have been a better, it learns in the mistake. I learned what went wrong I had. So this is like I learned what went wrong.

Anthony Trucks (22m 15s):

Maybe this version of me and my business. Wasn't that great. This version of me and my relationship. Wasn't great. What did I learned? So I could make iPhone two, three, four, five, right? The next version of the phones. Next version of me, the bottom one is my favorite. This is where I try to live every day. It's called predictable failure. When I played sports, anytime I go to the field, I know I'm going to get yelled at every practice, every game I can't be perfect. And none of us are perfect. So if I predict the fact that I'm going to fail and not do perfect, it's actually good. Cause now I'm like great. I am actively seeking the holes in the bucket. So I'm going to do, I wanna do the best I can cause I'm trying to get the predictable.

Anthony Trucks (22m 55s):

What can I do better? What can I do better? And I can operate in this level. And now what happens is no failure is a failure. It's just genuinely a lesson. The problem with most people is they take what could be a predictable or version or common failure. And they shoot it up above that line, the learning line and make it either abject or structural or glorious. So, you know, the relationship failed. I'm unlovable. You're not unlovable. You just don't communicate well. And you keep leaving the toilet seat up, bro. Like you I'm saying that version of you kind of sucks or I can never run a business. No you can. You can. You just can't run it the way you ran it. Right. And businesses in and of itself. Like you're trying to figure out what's going to go wrong today. It's it's can you understand living a life of a predictable failure and bok managing that?

Anthony Trucks (23m 40s):

Right? So when I look at failure, now the lens is vastly different. If I could have had that thought back then I probably would have pushed even more than I do now. Cause I'm not going to lie and say, I didn't ever have an apprehension of what could go wrong and slow down. Of course we did. I had that naturally did it, but now it's a different, different ticket, different pace. Cause I understand like truly no failure is the end. It's always a lesson. Yeah.

Mark Graban (24m 4s):

Yeah. I mean we could call this podcast. If I hadn't titled at my favorite mistake, we could call it version failure because that's really what we're talking about here. Predictable failure, I think is a really interesting idea because there are times when I can predict I'm going to ramble my way through an attempt at asking a question, I'm going to ask three questions all at once. And you know, it's, it's putting my guests in a bad position of unpacking these questions instead of asking one question then another then another. So I tend to use her phrase. I I know it seems like I'm dwelling on it. I'm going to take the chip out. We're going to keep going the new chip in my man.

Mark Graban (24m 45s):

I'm all for it. I want to hear your thoughts, Anthony, on the word identity and the concept around that. And how much of this is talking about professional identity versus personal identity. Tell us what you've learned about this, this word.

Anthony Trucks (25m 3s):

Well, the thing is you have different identities to who I am with my wife on date night is not who I am with you right now. If I did, it would be weird, man. I'd be like, Hey baby, be weird right now. But we generally have, you know, parenting identities, how you show up in sports is that there's different people. I used to play with Troy Polamalu and Troy with the Steelers. And Troy was such a nice, graceful person off the field, like a genuine joy, sweet human being man on the field. He was an animal talking a completely different human. You didn't want to get this way. He might hit you. You know what I'm saying? Like that is the thing. And so like we have different identities. The here's the big thing people don't grasp though. Our identity is it's who we are when we are not thinking about who we are, it's the actions we take unconsciously.

Anthony Trucks (25m 48s):

It's a collection of our habits. It's our mindset. It's our belief systems. It's a thought, it's all these things, right? It's actually comprises six areas that make up your identity, but they are not things we're consciously thinking about. We can pause at times and pay attention. But typically it's just that in those show, up in the actions that craft our life. So what I make money don't make money. I'm happy. I'm not like these are actually parts of your identity. And it's programmed in a way that we're unintentionally doing from teachers, preachers, coaches, leaders, survival moments, experiences, and they just create this human. And we live our life from that. And what's odd is like where this thing is running our life. Rarely are we ever running it?

Anthony Trucks (26m 29s):

And no one ever goes back and says, well, how was I, how was I programmed? Like really? How, how did I come to pass and meet this person? And then on top of that, like if I wanted, if I want something more like how do I get something more as this person? And th th there's no one asked that question. What's I believe is the most important question because here's what I look at. And there's a lot of ways you can think of what does identity, how does it work? But I always tell people, if you want to be more successful, what do you, what do you got to do? And they go, I got to go buy some more books. I got to join this program, get this course. I gotta quit. Great. All right. Well, let me ask this question. Have you ever been in a moment in time where you knew exactly what you were supposed to do, but it didn't get done? Oh yeah. Yeah. Okay. Let me think about this.

Anthony Trucks (27m 9s):

Let's let's talk about that moment. And this is, I want people to listen and people lean into this moment, pay attention. What I'm saying it, cause it could be a game changer for you. I have clients that I have come on and we'll work through stuff. We'll lay a plan out and get a vision of what they want to have. They want to create it. All this stuff gets laid out and they know what to do. And then I'll get a call or a message or we'll find a coaching call go, Hey, get that done. I didn't get it done. Well, why didn't you get it done, man? Well, you know, th the kids were acting up. My wife was doing this. I had this situation. I was traveling, whatever it may be. I go, okay, great. Remember that thing you told me you wanted like that dream life that housed the car, the body. Yeah. Yeah. Would the person who has that right now have made this same excuse and the answer is always, no, they go, ah, your rights.

Anthony Trucks (27m 53s):

It's, it's the truth. Right? So I go, so it's not, it's not what you know, it's who you are with what you know. So if I can get you to shift into that identity doesn't mean changing your persona. You're not, I'm not talking about like going and having like a Kennedy Caitlyn Jenner. We're not desktop. And we're talking about, I'm talking about shifting at the core of you, how you believe things, think through things, operate your habits like these, these little things that make up your idea. If we could shift those intentionally for the first time, you'd find that everything you want comes to you because the thing is, is this is there's two parts of action. There's two sides of it. And here's the thing when business, and we know this, the actions create the business.

Anthony Trucks (28m 35s):

Now, if the actions that create the business for me and you are the exact same, there's two sides of the coin on one side of the coin. It's not who I am. Therefore it's pulling teeth to get it done. I don't like making the cold calls. I don't like doing the systems. I don't want it, but I do them. I do it right. Well, six months in either you did them half I did them halfway, or I didn't do them at all. Whereas for you, if you have shifted your identity towards who you are to do that, where it's hard for me to do it, it's hard for you not to do it. So it gets done at a high level consistently. Who do you think has a better business? The person who it was easy for it, it was actually fun. And the reason they did it is because they stayed in alignment with who they are.

Anthony Trucks (29m 18s):

I believe the majority of us humans, we go to bed trying to make sure we were in alignment with who we saw ourselves to be. That's why, if I miss a workout, I eat some bad food. I'm like, ah, that's not who you are, Anthony. Right? We try to stay in alignment. The problem is people are aligning with a lower level version of themselves. And if you can shift that to a higher level identity, man, life changes for you.

Mark Graban (29m 39s):

So, one thing I hear you saying is that identity, when you say it's who we are, when we're not thinking about it, that sounds like an authentic sense of self, as opposed to, I was about to throw in the word persona, that might be kind of a veneer or an appearance or somebody I can think of a leader early in my career, who I think acted in a way that was a persona. Like he felt like the company required him to yell and scream at people. May he thought he was a football coach? And I know not all football coaches are like that, but he would belittle people. And it was, it was not helpful, but that probably wasn't really his identity. Cause we, we had a conversation about it once before I left the company.

Mark Graban (30m 20s):

And so it seems like there's a, a stress that's created when we're not acting in a way that's authentic with our identity. Is that fair

Anthony Trucks (30m 28s):

To say the way I look at as there, there is a misalignment and you will, you will feel it every day. When I look at it as like being the aspect of, you know, who you are thinking about who you are, I'm talking like a psychological neuroscience of a way. In fact, if I was to ask you right now, who are you a part of your brain lights up? You start thinking about the cars, the house, the thing that I've accomplished, the awards I got, I'm a dad. I'm a husband, right? When the here's the crazy thing, you don't want me to daydream. You ever like day to sit there and you daydream, you look up, we're naturally judging people thinking that the brain just going. The funny part is what, what lights up is a place called the default mode network, which is actually where your identity resides. When I ask you, who are you?

Anthony Trucks (31m 8s):

It shuts down and you start daydreaming. It is bright as day. It lights up and it's just processing in your natural state. That's why, if know, somebody cuts you off. My natural state is like, what are you doing? Hey, halt, right? That's your identity right there, man. And that doesn't show up. Justin, somebody cutting you off that shows up in your kids, did something that pissed you off your wife. Didn't make dinner on the table. Your, your employees didn't get that thing done. Like that's now being expressed out. So the problem is most people that they just are okay with it happening and they think, oh, it's just who I am now. It's you're choosing to be right now. And just like your guy at work that's we chose to be, he didn't, he didn't intentionally do it. Maybe, maybe you saw some in Bob, but he never stopped and said, man, this is the way I'm expressing myself.

Anthony Trucks (31m 52s):

Is this actually getting me where I want to go? And what happens is people think if I just it's like being a first year, if I just press first gear fast, hard enough, I'll go faster. No, you're always going to be a stuck in first gear. Let's hit the clutch and shift to second gear. You're always going to be pushing it. Like, you know, at first year it was a clutch car. You press that gas, you start bouncing, man, and you can't go any faster, but you keep riding engine revs up. You're going to burn out your engine, all that stuff. So the idea is you got to pay attention to who you are and get out of first gear.

Mark Graban (32m 20s):

So on Anthony's website, Anthony and I'll link to this in the show notes. There's a survey there. And I took that survey yesterday and it talks about identity and of the different categories. It described me as a slow dreamer. Ooh. So I was curious to hear your reaction and you know, there, there was a PDF and, and there, there was information that was sent. But what, so tell me, w w what's the thought behind the, the, the, the noise that you made, is there a need to, when you talk about shifting an identity, like when I hear slow dreamer, I think, wait a minute. That, that sounds a little problematic.

Mark Graban (33m 1s):

It might not be an accurate,

Anthony Trucks (33m 4s):

Yeah, it's the thing is we are the, maybe that's that version of your identity when you're answering that, where you pictured yourself, because whenever the questions are asked you picture, like one of the questions be like, when you see an opportunity, while we may think like business opportunity, right. That, or is it a opportunity to go play sports of my kids? So it's how you frame it and then identity. So first leave it there. So it may not be that you collectively are. I slowly Mer, cause you wouldn't have this podcast. If everywhere in your life, you were a slow dreamer. Let's put it that way. But what I looked at is human beings. We have like, we're always trying to find a way to get where we want to go destination wise and like a GPS. We can chart that. But if you don't know where you're at, you have no idea to really chart that path. So we ended up doing things that take us in a wrong direction, cause we never had a clue.

Anthony Trucks (33m 44s):

We were starting. So this whole thing is designed around this concept. Now I believe in my experience that people you're met with opposition and opportunity, we consistently, it's pretty much it as opportunity in some capacity capacity and there's opposition in some capacity, how I approach those determines really where I'm starting at. So I can either see opportunity and take advantage of it. Cause I love the idea of it or I can second guess it, I can be apprehensive. I could be slow to act. I can all these different things. So I may kind of go slow. And then an opposition, some people go opposition, give me it. I got this, I'm tackling it. Right? Some people go opposition, I'm running away. I was going to drill with some football players yesterday. Like when a guy comes at them, they like to run away.

Anthony Trucks (34m 25s):

Some people run away from opposition, right? So where those two interact and cross will usually show you who you are. So in that identity, you had some part of, you said, look, when opportunity comes up, I'm very, I'm hesitant. I slowed down. And then when opposition shows up and it's identity also, I don't, I don't tackle it that quick as I should. So what happens? I go slow and what shows up for a lot of people in the experience of my work I do is this is the dreamer who says, I want to have a nice brand new, new life. I want to have a six pack. Abs, man, I want to have this amazing family and marriage. However, when the pretty girl walks in, he doesn't go take the opportunity to get her number. Or if somebody challenges him in some capacity, he doesn't stand up for himself.

Anthony Trucks (35m 8s):

So all of a sudden the dream is there, but it stays a dream. And so this is not every area of your life, because again, you wouldn't have this podcast, you would have been too scared of the opportunity to launch. It would have been too afraid of the opposition of what comes along. So this identity of this is not a slow dreamer, but that one you took it with wherever it was going in, your head shows up. Right? So that's what that quiz is about. And there's different ones. The one you desire to get to in time as the go like the doer identity, which pretty much like I'm, I'm a goal person. And what that looks like is someone who goes after opportunity because they realize that's you have success. And they are not afraid of opportunity because they know they can tackle the opposition.

Anthony Trucks (35m 50s):

And also if they go towards opposition, they know that when they tackle it, it creates more opportunity to positive synergy. Those are doers. Those are people who like, you're going to see my dream once it's built.

Mark Graban (36m 3s):

And you know, the question was the, the questions in that survey were focused a lot on responding to opposition or setbacks. And it makes me think of, you know, the idea of resiliency. Yeah. If you, if you get tackled, do you get back up again? If you slip and fall to get back up again, there there's an old Japanese proverb of, you know, something to the effect of, you know, fall down seven times, get up eight. Yeah. You know, trying to have that that's that perseverance, which, you know, I think I have exhibited in a lot of ways, but so sometimes it's a struggle to not get discouraged by an obstacle. So maybe that's where some of that survey result came back

Anthony Trucks (36m 44s):

From 100% human dude. I guarantee you, there are parts of my identity where I'm slow is that I'm a dreamer. I just different things that we just all have to like, think we have to be okay with the fact that we are not perfect beings, man. And, and when somebody says something like it, you don't have to compare yourself to this person's area. What they're doing. It's a really weird way. Like our brain just has these things that are like continuous roadblocks and speed bumps. I tell people we, none of us really dream at full speed, very often that that feeling of like, thinking about being in a car on a desert road, like, you know, it's not 125 degrees outside, but the top down just, you know, winds blowing through your hair, you're hydrated. It's like your heartbeats, the speed, the feel, the vibration, right?

Anthony Trucks (37m 24s):

There's that. And when you have a great idea, it feels like that. But then if you had it in that same card to have bunch of speed bumps, you wouldn't get to stop the car or slow it down, left, turn, right, turn. It would slow it all down. And we'd throw these speed bumps in of fear of failure, fear of rejection, you know, things that aren't going to pan out. We beat ourselves up. We don't believe so. We start throwing these speed bumps down on our roads. We never dream at full speed.

Mark Graban (37m 49s):

So as you coach people earlier, you talked about versions. It sounds like you're helping someone become that next version. That better version of themselves

Anthony Trucks (37m 59s):

Very well said. Yeah. And in fact, the book I wrote, it's literally based on upgrading how you operate in the book. I have a concept around the computer, which we are computers. And if you think about the hardware and software, the hardware is our bodied software's identity. And if you understand how to upgrade, you're just upgrading to a new version, a hundred percent, the way you set it in. And when you do that, you get to a better level of control. Like my big thing. If you looked at our company values and vision, one of the big things for us as getting people to feel a limitless state of ridiculous power sounds odd, man, when we work with people, you come out of this thing where like there's a different of power and control. You have over anything in your life, the dreams you have.

Anthony Trucks (38m 40s):

And then now what happens is success happens more often and easier with less stress, but that's the person I need people shift into. And that's where we get them to. Yeah.

Mark Graban (38m 49s):

So you mentioned the book and before we delve into that for a second, tell the audience about the two podcasts and what's different about them all shift and shift.

Anthony Trucks (38m 59s):

Yeah. Yeah. So our shift podcast is an interview podcast and the idea was like a one to meet cool people. So I started a podcast to start having a reason to ask people, to talk to them. And it was like 280 episodes ago. Now it's a cool thing, man. I get to bring awesome people on have about 25, 30 minute chat and extract their off shift moment or shift good or off shift, bad. And the lesson they learn, what they did with it. That's pretty much it like what happened in life. So it's cool. That interview process. And then I start having people ask me to Anthony, man, I'd love to hear your thoughts and in the interviews, like I don't get to really hear you expand too much. It's like, that's right. So what I chose to do is start a daily podcast called shift starter daily. It's eight minutes. I record them every week and I just go in and just, I have a chat around what's going on in life.

Anthony Trucks (39m 41s):

And I, I rattle off a bunch of random thoughts and ideas to inspire and to motivate and to teach eight minutes. A lot of people like they start their morning with a man. Nice. There's a couple of people every day that listened to it. It's their starter. So I call it this. And the reason I do that, it's because it's wrapped around a concept of, of a type of human, the shift starter, dailies. Like I, my people are shift starters and it's like, if you remove the F you get it, like you start stuff. And what I mean by that is like, you start a dream, you start a vision, you start this this direction towards some kind of passion, but it also starts with making that shift inside. So to duality, I'm starting shift inside the change, my life outside

Mark Graban (40m 22s):

And the book Make Shift Happen. Congratulations on the release chair. Make shift happen: how to up your game and elevate your success in life. You know, as a, as, as an author. I know. And I appreciate, you know, it's a big undertaking. So I always like to ask authors, you know, what, what was the driving force behind? Not just starting to write a book, but to actually bringing it to the goal line here. Yeah.

Anthony Trucks (40m 44s):

Well, it's actually called Identity Shift. I, the title somewhere, the title get mixed up. You're not the only person to say that I have no idea where, but it's okay. Don't feel bad at all because I got a chance to talk about, Hey, let's call it Identity Shift, Identity Shift, upgrade how you operate. So you can make upgrade. You operate to elevate your life. And so the book is funny is I had this book stirring. I have this weird way of like, I mentally dumb things. So I take ideas and notes and I put them places. And I started a process of like, if I was writing my next book, what would be the stories I'd want in the book? What would the concepts I want to convey? You know, how would I weave them together? I started to really get on with Evernote. And then at some point I was talking to somebody about like, I got this book I'm working on and he's like a New York times bestseller.

Anthony Trucks (41m 26s):

He's like, I got a publisher. We want to talk to him. I'm like, I'll talk to him. I talked to hay house at one point, they kind of move forward. It kind of stalled because that happens. So I'm talking to this guy and he's like, yeah, let's do it. And so he brought me on and we signed the contract. We had got it all done. And then it kind of came into fruition. So funny thing is when it kinda started, it was like, it wasn't something that I pushed heavy, but then I started realizing societaly we really have this kind of issue with identity. We've outsourced it to social media. We don't know half the time who we are. We are, we are to the point where there's so much information that we don't realize again, that the information is not the big issue. Now it's who you are with it. So it's a good time for the book.

Anthony Trucks (42m 7s):

And it kind of came out in its own way, the way it needed to be. And the process has actually been kind of enjoyable, cause I've already done so much on it at the time when I had kind of come with the publisher was really easy. I just pretty much was organizing at that point. What, what is the order of the concepts? What are the stories that match to that? What are the teaching pieces? What's the, the studies I want to weave into it, right? That kind of stuff was just, I was doing it. And then I just sat down and wrote, and I got a really structured life. A lot of how I'm able to create control for me is simply by having a really detailed planner that gives me both freedom, but great structure. And so I was able to sit down and I wrote the book. In fact, the publisher said, I wrote the book fashion anybody's ever seen write a book.

Anthony Trucks (42m 48s):

And it was just, it was like a sit down. I had an organized and just flew through it.

Mark Graban (42m 52s):

Well, that's the thing. You ha you had done all that work in advance. And then it, then it flowed

Anthony Trucks (42m 58s):

Yeah, flowed, exactly.

Mark Graban (42m 58s):

Of that. So this has happened before of, you know, a book title or a subtitle changes during the production process. And sometimes the notes that come from the PR people or, or something is out of date. I'm not throwing them under the bus, but to I'm just thinking back to something you said earlier, in a way that's a predictable failure that so maybe my lesson learned is to all, you know, cause I try not to mispronounce anybody's name. And so with many guests, Anthony Trucks, I didn't think I needed to do that, but I will always try to confirm and double check the correct pronunciation of somebody's name. I need to do the same kind of double-check around book titles, especially if it hasn't, if it, if it's on the verge of being released, that's a change I'll make to my system.

Mark Graban (43m 44s):


Anthony Trucks (43m 47s):

I'm not a weird guy, like freaks out. I'm sure some people might get all weird out and twist it up, but like, we gotta do it again. I'm just a human, we are human beings. Nobody's perfect. And it makes for good listening because people like, oh, they're real people too. And nothing's perfect. So life goes on. We're good.

Mark Graban (44m 2s):

I very unintentionally demonstrate the, the, the idea, we're all human. We all make mistakes, but Hey, life goes on. We learn from them and, and good things happen anyway. So I think this has been a great conversation. I hope you've enjoyed it too,

Anthony Trucks (44m 15s):

Anthony. Definitely have. I appreciate you

Mark Graban (44m 18s):

So hope everyone will go check out Anthony's website, You can find all of the links there to the podcast, to the book right there on the front page, underneath this. Tell me the story about the picture for those are going to go look at the website. There's a picture of you on stage. That's a, that's a, that's a scream of excitement?

Anthony Trucks (44m 40s):

Very emotional. So it was at the back end of a speech I gave and I had this, there's a song I come on to. Right. It's the first time I came on to the song and it's, it's like something where the guy goes, I'm a mother F and he goes beast. And I just, I don't know, man, I let it out. I just, I was like, you know, when you used to play the game, you have like a great play and you just let it all loose. And I got a standing ovation and that song, they put the sign on to walk me off and I just stopped and just, I don't know, I let out, I let it all out before I walked off stage and they got a great shot of it.

Mark Graban (45m 10s):

They did capture that moment. That's a great shot, but they're on the front page of the website under Anthony's picture on stage. There's the survey that I thought was really interesting and I'm still going to process and think through what came in the report that came as a result of that. The what's my identity type survey. I think it was really interesting and thought provoking just as everything you shared with us here today, Anthony. So thank you. Thank you again for being a guest with us.

Anthony Trucks (45m 35s):

Seriously. Appreciate it.

Mark Graban (45m 37s):

Thanks again to Anthony for being our guest today, to learn more about him, for links to his website and his book, and more look in the show notes, or you can go to As always, I want to thank you for listening. I hope this podcast inspires you to reflect on your own mistakes, how you can learn from them or turn them into a positive I've had listeners tell me they started being more open and honest about mistakes and their work. And they're trying to create a workplace culture where it's safe to speak up about problems because that leads to more improvement and better business results. If you have feedback or a story to share, you can email me

Mark Graban (46m 18s):

And again, our website is

Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus. He is also a Senior Advisor and Director of Strategic Marketing with the healthcare advisory firm, Value Capture.