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Tony Banta

What I’m Grateful For – Ep. 011
Full Show Notes

The new year is a time to reflect on all of the wonderful things in life that you are grateful for. This all sounds wonderful, but ya know what, life isn’t always wonderful, its hard.

On this reflective episode of the Client Whisperer™, Tony gets real. Gets real on how sometimes it’s really difficult to look back on things in a happy and grateful way. Gets real on the ups and downs of life and business.

Production for this episode is made possible by The Client Success System® For more information on the client fulfillment audits and to speak to one of our consultants, go to

Show Resources:

  • Watch this Episode on YouTube.
  • Read the complete show notes.
  • Access the complete transcript.

Can I tell you a secret? I’m not feeling grateful, but I guess we’ll do a gratitude show. Stay tuned.

Welcome to the Client Whisperer Show. I’m your host Tony Banta, and I am the Client Whisperer. I’ve spent over a decade running multiple six and seven figure client businesses and I’ve learned that the secret to success in a client business comes down to one thing, leadership. Bad client behavior is the enemy, and with the right curriculum, infrastructure and mindset, you can lead your clients to great success and scale your business the easy way.

I’m just not.

It’s going to be the starkest contrast and energy level between that intro music and what I have to say right now. It’s the gratitude episode. I’ve even delayed recording it cause I’m not feeling grateful. I’m feeling pissed off, feeling frustrated. It’s been one of the hardest years of my adult life. I’m being honest, was plagued with health issues that for me personally, that I didn’t know could get worse. We lost a number of people. We lost my father towards the end of the year. Just a couple episodes ago I talked about it. I lost one of my mentors and, uh, the first coach I ever hired. There were, there was another friend of mine from high school that we lost. We lost a few cousins. It was just a tough year. I also had a business partnership that fell apart, that crumbled. Um, and I’m not, I’m not really gonna talk about that. I’m not going to, uh, talk about the deaths or the health issues either. But as I zoom out, I’m struck by sadness. I’m struck by the struggle that the year has been and how, if I’m being honest, I expected it to be different. I expected it be better. Or at the very least, I expected all of the pain to mean something.

And when it doesn’t, man, mm. I’m angry. You know, I have this cocktail of feelings. Being angry of being sad that I didn’t do more. Am angry at that doctor, she didn’t take very good care of my dad. I’m angry at my dad for not taking better care of his health. Even got angry last week at the general manager of a car dealership that was ripping my mom off and I should be angry at them. My mom’s a sweet lady and they were taking advantage, but none of that matters. None of that. Certainly none of that is going to change where I am now or where I’m feeling.

So I guess the title of this episode really should be how to be grateful even when it’s hard. How to be grateful even when I’m feeling self-absorbed because that’s what all that is. My dad always said he wanted to live life on his own terms and he was okay if his life was shorter because of it. It was my expectation that things would work out differently or that people would do their job differently. My mom, even with the car dealership, she’s a, and uh, she’s an attorney. She’s been practicing for decades. She hates it when I emphasize the decades part, but she, she has a lifetime of experience sticking up for other people. She didn’t need me to stick up for her. It was my expectation of how everyone in that situation would behave that made me angry. And my health while frustrating has led me to, I have a great episode about this coming up in a couple of weeks talking about how my health in combination with our daughter being born has forced me to look at my time and be really critical about that. Be really specific about what I’m going to spend time on and what I’m not going to spend time on.

And yeah, I just said that my daughter was born and she was born with our doctor who we’ve come to be quite close with. My, my wife’s doctor, well, we’ve come to be quite close with there with us holding our hand, ultimately performing the surgery, taking great care of her. A hundred years ago, heck, 50 years ago. It wouldn’t be a statistical certainty that my wife and my baby would be okay. That would be a tossup. And they are, they’re great. There are people who don’t have cars, let alone luxury cars that require expensive service and her prone to being ripped off. There are people who don’t have that.

And another time in our lives in our career. Well, she didn’t have a car that was that nice. So it’s all relative and it’s really easy to focus on the things that are tough. It’s really easy to get bogged down in the things that hurt and the pain that’s there. It’s even easy for us to develop systems and patterns around it. It’s easy for us to be stabbed in the back by a client and take the attitude of, Hey, I’m not gonna, I’m not gonna ever let a client do that again. Right? How many people? I, I’ve had clients who have had clients who have taken their curriculum and then tried to offer it. We actually just had that happen for the first time with a client of ours a while ago. Uh, and inevitably, you know, what happened? We got more clients because of it. I got clients reaching out to me and say, yeah, this guy was trying to help us with our systems. It didn’t really work, but it made us want to talk to you. Oh, how about that?

It’s really easy though, to take those at face value and turn that into a calcified cynicism to focus on the selfishness. I don’t feel good about this thing. Must be someone’s fault, but it’s not. It’s ebbs and the flows. It’s the, the sequence of life. Everything’s a sine wave. If you’ve seen a, uh, uh, sound wave, it’s a perfect example. If you’ve seen, if you seen a, a wave on an ocean, right? If you drop something into to water and you see the ripple that happens from there, that’s it’s a sine wave, eh, you know, back in the, if you remember from, from, from geometry, it’s that wave. It goes up, it goes down. Everything in life follows that pattern. We are on a sign wave pattern around the sun.

The sun’s rays are in a sine wave pattern as they’re shooting through the, uh, shooting through space and ultimately hit our atmosphere. Sine wave, the wind blows in sine waves. The temperatures go up and down to the seasons in sine waves and all of our sales numbers go up and down. If you look at the leaf tree out the window or even the leaf right over there as the air blows in the room, those leaves sway to a sine wave. Everything in life happens with sine waves. We don’t know. I don’t know why. You could ask a quantum physicist help explain it, but that’s a little outside of my scope. But what I do know is that they’re always sideways. And if we take those lows, that hurt. Yes they do.

I have a year of bruises and scars to show for it. Even as I’m recording this, I’m, I’m a little teary thinking about it. If we take the lows and we only focus on those parts and we try and optimize to never feel those lows, sometimes we can work super hard at that and totally forget the fact that the highs are right around the corner. I have a much younger sister and she, uh, took our dad’s death really hard. I have siblings ranging from, uh, at least half siblings ranging from seven to 48. I think at the time of this recording. And, uh, it’s a modern family for you, but I have a much younger sister and she took, she took her dad’s passing really hard and I could focus on that. I could focus on the injustice of that. And I have, I’ve been angry at that. Like I said, I’ve been angry the doctor, I’ve even been angry at myself that I didn’t do more for him. And I’ve also been angry at God for letting all of it happen.

But then I see her struggling and uh, my mom got a dog so that she would have, have this furry creature to, to take care of. And this dog is crazy. My sister even says so I think her favorite term for the dog’s name is Rosie. Her favorite term for for Rosie is nutcase. And if you’ve, if you’ve never heard a seven year old call a dog, a nutcase, you’re missing out my friend cause she’s there taking responsibility. She’s, they’re caring about Rosie. So they’re carrying that Rosie’s taken out, but she has an enough to eat, that she’s okay, I could focus on the low or I could focus on that high.

Or here’s this seven year old. It was the opposite of selfish. Focus on the low of the tough parts of the year or I could focus on the high that I became a dad. I could focus on the selfishness or I could focus on the gratitude and the gratitude is a lot of great things happened this year. We had another record revenue year again for the fourth year in a row, third year in a row. We did some rebuilding three years ago, but we had another record year of revenue. We continue to have really great systems that we’re rolling out, continue to have great client successes. We have some of the biggest clients successes this year. Our top one might’ve been, might’ve been, we doubled a client’s retention in about two weeks.

I have also been able to start this podcast. Started the year with a false start on a podcast. I thought it was going to start one. We tried to do some things in the middle of the year, but this one’s going strong. We’re a few weeks in. This is our 11th episode and I’m really grateful that I get to do that for all of you that I get to do that with all of you who are listening. Even in our soft launch, we topped 80 listeners in a week just with a soft launch. I think I made one Facebook post announcement, uh, didn’t even email it out to our list, but in January we’re going to be, we’re going to be, what’s the opposite of a soft launch, a hard launch. We’re going to be hard launching in January. We’re going be expanding that even more.

We’re going to be ramping up our newly revised audits and providing client fulfillment audits. Why? Because there are a lot of programs out there where if we can improve their success rate just a little bit, we dramatically increase those clients profit and we increased the number of lives that those clients are able to change. We ran some of the numbers and there were something like 400 and change lives, 400 and some odd lives that we were able to impact directly, measurable impact, through our curriculum changes and things like that. That was me directly. If we expand that out to people who just took courses or things like that from us, the number is even greater. And if that’s not a blessing, if that’s not something to be grateful for, then I don’t know what is and I feel that gratitude, but I also feel the sadness. I also feel everything else.

I also, lately you’ve been a little bit pissed at the notion that it’s the end of the year and I should be grateful cause sometimes I don’t think that other people understand how it feels to have had this much loss, to feel this kicked in the stomach in a year, but that’s selfish. That’s me focusing on how I feel and there’s a difference in there between self care and self pity. I try and do as much of a first as I can. I make sure to make time for myself do all of that and I’m getting better at that. I have some, some friends and some advisers who remind me of that. Sometimes gentler than others. You know who you are who help hold me accountable to that and I’m super grateful for that.

I try to avoid the latter of them. The self pity cause the self pity focuses on the down. The downs of the sine .wave. Gratitude focuses on the top, the highs. And we know what we focus on. We get more of that. Shouldn’t be a mystery to anyone, this program listening to this program. But if it is, we get more of what we focus on period. It’s why. It’s why so many of our clients just by taking an audit see their client results get better without even consciously doing anything different because they’re looking at it, they’re paying attention to it, they’re focusing on. So which do you want to focus on? I’m asking that of myself in case you’re wondering which do you want to focus on, Tony?

And when I’m faced with that, I want to focus on the highs. I want to focus on the amazing contributions, It’s not the mistakes. I want to focus on the amazing gifts that I’ve been given, not the people there. And I want to focus on the opportunities that are there, not the losses that we may have had in the past. This had been my, my meandering thoughts on gratitude cause this was tough and I want it to be a little bit more vulnerable in sharing some of this because I don’t think it’s helpful not to, I was writing in the notes. I, I always have a little routine that I go through to prepare for an episode, especially a solo episode. And uh, that was writing some notes down. I’m like, Oh yeah, I could say I’m gratitude. I can say I’m grateful for this person. I can say I’m grateful for this person. I could run through the list I’m grateful for, for, you know, this.

And it felt fake because through a big chunk of this year, I haven’t been grateful. I’ve been resentful AF, I’ve been hurt and that’s okay for a little while. It’s okay to feel those feelings is what I’ve decided for myself. It’s okay to make that decision to be in that mode for a little bit, to even maybe feel a little sorry for myself a little bit, but I’m done now. It’s the end of the year in just a couple of days. It’s going to be the new year. It’s going to be 2020 and while I don’t want to give you a fake whitewashed listing of the things that I’m grateful for, I do want to say I’m choosing gratitude. I’m choosing to look forward.

I’m choosing the lessons, not the losses. Because there’s a lot of work left to be done and I think more than anything else, as much as it doesn’t always feel like this is the case, I’m grateful for the work. I’m grateful for the challenge. I’m grateful for the resistance because that’s what builds the strength. It’s what builds the muscle. It’s what builds the character. It’s what helps. Gets us ready, get us ready for what’s coming. In the old book, A Tale of Two Cities. Ah, Dickens writes the famous line. It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. I believe the best of times are ahead of us.

I also think we’re going to have to fight to get it, and fighting hopefully doesn’t mean with our fists or with guns or any of that. Although certainly in some parts of the world that might not be true. Always. We’re privileged not to have to be on those front lines. The majority of us and our listeners and those who are your in my prayers and Godspeed, but for the majority of us, the fight isn’t going to be with with, with guns. It’s not going to be with violence. The fight is inside. The fight is on. What we choose to focus on.

The fight is on the very real struggle that there are a lot of people out there who don’t do a good job and we have to find a way to be okay with that anyway. They have to take personal responsibility but not take responsibility for other people’s responsibility. We have to forgive, but not forget the lessons that we need to know and that’s all a fight. And if we do that, if we get okay with that, if we get okay with the lows and letting go of the resistance and the judgment and those things that we have to it, and I’m saying this to myself, just as much as I’m saying this to you, if we, if we get good at that, then we will usher in the best of times.

But the best of times aren’t going to be here without the worst. So for me, gratitude doesn’t mean ignoring all of the struggles. It means celebrating everything that’s happened because of them. It doesn’t mean letting people off the hook, but it does mean who have, who have wronged. You know, me or my family. It doesn’t mean letting them off the hook, but it does mean forgiving them. It does mean not letting that control me. Being grateful means that I’m going to celebrate everything that Laura taught me even more than I’m going to mourn the fact that I can’t call her for advice.

Gratitude means that I’m believing that there is more to this life than I can see or know, and taking comfort. Finding some degree of acceptance. So I hope this has been helpful. I hope this isn’t just the rambling of someone who’s had a tough year. Uh, if you’ve had a tough year, you’re not alone and reach out if you want to be positive cause I don’t need any company to celebrate misery with. And if you’re still in that spot, maybe look for what you can be grateful for too. Cause that’s what’s helping me to look back and to see the good things and the bad things through a lens of hope.

I want to celebrate every good thing and bad this year. The bad turns into lessons. The good turns into really great things and I want to celebrate all of it and I want to celebrate you. I’m going to celebrate every single person who’s willing to get up every day as a professional. It was just listening to an episode of a podcast with Seth Godin and he talked about the difference between a hobbyist and a professional. And if you are a professional coach, if you get up out of bed every day and show up to work, even when it’s hard, even when it’s a struggle, even when you’re close to burnout, I salute you my friend. I toast you this year cause it’s up to us. It’s up to us who are on the front lines of client work of work with humans to do a better job next year to help our clients live better lives next year.

We’re the warriors on the front line. The best of times I believe are still ahead and I’m really excited to see what that looks like. So thank you so much for tuning in. If you liked this, make sure to let me know. Drop a note there. Hop over to the just know I always say that in different ways. Maybe I should reserve some extra domain names. and you know, drop us a line. Don’t be a stranger. Sign up for our email list. We uh, about every episode we send those out. So we’d love to be able to notify you. Sign up for that. We also are on YouTube, so if you want to watch my eyes get moist as I talk about an episode like this, you can see that on YouTube. I’m embarrassed, but it’s worth it for some reason.

And lastly, uh, seriously I salute you. I salute you and your growth and the growth that you help foster every single one here. So most episodes aren’t this emotional, but this one was, uh, next week we are actually taking two full weeks off. Why? Because three podcast episodes a week is a lot of work and we have some incredible things planned. We have about 12 interviews that are going to be dropping over the next 12 weeks after we come back. So the, we’re, we’re taking the next two weeks off. The next episode is, uh, is going to drop on Tuesday, January 14th, and you can expect to hear from us Tuesday, Wednesday with What To Say Wednesday and Fridays for the, the next chunk of time after that, the next season, I’m taking some time to spend with my family and I’m super grateful that I have the ability to do that both in my life and with my work. So that’s what’s next for us. You won’t see us next week, but that’s okay, we’re not going anywhere. If you want to listen to more of us, we have all the episodes we’ve recorded so far,

Ten episodes before this one, so feel free to take a listen and I will see you soon. Have a very happy new year. Love you guys.

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