In Art Of Coaching Podcast

Some would say when struggle meets adaptability, creativity flourishes. Our guest, Chris Duffin, perfectly embodies that sentiment. So if you think his bio is impressive, just wait till you hear what he battled to get to where he is today…

Previously ranked #1 in the world in various powerlifting disciplines, Chris has held numerous world records. Now retired, he is known for his industry-changing innovations and education in the strength and clinical worlds. In addition to Kabuki Strength, Chris co-founded BuildFast Formula for supplementation and nutrition and Bearfoot Athletics to optimize the human to ground interface. He is also a best-selling author and former executive in the automotive, aerospace, heavy equipment, and high-tech manufacturing industries.

On today’s show we discuss:

  • Transitional moments and “the practice of living in fear”

  • Where Chris goes to be creative and unwind (and other hot tub stories)

  • The role of a “Chief Visionary Officer”

  • Abnormalcy and other traits key historical figures have in common…

Connect with Chris:

Via his website:

Via Instagram: @mad_scientist_duffin

Via LinkedIn: Chris Duffin

It seems adaptability is becoming the theme of 2020. Luckily, Chris’s companies are experts in this field. If you’re looking for uniquely designed and expertly engineered equipment better suited to your new normal, check out Kabuki Strength. From one small business to another, we can’t recommend their products enough.

While you’re at it, make sure to apply for our Apprenticeships (more coming soon!). Also, don’t forget that our online courses are open for enrollment. Take advantage of the opportunity to build your edge as a communicator now!

Join Our Coalition Mentoring Program here

Follow me on social media:

Via Instagram: @coach_BrettB

Via Twitter: @coach_BrettB

Subscribe to my YouTube channel here

Learn More About My Courses, Clinics, and Live Events At:


Chris Duffin  0:00  

Whatever, your athletic endeavor of choice, people become that and they focus so much on this, that they lose, you know that it becomes the definition of themselves. And it should be, it should be a way that you express yourself in my view like you need to understand like what your values are, and why this is a way for you to express it. Because if that’s you and like I said, powerlifting is a big one, you know, go on social media and people think that that is who I am. I can’t compete They get lost, you know, an injury happens Thank you know, it’s mentally tough on them. And it can be taken from you at any time. That is not, you, it is not something that you may be able to do your entire life.


Brett Bartholomew  0:59  

Welcome to the Art of coaching podcast, a show aimed at getting to the core of what it takes to change attitudes, behaviors and outcomes in the weight room, boardroom classroom, and everywhere in between. I’m your host, Brett Bartholomew, I’m a performance coach, keynote speaker, and the author of the book conscious coaching. But most importantly, I’m a lifelong student interested in all aspects of human behavior, and communication. I want to thank you for joining me. And now let’s dive into today’s episode.


Thank you for joining me for another episode of The Art of coaching podcast real quick. Before we get into today’s guests, I want to remind you guys, our Apprenticeship workshops are back in action. These are live leadership and communication focused workshops. This is nothing about strength and conditioning. It’s nothing about those kinds of things. It’s everything about life, collaboration, communication, conflict resolution, everything we deal with in today’s society, we had to shut them down for a long time, due to the COVID 19 situation. But we’re back in action. These are small, they’re intimate, we always keep them that way. They’re evaluated opportunities for you guys to work on your ability to work through some of the biggest social skills related issues you face, whether that’s at work, whether that’s in your marriage, whether that’s at any point in your life. I mean, the fact is, this guy’s poor communication is the one thing guaranteed to make anything in life works. It isn’t ironic that we don’t really work on it. Well, now you have the opportunity. So regardless of the profession you’re in anything like that we can do all over the world. It’s very simple. We have an FAQ page for all of you that have a million questions. Just check out, and a bonus for those of you who have taken our online courses Bought In or Valued, you get an automatic 180 US dollars off, no matter where you’re at in the world, that discount will be applied. You just have to show that you have passed and taken our online course Bought In or Valued and you immediately get $180 off. 


All right, where to start with today’s guest, Chris Duffin. Chris was born and grew up homeless. In the Pacific Northwest wilderness. You didn’t hear that wrong, born and grew up homeless in the Pacific Northwest wilderness. He was raised in an abusive and chaotic household, much of which we get into today. And he talks about in his book, The eagle and the dragon, and listen his background, when we were outside kind of playing cops and robbers or some of you were on your iPads now because we have a wide range of, listeners. He was skinning rattlesnakes, foraging for food, protecting his sisters and his mother. You see in high school, he was a star athlete, and a straight A student who earned a full ride to College where he graduated at the top of his class. He did this get this while working full time and taking care of his three younger sisters where he had taken custody of because he couldn’t stand to see them live in such a toxic environment in a violent environment that he grew up in. He worked his way up the ladder, became a corporate executive in the aerospace, automotive and high tech manufacturing industry. And in 2014, he quit his career to start Kabuki strength, which is an organization that is really about strength, cutting edge equipment, design, education, coaching, and even charity. Guys, he promised when we started this show that we were not going to sidestep the tough stuff, the real stuff, the things that make it work. There are so many other podcasts you can listen to if you want to celebrity chasing or if you want to learn sets and reps or if you want to learn the one strategy for success and to be rich. We’re just blue collar here. And these are the people that we want to celebrate because it talks about how people from humble backgrounds, even tortured beginnings can go on to do something great. None of this is wishy washy, all of it is honest. And I do want to warn you, obviously there is sensitive stuff talked about here Chris came up in an abusive household. He gives graphic and vivid descriptions of things that he witnessed so if you We’re a little squeamish and the or you have kids in the car. And these things make you nervous. Let you know you’ve been warned. Now, it’s no reason to shy away from this. This is one of the most unique episodes we’ve ever done. These are important topics, especially around mental health and how to deal with family and how to deal with overwhelm and all these things. So please dive in. Just do so with discernment and celebrate people like Chris, who have had the courage to come on and share. Alright guys, without further ado, Chris Duffin.


Everyone, thanks so much for joining us for another episode of the podcast. I’m joined today by Chris Duffin. Chris, thanks for coming on.


Chris Duffin  5:38  

Thanks for having me. I’m looking forward to the conversation, right.


Brett Bartholomew  5:41  

Likewise, and you have such an awesome background, I love the fact that you put yourself in so many unique circumstances. But most importantly, what I appreciate about you is the amount of skin in the game that you continually put in especially given the nature of your background and some of the constraints you faced is you and I know there are so many people in the audience would agree that can use limitations, background, all these kinds of things as reasons why they’re not accomplishing things. And, you know, your story is a pervasive and poignant reminder that sometimes those scars and the shrapnel of life are very much the fuel of what you do going forward. You know, I have to ask you this, and we just jump right in, we don’t waste much time. How long did it take you to really feel comfortable talking about some of the aspects in your background, there are a little challenging that we’re going to discuss today.


Chris Duffin  6:34  

Oh, man, it probably took me a couple of decades, honestly, like I’d had the idea of writing the book for quite some time. And it was probably a good two to three years at the end that I was like, okay, the time is coming, it’s time to put up there. And there’s some,  difficult subject matter. And, it definitely was a process and the year I spent working on the manuscript, you know,it was emotionally draining. And, you know, am I prepared to get this out there because there was, you know, before that I’d covered a lot of podcasts and talks, but I never really dove to the depth that I had when I actually put the book together.


Brett Bartholomew  7:17  

Yet, it’s something that very much attracted me to your work, because I know with my own story, it took me a while not to feel ashamed by some of those darker moments, especially in a field, like strength and conditioning, it took me a while even longer to figure out how to discuss it because it was so much context that you know, those things can be overwhelming. And I remember one thing when I was researching you, Chris, and just listening to more of your story, whether it’s reading your book, and we’ll talk more about that or even just listening to work you put out there. One thing stuck with me. I remember you had said this line you said and I’m paraphrasing here, of course, it was your stepfather was abusive. Now you called him your father, and he was the biological father of your three sisters. And these are your sisters you took custody of them, if I remember correctly, while finishing your engineering degrees. And I know that’s a lot for the audience to absorb. And that jumps right into it. But I just have to ask the obvious 


Chris Duffin  8:12  

Yeah. It’s something that had to be done. I mean, there was, you know, people, always try to commend me for this. And I’m like, you know, if you were in the same situation, you would probably be doing the same exact thing. I mean, my house not a great household to begin with. But after I left, it got a lot worse. My mother had a breakdown and ended up several states away. And my, stepfather, my sister’s father was just barely able to take care of himself. I mean, like, for example, there’s not sure whether the story made it in the book because I, the book wasn’t about telling horrible stories. So I only told things that related to me. But you know, things that drove that, like one of my sister, she’s 13 years old. And he thought she had stolen his favorite bowl. And so he kicked her out of the house. It’s the middle of winter, there’s a foot of snow on the ground, she has nowhere to live nowhere to go. Because his favorite bowl, he can’t find it. It end up being on the you know, he found maybe a week or something later on top of the refrigerator. But, you know, she’s trying to bounce around from friends houses, and, you know, it’s like I said, another sister ended up in juvie because she was having issues and gotten in drugs and then, you know, it just is something. There was no other option. And I had honestly, you know, been raising my sisters, basically for the most part, you know, during a lot of my upbringing as well, because of the environment that it was in. I stepped away it’s kind of embarrassing when I was going to school like the first thing I did is I quit communicating with my family for the first year and a half because it was Oh my god, I have freedom. I don’t have to, like, you know, every last dollar, be going to trying to support the family, I can maybe put it in my pocket and go have some fun with friends. Because if I called home, you know, I’d have to give money. You know, and just the trauma and so I just like that first year freshman, sophomore year college, I was just like, okay, you know, I’m doing my own thing. And then I get a hold of my sisters and I find out, you know, all hell’s gone loose. And I’m like, okay, one my bad. You know, I wasn’t, there. And then the other is, yeah, I got to step up to the plate. So, yeah, I started taking custody of the first one, and then ended up all three over the course of finishing my engineering degree, which I was working full time, at that time, already in leadership for a manufacturing company, and then I continued to pursue my MBA while I was working full time and raising them and just, you know, throw in a little training as well, that was life.


Brett Bartholomew  11:00  

And I was gonna say in the intro, you know, we talk a lot about your, decorated background as a power lifter in the records that you’ve said, and everything there. Were you competing at that time that you were also doing this? Or where was that in the timeline of things?


Chris Duffin  11:13  

I was not, I actually didn’t even know what powerlifting was, I was mostly a wrestler in high school. And, you know, I did sports year round, but wrestling was the one you know, I was, you know, state level at. And training was just something I enjoyed and had always done. I started training around I think 13 years old. And that’s all I did was I was just training because I enjoyed it at that time. And there was no big objective or anything around it. I didn’t discover powerlifting until I was, I think it was working on my master’s degree. And I was like, Well, these guys in this gym are can prepping for a bodybuilding competition. And bodybuilding definitely isn’t my thing. I’m going to find a bench press competition. And do it just one just to say I’ve done it. And, I found one that it was bench press and deadlift, I’m like, What’s this deadlift thing? I think I trained using knee wraps. Because I didn’t know any better.


Brett Bartholomew  12:14  

 Right. But that I think that’s refreshing. Because I mean, so often, you know, in the performance industry, you hear it, the reverse people, they almost kind of let the hobby become, you know, their passion, and then their passion became a job and they don’t have any kind of true self identity that’s detached from that thing. So I think it’s actually refreshing to hear that you didn’t start that until later. Sorry, go ahead. What were you gonna say?


Chris Duffin  12:37  

No, I think that’s actually a really big thing. You know, and it goes beyond we see this, obviously a lot with professional athletes or high level collegiate athletes and stuff. But we see this now with, you know, calm hobby athletes, or, semi professionals, whatever you call these, you know, powerlifting, marathon runners, whatever it is, right? Whatever, your athletic endeavor of choice, and people become that, and they focus so much on this, that they lose, you know, that becomes the definition of themselves. And it should be a way that you express yourself, in my view, like you need to understand like, what your values are, and why this is a way for you to express it. Because if that’s you, and like I said, powerlifting is a big one, you know, go on social media, and these people think that that is who I am this or that. If I can’t compete, I don’t they get lost, you know, an injury happens think, you know, it’s, it’s mentally tough on them. And it can be taken from you at any time. That is not, it is not something that you may be able to do your entire life. And there’s like a big question I had when I quit powerlifting itself, like, as a competition, like five years ago, and then this last couple, you know, earlier this year, I quit doing exhibition lifting, which was what I was doing raising money for charities and just kind of doing things in a fashion that I wanted. But I got to a point like, this is as big as I can take it. And when I’m done with that, and I achieved my goal, I’m done and so many people’s like, you can’t do that you’re just keep going, you’ll keep going. I’m like, No, like I do these things. Because here’s things that I value, I value, achievement, I value, like being able to set goals and trying to show people through walk, you know, like you said skin in the game or what have you is not just talking the talk, but being able to walk the walk both in the physical nature and the mental nature of, doing what you say. And so being able to, you know, inspire through that. Being able to chase big crazy things. that,  are kind of gnarly and take everything that you got. But there’s, so much other ways that I can do that same thing that doesn’t even have to be lifting. It doesn’t have to be athletic even. You know it just because you’re a competitive person. And you’re really focused on achieving goals and chasing, you know, big things or trying to inspire others or whatever it is. There’s so many different ways and once you realize that, it allows you a lot better way to be able to realize the things that you want in life and not get stuck like I use this example somebody you know, some high school or my goal is to be an in the NFL. well understood, why do you want to be in the NFL? What is it? Is it the athletic achievement? Is it the fame that comes with it? Is it like, there’s so many different things because guess what, not everybody’s cut out to that. And so you don’t want to have like, Okay, well, it’s not happening my life. My life goal is just, it’s done. There’s just no way I can accomplish it. I’m just gonna freakin get a job down here pumping gas or doing whatever, because why? Well, once you if you understand why, why do I want to do that thing? And really peel back the layers on that onion, you’ll you can find that there’s a lot of different ways that you can realize those same things via different avenues. And that’s, how you live life.


Brett Bartholomew  16:32  

No, it’s spot on. It’s well allocute it I mean, when people it’s almost akin to the first really, you know, and some people need their quote unquote soulmate early, but I look at it as a toxic relationship people, they can be in a relationship and get really close to somebody and you know that relationships, not a fitted early, it becomes an early relationship. And even if you know it, you almost don’t want to get out of it. Because you feel like well, nobody will know me like this. And yeah, they drive me nuts. It’s very m&m, Love the Way You Lie. And people don’t realize that that can happen with their hobbies or their certain activities as well, right? Where these virtues can become vices where if you self identify so closely with one thing, as you said, Chris, then it limits the things that you’re able to utilize in a contingency toolbox. Right? And you have a you have a fabrication background, you have to adjust. And with that, I did want to ask you one piece that builds off of that in your book. I especially liked one thing and you said it in a No BS way. You said embracing your fear is not about being fearless, that leads to recklessness and complacency. And I think we see a lot of examples of that. You said it’s about learning how to mitigate risk. It’s about learning how to control these things, and face it head on, I think to the average listener that can be like, Oh, that sounds you know, kind of fortune cookie esque. But the main point there is that I agree with is it’s not an absence of fear is not fearlessness, it’s a love of learning. Would you say that that’s fairly accurate with the things that you’ve continued to pursue based on what you just said?


Chris Duffin  18:02  

I do. And so this is, in my opinion, it is continuous improvement or learning in a nutshell, content, you know, personal growth is the ability to know like, when you’re becoming complacent and finding those things in life that scary a little bit. And scary in a good way. Like you get this pit in your stomach that’s turning because you’re excited about it. But you’re scared of it. And so a great analogy is just like you know, when you’re young and you’re in that that dating you know that early dating world before you meet your soulmate because the to use that term, right? But you know, you’ve got these drivers that make you their genetic drivers, I guess, you know, that make us make that leap to be able to go oh my god, there’s this person and I’m so excited and I’m scared but if you didn’t have like those biological so not genetic but biological factors like driving you, would you let the fear override you and so you know, a lot of us you see that they’ll go through and you know, find your soulmate you get a job and then the rest of their life they start seeking this complacency and never end up moving forward. Because you know, some of those big drivers, the driver to like, leave the family and strike out on your own to find a mate to build a family. And we need to do that all the time with everything that we do. Maybe not everything but to learn to grow you have to be in this space this uncomfortable space. You have to find this thing that actually scares you a little bit but excites you. And when you found it it’s like ah, that’s the nugget that’s what I need to chase and it may be it could be a million things is to continue we learn not just you know, in attending a seminar reading A book or, you know, taking on a new project, it could be, those big things like taking a leap, like, maybe I’m in the wrong career, and I need to go back to school or make this, you know, crazy shift to another job or it’s start my own business. All these things can be really big moves. And, you know, sometimes people will sit at a job that they hate and despise and complain about it for years and years and years. Or, you know, they’ll spend 10 years 20 years they can I really need to get out there and start my own business, or I really need to go back to school, but they’re afraid of, you know, what, if I fail, what if I’m not good, I all I did was complete high school. And now I’m in my 40s. And this is like, for myself, like, this is leadership, this is how I actually, like, get really great engagement, it’s like pushing people into this area, if I’ve gotten them, you know, employee, and, that’s like the thing that I sense, I’ll push them in that direction. And next thing, you know, like, Oh, I’m going to night school. And all of a sudden, you’ll start seeing changes in all sorts of other aspects of their life, their relationships at home will change their relationship, maybe with health or fitness might take an uptake, you’ll start seeing all this other, because what happens, you start getting engaged with life. Again, I’m kind of rolling off on a tangent here. But I think it’s really important to recognize those things. And I call it the practice of living in fear. Like you need to be in a transitional moment to be actually growing and developing as a person. And so when you find that you’re not you need to try to be in the practice of chasing those things.


Brett Bartholomew  21:53  

Yeah, for sure. And I think, you know, there might be some people listening that may say, all right, Chris, Brett, like sounds so much fear, but what about overwhelm? Right? I think that’s a common phrase, we hear a lot. Some people don’t, you know, it’s technically burnout. But some people don’t prefer that nomenclature, whatever. But I think people feel overwhelmed a lot of the time. And you mentioned, Chris, I don’t want to leave a job, or I’m nervous about this. Or sometimes people are just in situations. But they’re completely just immersed and overwhelmed by their own ideas and options and choices. Now, given your background, given somebody that has such a diverse skill set multiple projects going on at once. And I love that in one of your videos, you think you said time management’s bullshit, it’s about your values, which I agree with, but what you know, one, in that mad scientist brain of yours, have you ever dealt with overwhelm, and two what are some practical strategies that you think the person listening could really help? That could help them dealing with those things, whether it’s a better system, whether it is getting clarity on their values, but sometimes even their values won’t save them? Because they’re just in a situation where they gotta get some damn work done. And there’s a lot of distractions, would you mind kind of talking to us about how overwhelm affects you? If at all?


Chris Duffin  23:04  

I would be lying if I said it didn’t. So there’s days weeks, it’s kind of like, it rolls with waves, right? Where you’re like, why did I choose to do the things that I’m doing? Like, and it feels like everywhere that you turn, is going to be a failure. And it’s just, you know, the stress rolls up, you know, I’m sure I’m describing this feeling that a lot of people get, you know, big piece of that is recognizing that that’s your, your feeling and your emotions in the moment. And that one, give it time, it will pass. To some level.


Brett Bartholomew  23:46  

That’s right. That’s a huge tip


Chris Duffin  23:47  

So it is like you’re some of this is just an emotional, you know, baggage, it’s, brought on, you know, all these other factors that are playing a role in it, right. So we’re always having these, you know, stressor, inputs, and they may be minor, you may not even notice that this small conversation there or this comment from your spouse or your boss, this bad traffic, all this other stuff ramps in and you know, the, so we’ve got all these hormonal stuff happening from this elevation of stress, Slack asleep, all these other factors can feed into it and make some of these times moments, you know, worse. And so, yeah, you’ve got a power, you know, if you’re sitting in this overwhelmed area nonstop for a significant amount of times. Yeah, you’re gonna have to make some adjustments to your life probably in general. And so that comes down to Yeah, you got to understand your priorities and start paring and cutting things out of your life. But you can’t make huge adjustments based on you know, feeling that way for a week. Feeling that way for a couple of days, because there is again, you know, it’s, there’s gonna be some things that drive and push you to that feeling that state and just give it some time, and then again, you know, constantly be looking at what are those things that i i truly value in life, and is everything that I’m doing, aligned with it. And if you keep this is an ongoing process. And you’ll find that there’s so much stuff like through your life that is things that you feel that you need to do their routine, there’s this kind of goes into that time management discussion I was talking about. But you can get so much more done and accomplished if you start really, really dialing down on those values, those core Cornerstone pillars in your life, and making sure that you’re focused on things, they’re actually moving that forward. Because it’s really easy to get scope creep and start taking on, you know, another thing that excites you another project and other whatever, and you don’t realize after a while you’re in it, and you’re like, oh, actually, all this is doing is causing stress and extra work. And, and a is not really like one of the big things that I want to be moving forward in my life with 


Brett Bartholomew  26:17  

Yeah, you made a good point there. I know, a coach that I used to mentor in particular, that that’s how she would escape into that she would make herself busy, right. And so it’s very easy when you’re overwhelmed, or you’re feeling these negative emotions or whatever, however you want to classify the emotions or the effect, it’s very easy for high achievers to just make themselves busy and go into their work. And that just compounds the issue, right? That’s like in training, saying, I mean, that goes to what you guys do at Kabuki and with the transformer bar and everything. It’s like saying, Hey, we have a shitty pattern here. Let me not, modify it. And let’s just make it worse. Where I think a lot of your approach is shown in the way that you guys design equipment, which I’m just getting more familiar with, right? Is, saying, Hey, how can we adjust this? It’s all about alignment. It’s funny the metaphors and the analogies and how, right it’s what’s the load? What’s the alignment? How am I pacing myself? And are you just trying to bury yourself in a hole? Or what’s the outcome, you know, is do you feel like a lot of your life experiences with this kind of influenced the way that you design this equipment? Now?


Chris Duffin  27:19  

I really do. And, you know, I’m gonna, spend just a second kind of diving back on that last example, first, maybe here, . But talking about the the overwhelmed in something you said there spurred a lot like when I was in, my corporate executive career, I would get hired to come in and, you know, turn around a division of a company or turnaround a company itself. And so it meant, like I was getting recruited in to come in and replace, you know, someone or a team that wasn’t performing, right. And so I would go into these organizations, and it wasn’t for lack of work or lack of trying, but you know, whoever I was replacing, in those roles, because I would find that they’re working six, seven days a week, 12 hours a day running around with their hair on fire, getting shit done, okay. And the first thing I would do is not do anything, they’d hire me come into this company, and I wouldn’t do anything. I’d step back and really understand. One, I’d see what I actually have to do. Instead of, you know, what are all the busy work tasks that I keep piling on, because this person wasn’t accomplishing the goals before. So they did just what you were, that’s what reminded me, they kept adding stuff, so that they would feel like they’re accomplishing things because they’re knocking out all these things, this report that off their to do list, so on there. And so, you internally feel this sense of, I’m getting so much done. But it wasn’t necessarily the things that needed to happen for the organization, to transform to become, you know, profitable, quality, safety, whatever, those metrics were, that were key to the organization and why I was there. And so being able to just like step back from that chaos, and analyze it, and having a good picture, and then just pare out, like all the nonsense, because that’s what people do, they will find things. And this is life in general. So I’m talking about a specific, you know, coming in and being a general manager or whatever for for a company, but I would consistently see that this happen where people did just what you’re describing.


Brett Bartholomew  29:42  

Yeah, and I think we’re all guilty of that. That’s good examples there. It reminds me of this, Amos Tversky quote, who wrote the undoing project or who is the subject of the undoing project, that’s really great book. And he was a researcher and so much more but basically, he said, you know, you waste years by not being able to waste hours And in your case, Chris, you weren’t wasting it right. But like, some people would think, Wow, you just step back, you did nothing. You just observe what yeah, like, sometimes, you know, being able to target down and being able to see what’s really done, don’t fall into the glorification of busy, allows you to really target that I think that’s a big way that I’ve learned to combat overwhelm is learning how to actually sometimes just be and I joke with one of my friends about this, because she’s like, you’re always doing something, you’re always releasing something, I’m like, well, not really anymore. Now, there are times where whether it’s even me not posting on social media for a while or not, you know, somebody always wants me to write a new book, because I’m sure people always want you new equipment, new book new this, it’s like, no, man, I’m gonna be okay, where I wasn’t okay, in my 20s. And really part of my early 30s as well, just doing nothing. But the fact is, is that gap is where the ideas happen, how you can’t create, if your mind’s always racing.


Chris Duffin  30:53  

And this is something that you need to start doing it in the practice is setting aside time to do this. So like, in the corporate time, a lot of times, I would actually block out my Friday afternoons, no meetings. And that was my time to reflect on the week, and plan for the next week. And just think about things. All right, right now, I spend time about an hour every evening with my wife, and we sit there and go back and forth about our plans for the future, what we’re working on. And just like trying to understand, you know, because we have a set of values and goals together as a team that we’re trying to do. And so it’s really, it’s reflective time that will sit there, you know, maybe in the hot tub, having a glass of wine, wherever, but it’s like, we have time set aside for doing this. And it’s something that when you’re busy, you end up filling that time and you never have the time to think and reflect the way that you need to. And, and like I said, that’s where the beauty that’s where the stuff hits you. That ends up being game changing. You know, the fact I carve out a time in my schedule every day in my workday to get out on the floor and train. I remember it was years ago, I was sitting there training, and I was using some different bars. And I like to think while, I train just about other things. And I you know, grabbed a notepad of paper and started drawing up the transformer bar. Yeah, 


Brett Bartholomew  32:25  

yeah, we’re hearing about this. Yeah. On a napkin. Almost kind of, right?


Chris Duffin  32:27  

Yeah, yeah, basically. Yep. Oh, I was just say that that’s where my ideas come like in the midst of like, you know, those, just dreamy states, like when you’re in that, when you’re in that zone while you’re training, or it’s like in this half asleep state, you know,  I’ll dream the ideas. And I’ll have to wake up and like, start sketching stuff and drawing it out or penciling it out because that’s, where it all comes from and is being able to make sure I can have that time and capture what’s from it.


Brett Bartholomew  33:01  

Yeah, no doubt, I did want to ask you this because you brought up a good point where you like to think about a wide variety of things when you train and inherently and give me a moment to try to phrase this because I want to pose this question appropriately. But one thing that to give you context I had heard in the past sometimes when you meet folks that don’t like training, right, they can say, Oh, well you know, I have a super stressful job and and I like being active but you know, sometimes if I train they can get so intense with their training that it almost becomes a stressor where they can’t think they can’t relax during it. Everything’s maximal strain and these are clearly type a people and some of them just have unique positions and I always remember at one point in my life said hmm, for me trainings the opposite that’s that’s a way that I can really think and get clarity much like you talked about Chris, but now I have recognize there are times and this started probably a few years ago, where I have noticed that if I want to go out and just get a good session in you know, but I have some things on my mind. If I put pressure on myself to still go all out like I tend to have a bad habit of doing when I’m training sometimes it doesn’t turn into that relaxing activity where I think I can end up getting in these habits of Nope, it’s got to be this percentage or Nope, it’s got to be this hard and I almost for a while didn’t I never gave myself permission to just lift lighter weights or not have a super structured program. Have you gone through phases of that with your own personal health and wellness? How do you balance that?


Chris Duffin  34:24  

Absolutely. I mean when you’re chasing and doing 1000 pound deadlift reps or 1000 pound squat yeah you think I was actually like letting my mind wander around and come up with no these were like very focused periods a lot of intensity everything is in the moment the lift and but that’s why I like you know at the same time I think it’s funny because there’s different fate I have different phases of training always through the year like it’s more of an annual thing and I’ll do things like one arm barbell snatches or just other like crazy movements that I just love doing. Then people, I’ll post it on social media and they’re like, Oh my god. So what part of the is that developing this, this and this? And is this playing a role into such I’m like, no it’s, I think I’m trying remember, one of the big Russian lifters, he’s a really well known Olympic lifter done well, in powerlifting, pretty interesting guy plays a piano does all sorts of stuff. But he calls it, he doesn’t say, kind of same thing, it’s a period of time of lifting for the soul is what he calls it. And so, you know, I have different phases of training through the year. And sometimes people forget, like, you just need to do it for fun, even if you’re a very, you know, goal focused person, which you can definitely say I fall in that category, right? But you can’t, here’s the thing, you can’t do that decade, over decade, over a decade. And I see so many people like they come in, I’m going off on a tangent here. But they start like powerlifting, and their first few years, and they’re just so such, it’s squat bench deadlift three times a week, every week, you know, always prepping for a competition, and guess what, watch them. And they get burnout three to five years, and they were a mediocre lifter. And they burnt themselves out of the sport, because it was still so focused for them, they never gave themselves the opportunity. It became a job, it became something they had to do. And there’s phases like that and that you need to be in if you want those phases to be really net the results. You’ve got to have time and other phases. Yeah. you gotta lift for the soul, you got to do what’s fun, you can’t just hammer like that all the time. And that kind of goes back to the same thing I was saying with like, you know, being busy the work environment like set time for the reflective you have to have these, these other phases and time.


Brett Bartholomew  36:57  

Hey, quick interruption, I’m sure like me, you are appreciating the candid nature of the information that Chris is sharing here. And trust me, it only gets better. This is not something you want to stop listening to. Neither none of our episodes are. But this is not something you want to quit listening to now. So I don’t care. If you just got to work you got to your destination, you’re done walking the dog, keep it rolling, bookmark this thing for later because it’s about to get even better. But one thing I appreciate about him even more than his candid nature is the things that he’s doing in Kabuki Strength. And listen, if you’ve listened to my work for a while you understand that I’m a pretty gung ho guy. And that isn’t just about how I approach life, but also my training. And sometimes that can get me into trouble. Sometimes I can get stubborn. And one thing I’ve learned to do in my life a little bit better now is adapt. And equipment from Kabuki strength, especially the new transformer bars allowed me to do that, you know, I back surgery in 2015, it was an issue that I’ve had my entire life, I wish I could tell you I was wrestling like a puma or something. But it always made squatting really uncomfortable. For me, it always made a lot of things uncomfortable for me, and the transformer bar is something that’s allowed me to get back to it, you know, and I’m able to get into these patterns. And I’m able to do so in a way that’s actually sustainable. And I don’t have to go out to the garage on a day that I’m squatting or doing something to be like, Alright, here we go, I know, I’m gonna feel like trash after this. So, you know, you have to check this thing out. It’s designed and manufactured in the US at their strength lab, that transformer bar. And it is something that if you have shoulder injuries, back issues, if you have anything where you just kind of felt like discouraged in the past or you felt like it kept you from being able to drive to your fullest potential during your training or straining. Check it out. All you have to do guys, it’s stupid and simple. Just go onto Google and type Kabuki strength, that transformer bar or you can go to But check it out. I want to support small businesses we at art of coaching or a small business. So check out that stuff. And make sure to tell a friend right.


Yeah, it’s very interesting how many things and I didn’t think that was a tangent, I thought that you, went through that very clearly. You know, and believe me, I’ll call out tangents if I see him because I’m self aware on mine, as well. But it’s great. I think here’s the other thing with that and I’d be interested in your thoughts here. You’re obviously a very self aware person and we’ll talk about more of where that comes from, you know, with your experiences in the book and your life and what have you. But I think one thing that we all see as we get older or just more observant of ourselves is how easy that can manifest in other areas of your life. You know, for a while it was okay, I get very intensive in my training. I know another area or pitfall I fell into is I used to pride myself, Chris because I never really had a mentor. And I didn’t have a lot of people if I reached out for help as a younger coach would never really get back to me. And I remember and I’ve talked about it on the show a lot. Well, I’m going to respond to every email every tag, go ahead. 


Chris Duffin  39:48  

Just go ahead. 


Brett Bartholomew  39:48  

I was gonna say I remember and so for years I went hard and heavy on that but now you know by the grace of God, you know our business has expanded but that also comes with the double edged sword of more More people reach out more and more, and I can’t get back to everybody. And there have been times I drive myself down that same rabbit hole as I’ve done with training or other parts of my life, trying to almost I wouldn’t call it people, please. But still trying to be that version of myself that was able to do things when there weren’t as many constraints, that stuff can just be really hard to let go of to realize, like, hey, stop, you know, you’ll drown yourself. If you continue to try to apply that same intensity to all these things in your life, you’re not in that position anymore. I was wondering what other areas you find that with as a creative, because I would consider you somebody that’s creative with the way you draw things up, but also somebody that just values Stone Cold Facts and, clear cut, you know, quantitative knowledge about yourself and others.


Chris Duffin  40:43  

Yeah, so this has been a struggle point for me for you know, as I’ve moved into my own, you know, being an entrepreneur, I guess, I kind of hate that term. But you know, I’m involved in four different businesses. Technically, I can’t avoid it. But I was a very task driven operations person for a career, right. And but it didn’t allow me this creative outlet. And so now as I’ve moved into this, I’m not the CEO of any of my companies. I’m not the President, I’m not the main person in charge. I am trying to be in this I call it a CVO, chief visionary officer. Yeah, it’s just some word I made up but whatever. But to try to spend time in this creative space that allows the ideas to flow, and I work on other projects and things and what I’ve found is from a leadership perspective, like I hired a my engineering manager, we worked together in the automotive world, like, two decades ago, 


Brett Bartholomew  41:46  

is this skinny mountain biker? 


Chris Duffin  41:48  

Yes. Skinny mountain biker. Yeah. That, designs, all our heavy lifting. Yeah. But he comes to the team, and he’s like, the first year, he’s here, he starts coming up to some of the guys he’s like, What did you do to Chris, it’s like, he used to be a great leader, but I don’t know, he’s not like he used to be. And the thing is, I’m not as good of a business leader, as I used to be, well, maybe not a business leader, but a, you know, somebody that’s in a direct operating, numbers driven and gonna be no emotions, you know, here’s, here’s the thing, somebody you can walk up to, and expect to have the same, like, emotional perspective, you know, non emotional, data perspective, and just a nice even where now, I’m more emotional, I let my emotions were on my sleeve, I tried to live in this other space and, I realized I’m, just not as good at that anymore. And trying to come to terms then I tried to fix it. Right. And, it’s just interesting, like, trying to figure because these are, pretty big things. Like I’ve, known myself as being this, you know, for two decades, you know, being a turnaround expert, and being able to articulate and grow leaders and do all in and yet at the same time, now, all of a sudden, I’m like,  Am I not trying hard enough? Am I not working hard enough? Am I not being present enough? Am I not like, you know, questioning, like, questioning myself, my abilities and things like that. And so it’s figuring out that balance and where it fits. And that’s where I’m like, trying to redefine my roles and make sure people understand what the roles in and why, hey, there’s somebody else that’s manages operations, there’s a different CEO, there’s a different, like, my role is mentorship, a long term vision and direction for the company, input into the creative, and, you know, the design side, and making sure that’s aligned with where we’re going, what we’re trying to create. And so it’s just really trying to understand, like, this unknown role, it’s not written in any books anywhere, like, I missed that chapter in school. I don’t know


Brett Bartholomew  44:16  

why I think that’s a natural evolution. You know, we did an episode recently with a good friend named Luca Hocevar that talks about the difference between managing and leadership and, and what you’re talking about is a natural evolution into leadership leaders are supposed to be more innovative, visionary, more education, big picture, you know, where managers are going to be the day to day it’s this 10 80 10 principle that we use at art of coaching of, you know, I’m gonna set 10% of the vision related to a project or a certain output 80% then, you know, based off the information I provide, and the context is the members of our company to kind of grab and lead from there. And then the last 10% is the finishing touches. Now there’s certain things that I’m hyper involved in because I’ve got to be the one innovating it but the goal is eventually to get to that where where you can get and we looked at it in one of our courses we talked about and I think you talked on it very well. There’s three stages anybody’s career, but you’re right, nobody learns it. There’s the execution stage where it’s learn your trade, learn your craft, immerse yourself in it, go, go go. There’s then expand, expanded. Alright, now look at other interests, what are things on the fringe of your curiosities that may not be directly related at first glance, but absolutely help and build that. And then finally, and this would be the stage I’d consider you being in to a degree although there’s of course, inter lapping between them all is evolve and evolve is that I know you don’t like the term, but that entrepreneur that bigger picture that meta, what’s, the next project. And I think when people get too pigeonholed in one of those stages, it’s not just their work life that suffers or as we talked about prior, Chris, their identity, but your relationships will because it’s almost like you can’t let go. And I know I don’t that I didn’t want to let go with just being a strength coach, because I always, you know, like, I took a lot of pride in that there’s a lot of people that say, their strength coaches, and they don’t really coach and they do this, and they and I do those things. But at the same time, I just realized, you know what, I also do other things. And I learned to quit being ashamed of those other things that I thought would take away from making me a better strength coach, and in reality, they made me better at that and so much more in other capacities. I’m sure you, struggle with that tug of war.


Chris Duffin  46:19  

Yeah, and your, word ashamed is definitely like the case. Like, I felt the shame that I wasn’t coming to the plate as good  as I used to, like for my own companies now. And really coming to terms like No, it’s okay. Because what I’m doing now, is something different. And it’s actually more needed for me to do that, than those other things. And so it’s but yeah, getting over kind of that, shame piece around it. 


Brett Bartholomew  46:50  

Yeah, it’s I go back to and this is one of my favorite movies, The Dark Knight, there’s a point where Batman says, Hey, this isn’t the role I need. I’m whatever Gotham needs and people can laugh at comic book movies or what have you. But a lot of those things are based off real life struggles and internal dialogues we have and, and he decides he’s going to play that role, right? Sometimes you need to be the antihero, and and whether that’s in life or your own story, you’ve got to figure that out. But I just think it’s maladaptive if we just hold on to one part of ourselves in perpetuity. And by the way, you said a life goal for me. I’ve been trying to convince my wife for the longest time, we’ve been saving up for a damn hot tub when you said, you and your wife and we’ll just have time to talk about future vision, glass of wine and a hot tub. Man, that’s a poster on my wall right now.


Chris Duffin  47:35  

I put it on my Instagram, because pretty cool. It’s just a two person because I wanted to make sure it’s not the kids. It’s not the family, it’s me and hers, it’s right off. We’re on the second, our master bedroom is on the second door and it’s got a little private deck. So it’s literally six feet from our bed, just open the door private deck, two of us drop in there. It’s amazing. Because it’s just, it’s our time, like, you know, and we did it in the middle of COVID. You know, after the kids were like, with us every single day for like a month. You know, every part of the house, it’s like, Okay, we’re gonna do something just for us, you know, a little space for us and time for us to make sure we’ve got that.


Brett Bartholomew  48:17  

And now with that. And it’s okay, if this is something you don’t want to chat about, you know, if you guys are first time listeners to the show, we don’t script anything we these are real conversations, right? So, but I did want to kind of chat about that I had my wife on for our 100th episode, and we opened our life up a little bit to our audience. And you’ve mentioned your wife a couple of times. And of course, I want to respect your privacy. But given your background, given everything that you went through and some of the things that you had to overcome. I know one thing I dealt with is trying to make sense of myself for my wife, hey, this is why I’m the way I am. These are things that I experienced at an early age. This is kind of why I have a tenacity or, or more of a short temper around other things and a passion for this and that. I found that the complexities of sometimes what we go through an early in life can be kind of tough to talk to your significant other about during the early stages, whether it’s courtship or, marriage, because you’re never able really we grow and we evolve, but there’s tendencies and tics and traits that come as a result of our upbringing. How did you ever disclose some of these parts of your background and everything you had to overcome Chris, to your wife? And was that an uncomfortable conversation? Was that something that came naturally because she was such a fit? Or was she a part of it? Did she know you through some of this?


Chris Duffin  49:31  

Yeah, it’s well, this is actually my second marriage. And it was fairly natural. It really was because, well, one, a lot of people just know me online. And I am a bit eccentric, a bit odd a bit, like over the top with everything. And so, you know, coming in that it’s going to be a little bit different environment,


Brett Bartholomew  50:02  

just online are you like that if I mean, because you don’t seem that way talking to you right now,


Chris Duffin  50:07  

I’m very down to earth, but like, you know, I want to do a feat of strength that nobody else has accomplished in the world, I want to build a unique vehicle from the ground up, including the axles and frame and everything, that it, there’s nothing else like it in the world, I want to build game changing, you know, the best barbells in the world, I want to I’m building a company that I really, you know, it’s tough to say this, because a lot of people don’t realize the full extent of the plan. And it’s, it may sound a little unbelievable, at this point in time, but I want to have a huge lasting impact that is going to change the face of strength training, and the integration to clinical practice. And including aspects of clinical practice before I’m done with, and it’s a big, audacious goal, and that’s what I’m chasing, you know, and so, I’ve got big vehicles, I’ve got, like everything that I do, like, large and big, and, you know, it’s not going to be, it sounds silly, but like, if I’m not going to chase something that’s gonna be, you know, the best, you know, arguably in some fashion or another, the best in the world or world class. It’s not worth my time doing but I can be grounded and say I can be grounded and saying this stuff because I walked the walk, I live the walk and, I’m doing it from a point of, I’m very open about why I want to do it what I want to accomplish, and it’s not to have a big name and make a bunch of money or do any of this stuff. Like, I truly want to have this stuff happen. Like I didn’t, you know, writing a book isn’t a profitable venture, I spent a year doing this, because my businesses don’t allow me to tap into, you know, the mental, the emotional, you know, aspects of strength of being able to deal with adversity in the training world, we call it adapt, you know, adaptation, but it’s the same thing, being able to adapt to stress and having it be a positive thing, if we do it inappropriately, just like in strict training, it becomes a negative thing. I did that, just so that I could have that. Because that’s my goal is to be able to help impact people in this manner and hope, in all aspects, understanding that if we provide stresses and seek stresses and do this in the appropriate manner, we become stronger and better versions of ourselves. And yeah, so anyway, I’m kind of way out there. But back to that, yeah, it left the conversation pretty, easy. And especially like meeting my family, which is a bit odd. You know, they live in the mountains and do all sorts of weird stuff. So it’s, you’ve got to be basically attracted to oddness and Accenture. And then we’re just a great fit. Like, I mean, we’ve been open about everything, you know, from day one. And I think part of that is we, at the time, I didn’t see another relationship in my like, how that would fit into my life with everything that I’ve got going between kids business and all the crazy stuff. I’m going I’m like, I don’t plan on dating, I don’t plan it. And so we actually we met and our relationship started with no intention of ever being anything more. So there was no, trying to impress or set, you know, like, hiding somebody hiding some aspect of yourself or there was no need for that, because it wasn’t trying to win a partner or you know, anything like that. And I think that actually really set us off for great success in that fashion. It was a little unusual. But it was that’s just the way it ended up being because without going into too much detail.


Brett Bartholomew  54:15  

No, I think that’s fine. I think, you know, it’s one of those things that in people don’t often talk about it, but it’s unique, right? When you’re somebody that has big in your terms, big audacious goals and all these things. You know, there’s it can be tough finding


Chris Duffin  54:28  

the beautiful thing as she does too. So that’s why it’s like and there and I support everything. It’s not this is not a her support me thing. Like we’re chasing this together, and she’s got her own set of stuff. And so it’s just a beautiful thing. I love it.


Brett Bartholomew  54:43  

That’s what I was going to ask with that because it’s funny, right? On one end, we say birds of a feather flock together on another end, opposites attract, right? You never really know what’s relational kind of metaphor is the same and I know with my wife, you know she is somebody that’s very low key she loves just she she’s very content. And now she’s also, you know, driven to be, you know, great at what she does as well. But there’s some times where I know I can get so into a goal that I wonder I’m like, damn, like, you know, I feel like I’m awful at, you know, the relationship side of that where I can get so dug into what I want to do in a mission and a vision yet I’m so committed to my family as well. We always feel that pole as dreamers Do we not? And that’s what Imean when you’re a dreamer, there’s nothing more important than family. But you also know that you need seclusion and isolation sometimes, to let those things go, otherwise nothing will be built. Yeah.


Chris Duffin  55:39  

And I think that’s great, because we both have that, that understanding. And, she gets that time I get that time. But you know, focuses, you know, on the time with a family together as well, you know, but like, yeah, she was going to be a master chef, USA, except for this, you know, thing that happened this year, when she was in Canada, before she met me, she was runner up to be on MasterChef Canada. And we’re working on our pilot’s license together. She’s a, go getter. So, it, we really understand each other on that level, and make sure that we provide the time for each of us to have the space to do what we need to do. Yeah, I


Brett Bartholomew  56:20  

think that’s critical. And that’s a good point, you know, I want


Chris Duffin  56:23  

A lot of people that and that’s where, like, my first relationship failed, because that lack of being able to understand, it was viewed as me being very selfish. And at some level, I guess it is. But it’s also trying to build, you know, a legacy and what, for me, it’s like, being able to, and I actually have this open, I’m just stealing straight from the opening my book, but is being able to demonstrate through my actions in the way I live my life, to my kids, that they can go to the end of this world, and create and form it around them in whichever way that they want. And they’ve seen it by example. And who knows how they’re going to impact the world or what they’re going to do in it, but to know, to have them know, and if seen that, that can be done. And, that’s, I’m not sure how that fits in the conversation.


Brett Bartholomew  57:19  

No, that’s fine. Wthin the conversation, we’ve talked a lot about family and drives, and you even mentioned biology early on, and, that led me to one part of your book. And there’s some commonality here because my mother is a Mensa member as well. And you had this part of your book where you talked about, you know, your father, and he was a member of Mensa, right, which is a high IQ society, very small percentage of the world, my mom used to remind me of that just you know, given me a hard time playfully, you know, growing up, like, hey, and until you know, you’re out from under my roof, and you have more degrees and this and that. And she never did it to shame she just did it because our families are meant to wise acids. But then you also talk about if I can be candid how like the rest of his family, your father struggled with depression, his mother and committed suicide, as did her two brothers. So much of who we become, is rooted not only in the external environment in the social factors were around but biology now I know, this wasn’t your biological father, right? Like, what if


Chris Duffin  58:19  

this was my biological father? And so yeah, and I’ve been plagued with the same depression issues, I mean, through my life and had to had to learn to deal with that and seek counseling as appropriate. And yeah, I mean, it’s not something I hide from. And it’s certainly, you know, being bipolar depressive is, it’s interesting. You know, my therapist is offered to put me on medication many times, and, but at the same time, the peaks are like, that’s, where the crazy stuff, that’s where the idea is, that’s where the big leaps forward in everything that I do happen. But it’s managing those risks that come on the downside. And you know, what, like, growing up, I mean, I watched, my father dumped gasoline all over himself and stand there with a lighter, you know, threatening to kill himself. That was one of the seven different times he attempted suicide. And, you know, hearing the story of about grandma blowing her head off with a shotgun, and, you know, her brother jumping out a window in LA, and, you know, it’s a real thing, and I’ve felt that I had to deal with it, you know, since I was a teenager.


Brett Bartholomew  59:36  

Well, you know, and I’m glad you don’t run from that, because we talked about it, you know, a friend of mine, Brad, Stolberg, he talks about it quite a bit. You know, I don’t think people are aware that getting counseling and things like that can be such a huge, huge amplifier to success in life and happiness. You know, like, I know, when I was hospitalized, as a kid, as a teenager, we had to meet with therapists all the time. And so you start kind of You know, I don’t want to say self actualizing, because that wasn’t, you know, you can’t say that you did that at 15 and 16. But you’ll learn a hell of a lot more about yourself when you do open up. And I think that there’s still always this stigma when


Chris Duffin  1:00:11  

Yeah, it’s, people understand it, they think about you being on a couch and like, therapy, you know, and it’s really you need to think about it is having a mentor? It’s a mentor that’s educated in a certain discipline, but that discipline is to help you understand yourself better. And are we not coaches, do we not understand the value of mentorship. So, there’s absolutely nothing wrong or nothing to be ashamed of, in seeking those, resources. And it can be actually really beneficial to your life in general, even outside of dealing with those specific issues, to have somebody have that time to help you walk through and dive deeper on some of these subjects and understand where you’re coming from, what your drivers are, and those sorts of things in your life. Like it’s, do I do it all the time? No, but there’s been phases where I’ve definitely needed to use that as a resource. And it’s been, I would say, beneficial as a whole well beyond just dealing with those specific issues at the time, and that’s, you know, that’s my plug for the, you know, finding and using those resources, because especially as males, like it’s like something that’s kind of, you know, frowned upon. And, you know, you’re, too tough, you’re too whatever. And it’s a dangerous game. I mean, look at suicide rates by gender too.


Brett Bartholomew  1:01:38  

right. 100% well, and, you know, I love the way and I apologize if he ever listened to this podcast, so I doubt he will, you know, an author in terms of the pronunciation of his name, Nassir, Ghaemi, you know, talks about these things called a first rate madness. And he says, one thing that we don’t understand about aspects of, mental health is you’re talking about pretty esteemed company with people that have faced, you know, ups and downs, both genetic and otherwise, you’re talking about John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr, Gandhi, you’re talking about all these people that, you know, what’s really interesting, and he makes a great case for it in his book, that’s research that is, you know, what we think are mentally healthy people, and today’s day and age are often maladaptive. You know, everybody, you have to be an odd number to be number one. Now, of course, you know, you still have to control these things as best you can, and you have to address them. But I think there’s something to be said. And the research makes it clear that people who are quote unquote, viewed as stable or sane or whatever term people use, you know, really, they don’t make great leaders in chaotic times, because they haven’t had to get to know themselves, the ugly parts, the tough parts, they don’t always have, they sometimes have a naive view of things because they haven’t been down rabbit holes. And so it’s a strong call to action. And I’m glad you’re not ashamed of it, because you shouldn’t be.


Chris Duffin  1:02:53  

It’s really interesting, because I haven’t read that one. But I tried to think of, there’s another one that I’ve read, that does a dissertation that dives deep on a whole lot of like, really creative and influential figures through history. And it’s like, it starts pointing you to just read their biographies. And you’ll start going, Oh, my God, this person had this issue this, like, it’s so clear as day that on so many key figures that, you know, change the world in some manner or another. Yeah, they were not, as we term saying, you know, and maybe that’s where I should probably shouldn’t use that word in that manner. But I think our audience could probably understand 


Brett Bartholomew  1:03:38  

Why they’re discerning, yeah, most of these people have kind of read, you know, in my book, we talk about a constellation of traits and, you know, you’re looking at we do stuff in our clinics about subclinical levels of psychopathy, and, all that it’s just very interesting what we think we know about these quote, unquote, traits, we don’t really know as much as we think. And it gets scarier and scarier meaning to the person that assumes they know and they have this black and white, squeaky clean person, when they look at the research and find that some of the most effective leaders of all kind, you know, had this variability in mood and persona, some clinical sub subclinical, but none of them were considered, quote unquote, normal by any means.


Chris Duffin  1:04:17  

How many figures, you know, did amazing things in the time of need, yet? They were also known for disappearing. You think about, you know, the, even take it back to, you know, tribal days, and you think about, like that mythical warrior, right. And you hear this in mythology, you know, they were there and they, led whatever group to, winning or being safe or whatever it was, but they were also known for disappearing into the woods and going on, you know, Vision quests and like being like. Do you understand what that meant? Yeah, like That was the downtime and they needed to be away from everybody. And the up times is when they were the leader, the protector, and it’s in our mythology dating back even further than, you know, we’ve got biographies and stuff to rely on.


Brett Bartholomew  1:05:16  

Well, I think your book only adds to that, you know, Chris, and sort of the openness of conversation, you know, one of the things that, really shows good leaders, good people, adaptive people is openness to experience and our audience values, people who come on that don’t shy away from stuff, have tough conversations and open that up. And, you know, I know I can’t thank you enough, I promise you an hour and I can’t thank you enough of you just for being open and not shying away. Because it’s such an easy path to be like, Nah, read it in the book, nah do this. But people need to hear these things. Because there’s so many we get a lot of listeners, you know, 10s of 1000s over the course of just a couple of months, hundreds of 1000s. And everybody can relate. Everybody has ups and downs. Everybody has a dreams fears. Everybody has imperfect families, the only family that’s perfect is the one you haven’t met yet. And you’ve covered a lot of ground here, man. So you know, I definitely want to give you the last word. But I also just want to share my heartfelt appreciation of you not dodging anything today.


Chris Duffin  1:06:13  

Oh, thank you, like I told you, I like to be as open as I can on these subjects because otherwise it doesn’t reach or affect people. And what’s the point of having the conversation?


Brett Bartholomew  1:06:26  

Right 100%. And guys, we’re gonna Of course, put the links in the show notes and everything like that, for the bars that we mentioned Chris’s book, the eagle and the dragon, every single thing is in the link. But Chris, I also want to give you the opportunity if there’s one spot that you absolutely want people to go to to learn more about you support you connect with you. Where is that spot? Where do you prefer?


Chris Duffin  1:06:49  

Probably just my personal website, which is, or got a link to my business’s Kabuki Strength, barefoot athletics and build fast formula. And you can get a free audio download of my book there, which we didn’t really dive into. But it is a crazy wild story covering. Well, I won’t go into it, but it will probably surprise you. We deal with drug running murderers, pedophile ring serial killer and growing up in the wilderness handling snakes at rattlesnakes live at six years old. And, to becoming a corporate executive entrepreneur, and all sorts of other stuff. So it’s a wild ride. But it’s a great story. But it’s really about the messages and themes of every chapter, I tried to really dial this in and make it a usable piece for everyone. It’s the things that I learned in the introspection process through the years and the philosophy that came out of it, that has led to success in the corporate world, the entrepreneur world, the sports performance world, at a world class level, basically in every one of those. And so it puts this in your hands, it doesn’t give you any answers. But it asks you the questions to really dive deep and understand your own values. So that from there, you can establish goals that align and have a life that executes those values and vision that you want to have. So it’s this incredible piece, just look at the reviews if you got any question about it, so but I think you’ll get a lot out of it. 


Brett Bartholomew  1:08:27  

Yeah, and guys, the intro that you heard backs up everything that Chris talked about, you know that the stuff you heard us talking about was just really in the first 30 to 50 pages of his book. But you know, Chris, what you stand for is what you said on page 163, which is, you know, exercise proactivity. And it’s easy to attribute your situation in life to external circumstances and all this other stuff. And it’s really true if you live in an came up at a negative or unique environment, which you’ve kind of elucidated on earlier. But the bottom line is you shouldn’t look to control everything, you got to adapt to it. And so I couldn’t agree more. And if you hadn’t shared this stuff in your book, you know, of course, I support you and I support your work, but this is stuff that you know, brings into the circle even more because these


Chris Duffin  1:09:09  

This is the bigger stuff, honestly. So yeah.


Brett Bartholomew  1:09:13  

100% Well, guys, until next time, and you know, dive deep into the episode handouts that you get, they’re free. Again, all these links are going to be here you need to support folks like Chris and all of our guests that come on. These are professionals that take time away from their family, their love their craft, check out their stuff, Chris, I thank you again because


Chris Duffin  1:09:31  

Social media. Instagram and LinkedIn are the two areas that I interact on. So you can type in my name, I don’t need to give it a handle Instagram or LinkedIn. It’s the ones where they actually interact. So check me out there and then check out the website. So thanks.


Brett Bartholomew  1:09:46  

Beautiful guys. Until next time, this is the art of coaching podcast Brett Bartholomew and Chris Duffin, signing off

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