Dr. Eric J. Holsapple is a successful developer, author and entrepreneur who has used mindfulness to transform both his life and his business. He’s got a PhD in Economics and has been involved in the real estate industry for forty years. He works with people to merge business and mindfulness as a catalyst for changing lives.
He’s the Founder of Living in the Gap and today, Dr. Eric joins the show to discuss how mindfulness can transform business culture. His new book, Profit with Presence: The Twelve Pillars of Mindful Leadership , helps readers learn that bringing mindfulness to the workplace is an investment that pays out real dividends.
Watch on YouTube
01:09 – Jonathan introduces today’s guest, Dr. Eric Holsapple, who joins the show to share early lessons of entrepreneurship, his career trajectory, and his entry into mindfulness
08:33 – A massive, shocking wake-up call for Dr. Eric
11:32 – From LC Real Estate Group to Living in the Gap
18:58 – Finding happiness now
22:22 – Dr. Eric speaks to his latest book, Profit with Presence
24:38 – Mindset, inequality and what we can do to help others less fortunate
33:34 – How Dr. Eric defines and practices mindfulness
39:54 – Detaching from results
43:20 – One piece of entrepreneurial advice to focus on and one thing to absolutely ignore
49:48 – The last thing Dr. Eric changed his mind about and a place he visited that had a profound impact on him
“I ended up knowing everybody in the state – every bank, every real estate firm. It wasn’t intentional, but it dramatically helped my business because I was a trustworthy person, I was a good developer, and I was really well connected. I knew the best students and I helped place them at the best firms.” (14:03) (Dr. Eric)
“Living in the Gap is having it all. I think that people can live the life of their dreams, that this idea that spirituality and business are at odds is a mistake, that mindfulness is primarily focus. And, I have found personally that you get more done in less time if you’re focused and that mindfulness is actually a compliment to work.” (15:19) (Dr. Eric)
“What I’ve seen, from myself and from my friends that have been really successful, is that when you check off the list, you add more to the list. First it was a house, then it was a condo, then it was the trips to Maui, and then it becomes, ‘one country club isn’t enough, I gotta have two.’ I think that’s ‘the space race,’ and I look at it like what’s really going on here? I don’t pretend to know. It looks to me like it’s really hard to be happy with money.” (20:08) (Dr. Eric)
“My outer purpose is what I do. I’m on a podcast with you. I’m running ‘Living in the Gap.’ I’m building a real estate firm. I’m teaching at the University. My outer purpose is just what I do. But, with presence, I can show up to that outer purpose in a certain way, which is really unstoppable. If I show up to something fully focused and present to it with motivation, I can get a lot done.” (24:08) (Dr. Eric)
“To me, if I can get in and notice my body stretching, my mind slows down.” (35:20) (Dr. Eric)
“Profit is not a purpose or a vision. Those are the natural result of having a useful purpose and vision. And if you’re not getting those profits, you need to shift a little bit. We need profits to make change.” (42:40) (Dr. Eric)
“When you’re present with someone, you change them.” (48:07) (Dr. Eric)
Mindful Money Resources
For all the free stuff at Mindful Money: https://mindful.money/resources
To buy Jonathan’s first book – Mindful Money: https://www.amazon.com/Mindful-Money-Practices-Financial-Increasing/dp/1608684369
To buy Jonathan’s second book – Mindful Investing: https://www.amazon.com/Mindful-Investing-Outcome-Greater-Well-Being/dp/1608688763
Subscribe to Jonathan’s Weekly Newsletter: https://courses.mindful.money/email-opt-in
Capture the most important benefit of an advisor – behavioral support – without the 1% fee: https://courses.mindful.money/membership
For more complex, one on one financial planning and investing support with Jonathan or a member of Jonathan’s team: https://www.epwealth.com/our-team/berkeley/jonathan-deyoe/
Jonathan on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jonathandeyoe
Jonathan DeYoe: Hello. Welcome back to the Mindful Money podcast, where we ask our guests about the intersection of well being and financial success. On this episode of the Mindful Money podcast, I’m chatting with Dr. Eric Holsapple. Eric is a successful developer and entrepreneur with LC real Estate group in Loveland, Colorado, who’s used mindfulness to transform both his life and his business. He’s got a PhD in economics. He’s been in the real estate business for 40 years. He taught real estate at CSU for 20 years. He’s been practicing yoga and meditation for 30 years. Just for our listeners, that’s five years longer than me. He works with people to merge business and mindfulness as a catalyst for changing lives. He’s the founder of living in the Gap. And today we want to talk about his new book out next month. Profit with presence. Twelve pillars of Mindful leadership. Eric, welcome to the Mindful Money podcast.
Dr. Eric Holsapple: Thanks for having me, Jonathan. I’m delighted to be here.
Jonathan DeYoe: You bet.
Dr. Eric Holsapple: And Happy New Year.
Jonathan DeYoe: Happy New Year.
Dr. Eric Holsapple: Here we go. Here we go.
Jonathan DeYoe: So first, is Loveland, Colorado home, and are you connecting from there right now?
Dr. Eric Holsapple: Yes, it is home for me, and I am connecting from there. Yeah, just an hour north of Denver.
Jonathan DeYoe: Yeah, I know. My wife and I are looking at Denver area as our retirement home at some point. I’m aware it’s a great area. Absolutely. Did you grow up there?
Dr. Eric Holsapple: No, I grew up in Maine. I came out here to go to Colorado State when I was in my.
Jonathan DeYoe: Uh, early twenty s and never left.
Dr. Eric Holsapple: No, that’s not true. I got kicked around a little bit in the 80s. I’m old, but I came back. I actually was in Los Angeles for two years in 86 to 88, and then got transferred to Boston, which was close to home. Met my wife, we got married there. And then I decided to come back out here in the early ninety s and get my phd in economics and start teaching. And I convinced my wife to come out. It didn’t take much. We just took a trip out and she said, yeah, that’s a nice place. We go to Maine every summer. So I kept a place there on the lake where I grew up.
Jonathan DeYoe: Oh, nice.
Dr. Eric Holsapple: Yeah.
Jonathan DeYoe: When you were growing up and throughout your travels? More so when you were younger, did you learn any lessons about money or entrepreneurship, intentional lessons like parents taught you? Or is this all just learned happenstance?
Dr. Eric Holsapple: My dad was a football coach and then superintendent of schools, and he ran a summer camp in the summers and we learned a work. From the time I can remember anything, it was ten cents an hour, picking up this, doing that, cleaning toilets, collecting trash, raking campsites. And he was really good with money. My mother was not that good with money, but my dad was. So I learned a lot of lessons. He was a lot more conservative than I am with it, but he was, uh, a natural businessman. And then I think I have an entrepreneurial gene that even then I ran the camp store when I was seven or eight years old. I could just talk to people and sell. And I was kind of natural in business. I have three brothers. The only one of my brothers that are really. Maybe my one brother is, but that just comes as natural to me. So it’s instinct.
Jonathan DeYoe: Uh, too, you were very clear. Dad was good, mom was not. Was there a lot of tension around that or no tension or was.
Dr. Eric Holsapple: I can remember a story one time my mother was where I got my spiritual bent from. She was just present. She didn’t meditate or any of that stuff. She just was, you want to bake a cake or take a walk? Let’s do know, and I’ll never forget, my dad was just livid one time that she bounced a check and my mother said, don, he said, your job’s to make the money, my job’s to spend the money. And the looks of that checkbook, I’m doing my job and you’re doing your job. She wasn’t a big spender. She was wonderful. But anyway, so she wasn’t terrible at money. But anyway, that wasn’t her gig. It was my dad’s gig. Yeah.
Jonathan DeYoe: Are there any of those childhood experiences working the camp store, making change, those kind of things that sort of become integral to your money story or have you sort of done work on your money story?
Dr. Eric Holsapple: Both, I think. I mean, what it instilled in me is I get to get Medicare this year. I want to be 65 and I could retire, but I love to work. I just learned at a young age to work and enjoy work. And I’ve looked at particularly, like during COVID I had a few months there just looking at myself and I said, you know what? Work is not so bad. I love the people I work with. I love to work. And as long as I can be balanced and take some time to do the things, like we go to Maine every summer and I get to take some trip. Not Covid, I didn’t, but get to take some trips and whatnot. That I enjoy work. So that was it. I would guess how I work has transformed. My story is I got out with an MBA in my early twenty s and went into real estate and was immediately successful. I worked for an australian firm. They moved me to Los Angeles and I went on and I was really successful, but I wasn’t healthy. I took up smoking. I was drinking too much. I traveled all the time. One year, it was 50 weeks, I was 50 pounds overweight. And I remember stepping on the scale, looking in the mirror and says, you got to make some changes, man. You ain’t going to be here very long. Shortly after that, I found yoga. And that was my entry into mindfulness. And for years it was, no, I’d also say the next thing that happened after that was my brother and my dad were pretty estranged. She’s a poet, my oldest brother. My dad was pretty conservative business guy. He was a school teacher, but he’s really, at his heart was a businessman. And I just watched my brother through meditation come back to my dad. And when he opened up, my dad opened up and I was like, I got my family back because have you ever been involved? When people in the family aren’t hitting it off, it affects everybody. It isn’t just them. So I said, yeah, I’ll try it. And I tried meditation. And for years I did it. Closet meditator. I didn’t say to anybody’s meditating or anything. I just was doing it for probably almost ten years. Then it started having opportunities at work that I became someone that people would talk to because, uh, for a long time I didn’t slow down enough to be. I was just going to be someone, somewhere you talked to. And then I can remember the first conversation. I had a friend here, Rollin, who had got served divorce papers and came and talked to me. What do you do? And I shared with him some of the stuff I’d been doing because my marriage had some low points, too, that I’d worked through. And then it just started. One after another. It just became some opportunities to share mindfulness with people. We started a seed group where we just had a monthly meeting where we read a book and practice. And it was a couple of us that got started. And six months later, the room was full, and it just started morphing itself at work.
Jonathan DeYoe: I don’t know how ubiquitous this is, but the story of your early years. Working hard, no balance, gaining weight, meeting, meeting, meeting, travel. Same story for me. Same exact eight years, just grindstone, 12 hours a day, six days a week, half day on Sunday, like insane. I put on 90 pounds.
Dr. Eric Holsapple: You twice as successful as I know.
Jonathan DeYoe: I put on 90 pounds. And for me, the wake up call wasn’t looking in the mirror. It was seeing my two year old run around and then knowing that I had another one in the oven. I got to fix this, right? I wonder how ubiquitous that is and how quickly for you did that change come, okay, I’m overweight. I got to change something. And then what was the process?
Dr. Eric Holsapple: You start, you know, it was a moment in time. I was working for the Australians, and they loved to travel. They were coming around, so they loved to meet on Sunday, on Saturday. They didn’t care. It was, let’s be in Houston on great, you know, and I was mean. I wasn’t, uh. They transferred. They had problems with a company in Boston. It was a New York stock exchange, real estate company, and I had done successful everywhere else for them. They said, hey, would you come to Boston? Actually, I was landing from Los Angeles. I wanted to move back to Denver in those days. It was a white paging telephone. Do you remember that? I don’t know how old you are, Jonathan.
Jonathan DeYoe: Absolutely.
Dr. Eric Holsapple: You remember those? They weren’t cell phones. I had a white paging telephone. I got a call. They said, could you grab your bag and come to Boston? So I moved to Boston. I went to Boston first, and I had a roommate in California that sold almost she. The ship, what they could ship, and they sold the rest of it. So I moved to Boston. The good news was there were enough problems in town that I didn’t have to travel. So I could stay. I just, uh, had an apartment. My mother came down from Maine, helped me outfit it, and I bought a scale. I stepped on that thing, and I knew. I mean, my tie wasn’t tightening my belt, but I wasn’t going to the gym. There weren’t scales in the hotels that I was going to. So I really didn’t know what it was. And it was a shock moment for me when I saw that scale. It was like, holy God. And I knew I wasn’t very healthy and I was drinking too much. So it was like that. I stopped drinking for a bit. I lost 40 pounds. I started running, which I was always a track guy, but I hadn’t exercised in five years. I started back up and I quit the job. I ended up working out that I was. Well, the company was, uh, going to go into bankruptcy, and they said, we’d like you to be CEO. And I said, you know, I got another idea. I’ll be CEO of hose Apple development, and I’ll consult with you. You can find someone else to be CEO, because that just doesn’t sound like a real career builder to me.
Jonathan DeYoe: Did you move back to Loveland at that moment or did you do.
Dr. Eric Holsapple: Actually, I moved to Portland and consulted for him. It was Portland, Maine. Was just a couple hours north. I started dating my wife, who was from that company. I met her there, and when I left, we started dating. We got married in Portland, and I convinced her to, uh. We had our first child in 91, and shortly thereafter got married. 91, 93, had a baby and moved back to Loveland. Moved Fort Collins, actually Colorado State University, and started school.
Jonathan DeYoe: So that’s 30 years ago. And then in the ensuing 30 years.
Dr. Eric Holsapple: Wow. Right? It is, isn’t it? That’s surreal.
Jonathan DeYoe: Real estate development, all the success. I don’t think we need to touch on the success so much, but just give us the idea about what you built and then you transition that into this thing. Living in the gap, which I adore. I love the idea.
Dr. Eric Holsapple: Awesome.
Jonathan DeYoe: So you built this great success, and then you were like, I want to do something else. I want to give something back. So tell us about that transition.
Dr. Eric Holsapple: Well, I think inside Jonathan, I knew I went back to get my phd, and I was in the university, and I was an entrepreneur, and I could see the bureaucracy. And also I liked money. I mean, I like to ski, I like to travel. I like to do things. And I just said. So I arranged and I got a job at the university adjunct, which paid nothing, basically a couple of grand a year. And I went to work developing my skills were primarily commercial real estate, shopping centers. And I ran into a partner, Don Morastica, who was more residential, did horizontal land development. I added the financial skills to him that he was lacking and know showed me how to run a sewer line. Because I was a finance guy, I grew up with a shovel in my hand, so it didn’t take too much. And we just hit this Colorado at the right time. And we had six or eight developments going. And then I landed a couple of shopping centers that we know that most of the time people would come in from out of town and do them. But I’d had enough national, international experience that I could talk with corporate and work. I had lawyer contacts and all that. So we did them ourselves. So we opened, uh, pretty major shopping center in 99 and did a lot of other smaller developments. And the whole time I taught at the university, and that’s how we built lc real estate group. I’d have interns say, you want to come intern? They’d work 10 hours or 15 hours a week. Now, four of them are partners here that started in interns and those kind of things. And my partner don, was always on nonprofits and those kind of things. We did a lot with, uh, affordable housing developments, with the housing authority and habitat and one habitats board. And I just saw, and we had a law firm in Denver, Brownstein Hyatt. And I watched how they were on all the nonprofit boards and did good things, but also business came from it. And I coined in the book phrase. I didn’t coin it, but I discovered it’s called a procession effect, which came from Buckmeister Fuller quite a while ago. He’s an old architect, but it’s just the world works at 90 degree angles. And every time I went, I mean, I was in the university because I wanted to teach. And I really thought I’d burn up if I just did business. So I needed to do better things. I was a good businessman, but maybe too good. I couldn’t just do business. And I ended up, um, knowing everybody in the state, every bank, every real estate firm. So it wasn’t intentional, but it dramatically helped my business because I was a trustworthy person. I was a good developer, and I was really well connected. I knew the best students. I helped place them at the best firms. And I had a conversation with three of them last night about living in the know. It’s knocking it down in Denver. And it was just phenomenal. And it had nothing to do with me going in and saying, this is a strategy. It just good things happen when you do good things, I find.
Jonathan DeYoe: Yeah. So, tell us, what is living in the gap? The mission and the vision.
Dr. Eric Holsapple: Yeah, well, first of all, the gap is we work on a little separation between thought and who we really are. And we have some 6000 thoughts a day. So there’s not generally, if we don’t foster it, much of a gap between when one thought stops and another one starts. But I find that’s where peace and joy and happiness reside, in those little moments of stillness and silence. And that thought is where stress and anxiety reside. Now, we need to think, but 90% of it’s repetitive, so we don’t need to be thinking as much as we think we need to be thinking. I guess that’s a little bit of an oxymoron. So living in the gap is having it all. I just found that I think that people can live the life of their dreams, that this idea that spirituality and business are at ODS is a mistake, that mindfulness is primarily focus. And I have found myself personally and for others, that you get more done in less time if you’re focused. That mindfulness is actually a complement to work and that people that try to squeeze it in the mornings or at night and ignore mindfulness during the day. I think you’re tired, and it’s not as pretty. Now, I don’t think you have to tell everybody, hey, um, I’m this super duper meditator, aren’t I? Cool. I don’t think you got to do that. I think you can just be private about it. And if you feel like sharing sometime, you could share. But it’s just a different way of being and a different way of approaching things, and I find that success. Well, I tell you, Jonathan, maybe you’ve seen when I started reading all the Buddhists and the hindu texts and everything, the first thing I said, oh, my God, I got to renounce all my possession and find this enlightened state. Screw that. I didn’t say that out loud. It’s like five years reading this stuff.
Jonathan DeYoe: Going, I struggle with that. Still want to do that. I still struggle with that. And I think this is an important thing, because there’s this idea that once you see the problem, if you know the solution, you can’t unsee the problem. And so I see that somebody needs food, and I feel like I can. I have the means, I can give it to them. But there’s always this underlying. I’ve worked so hard, I want to maintain this. And I do think there’s a constant struggle a very mindful struggle about giving versus keeping.
Dr. Eric Holsapple: I’ve solved that for myself. I studied yoga, and I went through Karpalo and western mass and did all the yoga training. And it was phenomenal because there were some folks there that really knew the ancient traditions, and they talked about, no, uh, there’s householders and there’s renunciants. Renunciants give everything away. They beg for food. They go sit on the mountaintop, and they’ve renounced the standard life. But householders have a different kind of mean. Whatever that word is you don’t have coined, you know, affluence increases influence. My partner and I endowed a chair at Colorado State University. Today is. That’s a scholarship fund. I don’t know. It’s a lot of money that scholarships kids. We did things for habitat. We’ve done living in the gap. Wouldn’t be there if I didn’t have some affluence. So I think the false thing is that you say we have a capitalist system without mindfulness, because capitalism without mindfulness and without democracy, which we probably won’t go there but without some of these things, just ends up being three or four people having all the chips.
Jonathan DeYoe: Right.
Dr. Eric Holsapple: I think giving back is what makes capitalism work. For people to go and do things and give of themselves is why it’ll work.
Jonathan DeYoe: I totally agree. I don’t think everyone else agrees. I think that’s where you get so much pushback on capitalism. I don’t think it’s because capitalism. I think capitalism gets tarred and papered. Like, there’s the straw man argument. Often get put up against capitalism, and.
Dr. Eric Holsapple: I think it’s the greatest system in the world, but it can’t be in a vacuum of just the best people get all the gold, and they’ll give you. I just think there’s ways that it works through mindfulness. I’m naturally more compassionate and generous person.
Jonathan DeYoe: Yes.
Dr. Eric Holsapple: Now, that isn’t something that came naturally to me. Okay. It was fostered and it grew. Maybe a better person and a happier person and more successful, to be honest.
Jonathan DeYoe: I want to read something from your book really quick, and this is something I pulled out that I think says a lot. Uh, develop it in just a second. So, culture has taught us we have to go to the right schools, do the right things, get the hard job, and then someday we get to be happy, successful, secure, content. And you say it’s a lie. We can be happy now. So, first of all, just, yes, absolutely. And then second, how important is it to understand that the cultural prescription, right school, right job, work hard, more income. Grow, grow fast. Work, work doesn’t lead to well being, fulfillment and happiness. I think that we’re sold this and I think that the culture of social media sells it even harder. How important is it to wake up to that lack of truth first night and day?
Dr. Eric Holsapple: Yeah. I mean just look at the government’s prescription of let’s increase the GDP. That’s going to solve everybody’s know Bhutan has gross national know we have gross national product and there’s nothing. I’m an economist. I love economic development. I think it makes everything easier. But it doesn’t mean you’re happy. I mean what I’ve seen is for myself and for my friends that have been really successful. When you check off the list, you add more to the list. First it was a house, then it was a condo. Then it was the trips to Maui. And then it becomes one country club isn’t enough. I got to have two. I got to have this, I got to have that. And I think that’s the space race. I look at, I go, what’s really going on here? And I don’t pretend to know. It looks to me like it’s really hard to be happy with money, that I’m going to leave this planet and go find one that I don’t believe that’s a, uh, strategy that’s going to work. I think we got to live with the one we got and being happy first. So that’s why I say is I don’t think the happiness will come because we think it’s here. And then the goalpost moves. Oh, it’s bigger. It’s bigger. Now I got to have a fence and I got to have, and then I’ll be happy. So Sean, uh, Archer’s got a great book. Have you read his happiness advantage? Sean Archer? It’s great. And we’re running an eight week program with it here, corporate mindfulness program coming up in January. Happiness will make you more successful. We do a visualization exercise in our programs that just shows you achieving your goals and then how do you feel? And everybody goes ecstatic. Unstoppable. Successful. Happy. What’s changed? Just your m mindset.
Jonathan DeYoe: Mindset.
Dr. Eric Holsapple: Another, uh, thing I coach and teach and mentor is who do you want to call this person that’s happy and makes you feel better or the person that’s trying to be happy. The person that’s successful or wants to be successful. The person that’s content or he wants to be content, which means he’s discontent right. So I just say you can be happy now. And that’s why I say you can have it all. You can be happy and still go and get the condos and the car. That’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with any of it. I just say, just don’t think your happiness is residing in it. Sure, you’ll get some of your desires filled and those kind of things, but that’s an insight. We all know people that have nothing that are so happy.
Jonathan DeYoe: Yes, you referenced Bhutan in that, so I think this gets us into the book. And now. Great, I’d love. You have a very interesting structure in the book. There’s the pillars, but before the pillars, and after the pillars, it seems like framework, pillars, application. Can you kind of describe how you came up with that?
Dr. Eric Holsapple: Yeah, well, because in the pillars, it takes a, uh, perception to live that to understand. And I’m not saying it’s absolute truth, because the state of consciousness is not a scientific fact. No one’s not agreeing on exactly what it is, but for me is that I create my reality. That just lay out that, uh, I have a mind, but I’m tied into a larger universal mind and that I create the universe. And together we create the universe. And from that perspective, I take control of my journey. It’s not like something is just given to me. It’s how I view things. Now, you can go out there in the world, I can tell you there’s a lot of bad stuff out there. And if I focus on that, I can get very negative and very run a scarcity mindset. But my experience is if I don’t go down that road and I focus more on what’s working, what’s going right, gratitude for what’s happening, my mindset changes, and I see more things to be grateful for. So from that mindset, the pillars make a lot of sense. Like, for instance, pillar two is finding your purpose in life from Eckhart Tolle, uh, who is someone, you know, you have an inner purpose and an outer purpose. My inner purpose is to awaken, to notice that I’m a conscious being, not just a robot, just making gdp and making widgets, know, filling up a checkbook and paying taxes, that I’m actually a conscious being with a soul. And boom. From there, everything changes. My outer purpose is what I do. I’m on a podcast with you. I’m running living in the gap. I’m building a real estate firm, or I’m teaching at the university. My outer purpose is just who I do, but with presence, I can show up to that outer purpose in a certain way, which is really unstoppable. If I show up to something fully focused and present to it with the, um. Uh, know, I can get a lot to.
Jonathan DeYoe: I agree with everything that you said, and I’ve had lots of conversations. I should just say, I’m in Berkeley, California. I’ve had lots of conversations with folks that would ask me this question. And so I’m going to ask you the question. Right, Jonathan, they would say, and so, eric, I’ll say it’s from a place of incredible privilege. You can say things like, change your mindset and it’ll change your life. When you are in abject poverty, when you are underneath, when you’re just treading water, you’re about to drown, it’s much more difficult. So what do you say to somebody, you’re very successful? I’m pretty successful. We have gotten, uh, incredible privileges in our lifetimes. What do you say to somebody that hasn’t had those same starting points, hasn’t had the same starting blocks?
Dr. Eric Holsapple: Well, two things. First, I would say is, am I able to do these things because I’m successful, or am I successful because I look at the world a different way? I’ve always been willing to invest in things and put more money in things and even borrow money I didn’t have to promote a development. I’ve signed my name on the line to things that I had no idea how I was going to pay back. None, um, other than confidence in myself that I’d figure it out or accepting the know. So one is, I think that the mindset is also part of the success. The other is if you look at studies, like from Richie Davidson out of University of Wisconsin, in the book the Altered Traits, he and Dan Goldman had the book altered traits where they studied the know and happiness, and they don’t have anything. I mean, these studies that they’re finally getting about the effects of mindfulness, for years, we didn’t really have, but they’re finally getting them. The studies they’re happening from are people without anything. So I would say to, uh, you, my premise is you don’t have to be poor to be happy, but you don’t have to have money to be happy either. Right?
Jonathan DeYoe: You’re separating the two issues. Economics and happiness are different issues.
Dr. Eric Holsapple: Totally. And I want both. Now, I’m not saying that I wouldn’t miss the money. I can’t say that with a straight face. I enjoy my life. I really do. And I’m willing to share it and help others to have a great life. Where I differ is, I think everybody can. Yeah, uh, maybe everybody can’t be a real estate developer and build different abilities and all that kind of things. But I believe that with a different mindset, the whole world can live out of poverty.
Jonathan DeYoe: Right.
Dr. Eric Holsapple: We don’t need to have homelessness, uh, as long term phenomena. At least.
Jonathan DeYoe: I think that we’ll always have the question today, media question today for the last couple of years has been just vast inequality. And I don’t want to get into the discussion of the data, because the data is often tweaked one way or the other. Right. But I think we’ll always have inequality. And the inequality exists regardless of the system you’re in, it exists. And so the question is, and I had a conversation recently about the micro and the macro. It’s the, what can I do? The macro could actually help out for sure. We could make changes as a culture to help people out and give people a leg, uh, up. But I can’t do anything about that. So I can work on the micro. And I think when I think about living in the gap, you’re talking about, what can I do? What can I do? So what are some of those things that we can do individually to sort of boost ourselves?
Dr. Eric Holsapple: Yeah. I say, world transformation starts with me. That was a transformational moment for me. Started waiting. I was telling the book that I’m taking a run in long San Francisco, and I step over a homeless person, I go, why don’t they do something? And my inner voice, as I’ve been working on for a long time, came back and said, why don’t you do so for me, I’m training professionals to have a different life because you find successful people that aren’t happy. So I’m training successful people. There’s a group down, um, this morning, five or six from program that I’m running out of thing called food for thought in Denver. They go out, they’re committed for nine months to go and deliver food. So the Denver public school system has foods on the weekend. They’re the kids. They find that by Monday, they’re getting fed during the week, but they don’t have it on the weekend, and by Monday they’re dull again. So they’re doing that. Those kind of things, those grassroots, micro kind of things make a huge difference. Huge. They make a huge difference to those kids, and they make a huge difference to the people doing it in two levels. One is your mindset changes. You start living from gratitude, which Dr. Emmons and some of the other shows. I mean, gratitude is an instant, low hanging fruit of just changing your whole mindset, your happiness. Yes, I am a big receiver of things in the world. I’m very grateful for that. It changes you so that you can be happy at the level that you have versus waiting like we talked before, waiting till some future goal is met and then magically, uh oh, now I’m happy. Well, if you make it and then probably the goalpost changes and you want more, most likely one of the two. So I think those micro things are huge. First of all, what if all the professionals were out doing something and giving back a little bit? I think it’s better than cold calling for business because you meet people a whole nother level. I mean, you get the car warranty call, how long are you on there? Click. Whatever it is. I have an aversion to a cold call. Now we have to do them. I’m not saying that it’s not a role form or anything else. I mean, we do a little everything in business if we’re successful. I say if you want to do the right thing, try everything.
Jonathan DeYoe: That’s right.
Dr. Eric Holsapple: But what if everyone was out just doing a little bit, not a lot, but if everybody said, what if I move the needle just a little bit and I want to serve old hunger, but I don’t have to do that. But I could join the food bank, I could help a family for a year, another family for a year, I could do those. But if everyone was doing that little bit, the mindset would shift first. It would matter. It would add up to a lot, right? A lot of good things happening in the world. And secondly, it would change the mindset to one of abundance versus one of scarcity. Yes, I know, inflation and all those things. But you know what? I could help a family out for a year and still be fine. And a lot of us could do a lot more than that.
Jonathan DeYoe: Yeah, I think that’s one of the things that, and it happens every day. You’ve talked about what you’ve done. My wife and I do things as well. Uh, all of my clients are active and giving back. But that doesn’t make the headlines.
Dr. Eric Holsapple: These people m. But it’s what will get us there. It’s how we’ll get the votes for the macro. If enough people are doing micro things, they’re going to start saying, oh jeez, we could solve world hunger, huh? If we had a little mindset shift. I mean, we have the mindset shift that if we, and I know we don’t want to go here in the podcast. But I’ll say it quick, that if we give somebody something, we’re just going to be taking advantage of and we’ll be used. I did a lot of work with homelessness here for a while. Housing first is one of the things, but there’s a whole group that feel, and I know there’s drugs and there’s all kinds of other counterarguments. So I’m not just saying it’s a one point pony, but I’ve run two liquor stores. Homelessness is terrible for business. You got to step over them to get in. People don’t want to go in. So there’s a business argument to say this is bad for business, first of all, and we have a joblessness problem. I mean, we don’t have enough employees. Somehow. There’s got to be a way to figure out the issue long term, and it’s going to come from generosity and gratitude more than it’s going to come from scarcity mindset. And so I think that is a micro issue that we have to work one on one block and tackle, get more people to shift and say, and just to believe it is solvable, that’ll be huge.
Jonathan DeYoe: And I think that we have to add the compassion piece in there, too. We have to actually care about the people that are suffering. Right.
Dr. Eric Holsapple: To me, that’s consciousness. If I’m conscious, then I’m connected to them, right. When you see that, uh, because you can look at that and I’ve done it for years and not be connected to it, and it’s just, what is, boom, I’m over here.
Jonathan DeYoe: That’s really easy.
Dr. Eric Holsapple: With more slowing down. With some consciousness, you actually, when someone looks in your car window, you go, that’s a person. And it shifts for you. Uh, you may still feel giving them money is not the right thing to do, and that’s fine. It may be another format or whatever. I’m not saying just giving things is the answer to everything either. It’s complicated, there’s no question about that. But having the compassion, which is one of the foundations of mindfulness, and a, uh, belief that these problems are solvable. If I believe they’re not solvable, they aren’t.
Jonathan DeYoe: Right? So real quick, how do you define mindfulness? And we talk about the different elements and the foundation, but what is mindfulness to you?
Dr. Eric Holsapple: Focus.
Jonathan DeYoe: Okay.
Dr. Eric Holsapple: Number one is, can I focus on what I choose to focus on and notice when I go away, can I fill my mind with what I’ve chosen to fold? And the real thing is, business is so good at stealing. Uh, our. I love business. I mean, we’re so good at stealing attention started with advertisements and subliminal messages, and now we got social media to grab it. I mean, we’re great. It’s an individual awareness and choice to say, I’m taking it back. Can I focus on what I choose to focus on? To me, and there’s longer definitions of mindfulness that are correct, but to me, if you want it to be simple, and that’s for business argument, to me, it’s focus. Can I focus on what I choose to focus on?
Jonathan DeYoe: How do you practice mind? What is your practice of mindfulness?
Dr. Eric Holsapple: Well, it starts with an intention, an awareness and intention. One of the things is I don’t think that everybody has to meditate. I would love it if they did.
Jonathan DeYoe: Right.
Dr. Eric Holsapple: I don’t think it’s going to happen right away. And if we had, uh, a lot of extended time in nature where it’s just so nature void. My boys struggled growing up and they ended up going on a wilderness excursion which changed their lives. Just going out and just being. No phones, no computers, and just being with nature for a handful of weeks, it was amazing. But in our busy professional world, to me, meditation is a keynote. For me, getting into my body with some, it doesn’t have to be yoga. Some people are adverse to that. But to me, if I can get in and notice my body stretching, my mind slows down. Uh, so when I get in there and notice it somewhere else, or for meditation, if I focus on, I do simple breath meditation. When I focus on something else, my mind slows down. If I focus on my brain, it speeds up. If I just go there. So I need to have some practice, I think. But, um, starting out a mindful walk without your phone, where you’re not on the phone but you’re actually looking at trees and looking at this brook or whatever it is, can be a great start.
Jonathan DeYoe: Yeah. Noticing, just noticing.
Dr. Eric Holsapple: Noticing, yes. So in a busy professional world, one of the reasons I say mindfulness at work is because everybody’s struggling with time. But if we promote it at work, it increases focus. It more than makes up for the amount of time it takes. Because I usually start people off with a couple of minutes of meditation, maybe ten minute total practice to get started, because I find that if people try to do too long when it’s busy, it’s counterproductive because they get up and it’s just. How many people have you heard say, I tried it, I can’t do that.
Jonathan DeYoe: Right.
Dr. Eric Holsapple: Well, you can’t do it for 20 minutes when you start 20 minutes. And I’ve been doing it a long time, so I go, just a couple of minutes. Start slow, start noticing. Have the intention, consistency, as much as you can do it, and have that intention. And the other nice thing is, at work is accountability partners. What a great thing to be coming in and be able to have a conversation with someone else you’re working with. We spend so much more time at work than we do anything else. And I’d say the miracle of mindfulness at work, because then I get it at work, I take it home, my spouse gets exposed to it, my kids get exposed to it, the school board gets exposed to it. The sports teams get exposed to know, we have a guy, you know, runs out every day at 04:00. Now, he’s one of the most successful brokers in northern Colorado, coaching his kids’teams. And he’s teaching them mindfulness. Know, he’s coaching them baseball and basketball, but he’s also using those techniques. And those kids are, uh, not. I don’t know what he’s doing for sure, but I doubt he’s sitting down meditating with them. But he is doing some mindfulness techniques where they are getting something from it, and he learned it here. And he’s now focused enough that he can leave at 04:00 and make his priorities his family and go coach the team. It’s so cool.
Jonathan DeYoe: It sounds like you have in the office a formal meditation practice. Is that right?
Dr. Eric Holsapple: No. We have brought in mindful based stress reduction. We did an eight week program here a number of years ago. Everybody’s in a different place with it, and everybody comes and goes, and everybody isn’t in it to the level I’m in it. But I can tell you what. When we changed the vision statement to mindfully creating community, and it transformed the place, we do a thing called coats and boots where we do it here we have a local supplier. Shields and jacks help us get coats and boots and every kid on free and reduced lunch in Loveland. Now, I believe it’s everyone. If it’s not, that’s our goal. We’re getting close to it. Gets a free set of boots and coats if they need it for the winter that we run here, those little things like that are just huge. They’re huge for the community, and they’re huge for our mindset. It’s not formal. We run a seed group. It’s voluntary. All of our meetings are started with. Usually call it centering. Okay. Most people are going to reverse to anything new. So we try to do it with listening to breath and breathing and doing those things. Our partner meetings, we start everyone with a meditation, not long, five minutes or something, just to get us in present moment. And the meetings go faster. They’re more focused, and we don’t fight.
Jonathan DeYoe: It’s interesting, though, with the greater team. It’s more voluntary, it’s centeredness. It’s like meditation light. And then as you move up the corporate structure to partners, it’s formal. We’re going to have five minutes of sitting before we start the meeting. Meetings are much, I think that’s how you bring people in, is you just give them a little bit, and then as they develop, you give them a little bit more, as they do a little bit more. Like, you start with two minutes, then you go to five, then you go to ten, then you go to 15, then you to 20. Right.
Dr. Eric Holsapple: And I believe if you get over to 50% of the company, you’ve shifted it.
Jonathan DeYoe: Yes, totally.
Dr. Eric Holsapple: That even the ones that aren’t meditating whatnot are caught up in it and they’re still doing things and they’re more mindful because it’s osmosis. It’s just being around more people that are there than are not. And it’s how you treat people, and they know that’s how we treat people.
Jonathan DeYoe: I have a question about one of the pillars that I want to get to before we run out of time. I don’t remember which pillar it is, but you talk about detaching from results. In business results. The bottom line, pretty basic business requirements, if you’re going to be successful, you got to look at those results. How does a leader detach from results?
Dr. Eric Holsapple: Well, I believe when we meditate, that’s what we’re practicing doing. We’re detaching from thought. So first of all, we do need the goals. And I also say in the book, you’re telling a leader he’s going to change the world and not make his profit thing. I mean, he’s not going to be the CEO for long. You have to have a system that the CEO can actually have results. I love the goals. And we’re doing in our program now, whole goals and visioning and those things. And then after we set them, we work on detachment. So the goals are set there and we can check on them, um, weekly or monthly or whatever. And if things aren’t working, we make changes. But my daily job is to show up and be present and to be with the people and actually listen to people, the customers, listen to the other employees, whoever it is to be present and do those things. So when the thought comes up of profits, uh, so when I’m meditating and a thought comes up, I say, just let it go. I don’t say it’s wrong. I don’t try to stuff it out, I don’t try to deny it. I just come back to my breath. So if I’m talking with you and the thought comes up to me, what about the bottom line? Thanks for sharing, Jonathan. What’s the next question? I just let it go because it is going to come up. It’s not that it’s not m important. It’s not that I don’t care about. And I better have regular times when I’m checking in on it, right? Because otherwise I couldn’t not know. It’s in my dna. I have to know what’s going on and that we’re making, if we’re not making money, I’m going to do something, I’m going to close it, I’m going to change it. I’m going to do something. So that’s in my personality, in, uh, my business acumen, but I don’t worry about it every day. I don’t. I have regular times that I check in on that, regular meetings where, that’s where the focus is, how it’s doing, where we make changes. And then my job is to go about my business of my day. And I believe one of the biggest jobs of an executive is to connect with people, to actually listen to them. And I can’t listen to them if I’m always just worried about, oh, my God, that’s ten cents out of the results. I can’t do that.
Jonathan DeYoe: So it’s not worry, ignoring results, it’s just that the results are in a place where they’re supposed to be. They don’t infect everything. Right. You’re able to let, right now I’m talking to somebody. I let profit go and I’m going to get to know this person better, and then I’ll do this in the.
Dr. Eric Holsapple: Executive section or I sign the contract. I’m going to look at the profit.
Jonathan DeYoe: Right.
Dr. Eric Holsapple: Of course I’m not going to sign it.
Jonathan DeYoe: Right.
Dr. Eric Holsapple: I’m going to do something else. Yeah. And I think it’s that profit is not a purpose or a vision. Those are the natural result of having a useful purpose and vision. That’s the natural result. And if you’re not getting those profits, you need to shift a little bit either from what you’re doing or something else, because you won’t be in business. And we need profits to have to make change.
Jonathan DeYoe: So this is, uh. I love what you just said. Profits are not a purpose. Maybe you see the same thing. I see tons of business people that say, what I want to do is I want to make money. What’s the best way to make money? And those businesses, maybe they make money, but they’re never happy. At the end of that, they don’t fulfill a purpose. And I think that’s really important to focus on. I think that’s another 45 minutes conversation. So I think I’m going to table that to the side. I got a good question here. So there’s a ton of noise out there in business and in life, and I want you to simplify it for us. Ask every guest to kind of do this. You’re sitting on a plane, you have a seatmate there that’s asking you for advice. What is the one thing that you would suggest that they do that would lead to more personal and financial success?
Dr. Eric Holsapple: Be present, actually be with the people you’re with. We’re so busy, we don’t actually notice people and they’re screaming to tell us things or afraid to tell us things. For me, for years, I was afraid to tell me things because I get pissed.
Jonathan DeYoe: Yes, I know.
Dr. Eric Holsapple: So I think being present is huge because that’s focus, and it lets me take in all the information that’s out there. If I’m not and I’m just busy, I have, uh, a blinders on. This is where I’m going. And I don’t see the whole world of information that’s out there. When I say presence, I also mean focus. That’s being focused. And if I choose to focus on the person I’m with at the moment, or the division or my kids, which is most of us, that’s what we’re most concerned about. That’s why we’re doing the business in the first place. Put yourself.
Jonathan DeYoe: You’re on that plane like you’re 30 years old. You’re flying to Boston from LA, and you’re working hard, you’re overweight, all this stuff is happening, and somebody sitting next to you says, be present. How do you respond to that? And I’m asking because I don’t think that’s enough. I think, what can they do? You’re going to be like, yeah, whatever, that’s great. I’ll be present tomorrow. Right? But what can I do?
Dr. Eric Holsapple: Slow down and go fast. I run at 100 miles an hour. Naturally, I just do.
Jonathan DeYoe: Um.
Dr. Eric Holsapple: I’m a cheetah. If I had pick an animal, that’s probably for me. Why I ended up where I am doing this is because I probably wouldn’t be here. I probably would have burned up. So it was necessary for me to find some tools to slow down. But I have found that if I slow down a little bit and I’m more focused, I see more and see more opportunities that I never would see, uh, if I’m just chasing this one goal after another. So even with that discussion on the plane, I mean, may not be possible in a minute, I may share a book like the happiness advantage with them or something like, check this out. Something that is a little more time, because, uh, we’re all looking for the cliff notes in this society. Where’s the tweet that’s going to change my life? Well, I got news for you. 180 words probably ain’t going to change your life. I mean, maybe if it came from Jesus, I don’t know. But mostly that’s more of the problem, is that we think our program, we have a nine month program. Most people go, that’s crazy. What are you doing in nine months? Well, I’m trying to change. I’m trying to set habits that are consistent with my commitments so I can actually keep my commitments. And those don’t mean I have found that bad habits I can set in 30 days easy. Smoking, drinking, eating too much. Great. But a good habit that’s contrary to culture takes a while. We aren’t in an environment that supports a habit of mindfulness, most of us. That’s why mindfulness at work is so important, because if we can get into a culture where it’s supported, it’s going to be ten times easier than if I’m in a culture that says, oh, yeah, after I make it, I’ll take a walk. So I don’t think it is maybe a trip to Australia, you’d have a little more time, but I don’t think it is a quick discussion. But maybe you can point them to a podcast or a book or a program or something and know this would be worth your time.
Jonathan DeYoe: Checking out not so much a thing that we’re discussing. It’s like this is one thing that they have to apply, that they have to actually do the work on.
Dr. Eric Holsapple: And do I tell you one story that we had a guy, I did a lot of work with a group called extraordinary golf, and it’s awareness golf and whatnot. And we had one of the guys over to my house, Gary Lester, is one of my mentors, and he was a transformational facilitator for a group for a long time and whatnot. And he’s over to my house, and I tried to get my wife to do this and that, and why don’t we do this and this workshop of that? And she looked at him. This is what I think in your plane trip, if you were this person, that you’d make a difference. She looked at him and said, where did you get your glow? He just had a glow, like he was joy. He had joy at his being. He wrote down a workshop, handed it to my wife. Months later, she’s in it. So it’s who you are when you say what you say to the guy, are you somebody that actually paid attention to him? Did you actually go, hey, how’s your day? Or were you just another next busy executive trying to get to the next meeting, which is, uh, try this. Or were you actually present for the person? Because when you’re present with somebody, you change them. So anyway, that story, I say, because my wife looked at him and made a connection and said, I want what you got. I want to glow. It could have been another ten years. Trying to get her to go to that workshop would never gone. I love my wife.
Jonathan DeYoe: Flip side of that is, what’s one thing. So presence, I think, is the one thing, right? What’s one thing that as business people, we’re told you got to think about this, that we should just ignore that.
Dr. Eric Holsapple: You can’t care about the people you work with. Hear that executive level all the time. You’re going to have to fire them someday. Don’t get too close to them. You might have to make a tough decision. We find some niceties about people, but we’re afraid to get to know them. You can let somebody go compassionately if you have to care about them, but not caring about your people that you work with is like wasting half of your life and theirs. And then we wonder why they don’t want to give us everything they got when the crap hits the fan. Because we don’t care about them. We’re just trying to get some. So, uh, that’s something I would say. Ignore that. Another one with my kids I ignored was, you know, you can’t be friends with your kids. Baloney. I can be friends with my kids and still discipline them. I got three best friends. Baloney. Ignore it.
Jonathan DeYoe: I love it. So, Eric, when does the book come out, and where do people get it?
Dr. Eric Holsapple: Yeah, March 7 is the, uh, pub date. It’s available for presale on Amazon right now under profit with presence, the twelve pillars of mindful leadership. Dr. Eric Holzapple. And also on our website, there’s links to it. Livinginthegap.org. Livinginthegap spelled out along with our, uh, workshops and those kind of things that we have going.
Jonathan DeYoe: Just before we wrap up, I want to ask just a couple very personal questions.
Dr. Eric Holsapple: Great.
Jonathan DeYoe: What was the last thing you changed your mind about?
Dr. Eric Holsapple: Oh, jeez. It was recent. Business or personal?
Jonathan DeYoe: Last thing. Could be either thing.
Dr. Eric Holsapple: Gosh, I change my mind all the time. You know what’s amazing about this work is always from presence, doing something contrary to what I think. And usually it’s from generosity. Gosh. But, um, I’m drawing a blank. The last thing I changed my mind about, well, I mean, I was going to cancel a lunch appointment today to go get my daughter’s cat, but it ended up I didn’t have to. I said, I can cancel my lunch and come get the cat because, uh, my wife wouldn’t have to. Now, that’s not usually in business. I would be saying, oh, do you know how important I am? Oh, my God. So I offered and my wife said, no, I got it. But I said, no, I can reschedule lunch and go get the cat because my daughter’s going away for the weekend and we’re cat sitting. That’s the last time.
Jonathan DeYoe: All right, cool. We’ll give you a pass on that one.
Dr. Eric Holsapple: Okay, good.
Jonathan DeYoe: Can you name a place that you visited that really had an impact on who you are today? And what was the impact?
Dr. Eric Holsapple: Yeah, Thailand.
Jonathan DeYoe: Just.
Dr. Eric Holsapple: I, uh, love the people of Thailand. The food and just seeing another culture. And, uh, yeah, Thailand changed me. It’s just a different culture. I love it.
Jonathan DeYoe: How did it change you?
Dr. Eric Holsapple: Just more humanity. Just see people and that are we just end up being so busy and having so little time for people and so little connection to go somewhere and you make a connection even though the language is different and you can’t understand what they’re saying, but they’re there and generous, and I think that makes a difference when you just experience that. I’d say it’s experiencing. I experience presence in people that a lot of times in America I haven’t experienced until I had to be it myself. Maybe that’s also because I was in a different environment and I slowed down enough to experience it because I’m sure here, the way I run, a lot of times it’s there and I don’t notice it.
Jonathan DeYoe: I mean, that’s one of the things that people say when you’re on a vacation, you got to take at least two weeks because that’s how long it takes to slow things down, right?
Dr. Eric Holsapple: It does take some time.
Jonathan DeYoe: Hard to do that. Eric, I want to say thanks very much for coming on the Mindful Money podcast. I appreciate the work you did. I wish you all the best of living in the gap. I think it’s good stuff that you’re doing, and we agree mindfulness is a key. I appreciate it.
Dr. Eric Holsapple: I really appreciate you having me on. I wish you best. Love your program. Thank you, Jonathan. Bye bye.