Jeff is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Undivided Life. A culture expert and nationally recognized motivational speaker with a passion for human formation and innovation, Jeff’s journey into serial entrepreneurship began at Texas A&M University, where during college, Jeff developed and launched the nation’s largest college safe-ride program to reduce drunk driving, CARPOOL.
Before Undivided Life, Jeff co-founded 5, an energy advisory firm, where he designed and implemented a culture architecture that propelled the firm to numerous accolades for growth, culture, innovation, and leadership. Jeff began his energy career at First Choice Power, where he served in several roles, including Vice President of Sales.
Jeff lives in Irving, Texas, with his wife and their six kids.
Personal Awards: National Daily Point of Light Award, Texas Governor’s Volunteer Service Award, Texas A&M University 12 Under 12 Young Alumni Spotlight
Company Awards: Best Companies to Work for in Texas, Texas Monthly (6x), Entrepreneur 360, Most Entrepreneurial Companies in America, Entrepreneur (3x), Best Workplaces in America, Inc Magazine (5x), Inc 5000 Fastest Growing Company List, Inc. Magazine (5x), America’s Fastest Growing Companies, Financial Times, Aggie 100 Fastest Growing Aggie-Owned Companies (4x), Best Small Workplaces in America, Fortune (5x), and more.
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To your richest possible life!
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Second mountain in career [9:00]
The astounding story of Jeff stopped being afraid [12:53]
Jeff's entrepreneurial journey [22:48]
Building an award winning culture [35:44]
Undivided life explained [40:35]
How to build an Undivided Life [1:03:27]
Follow Jeff! https://www.linkedin.com/in/schiefelbein/
[00:00:00] Jeff Scheifelbein: Can you imagine when Jeff and Nathan are sitting around 70 years old having coffee, looking back at our life, like what part of showing up every day as our full selves, are we gonna regret, you know, even if it stopped us from getting the next deal or it got in the way of the next promotion, like, I don't think the 70 year old man or woman sits around regretting those moments.
I think they regret all the times. Like I was saying before, when, when I was dealing with Amber, I regretted the times that I slept in my office. Hmm. Or forgot to go and get fresh air because I was so busy being important. Or people who go in the bathroom to cry because if you cried at work, you would be considered a weak employee.
[00:00:44] Nathan Hurd: We all hold different roles in our lives, child, parent, employee, leader, executive, friend, spouse. Oftentimes we feel like we have to compartmentalize ourselves and show up differently depending on the role we're playing, like we can't bring our full selves to [00:01:00] each situation. In this conversation, Jeff shuffle challenges that notion suggesting we live an undivided life.
He's the co-founder and managing partner of a company called Undivided Life. Jeff is a culture expert and nationally recognized motivational speaker who I recently had the privilege of sharing the stage with, and he blew me away. Who has a passion for human formation and innovation. Before Undivided Life, Jeff co-founded five an energy advisory firm where he designed and implemented a culture architecture.
That propelled the firm to numerous accolades for growth, culture, innovation, and leadership, including most entrepreneurial companies in America by entrepreneur, three times best workplaces in America by Inc. Magazine, five Times Inc. 5,000 fastest growing companies list by Inc. Magazine five times, and many, many others, which you can see on their website.
Jeff's entrepreneurial journey [00:02:00] ultimately becoming a serial entrepreneur, began in college at Texas a and m University. He developed and launched the nation's largest college safe ride program to reduce drunk driving. It's called carpool. To date, over 300,000 rides have been given around the country through this nonprofit organization.
He's also the president of the Board of Trustees for the Highland School, the chairman of the board for the Catholic Music Initiative, and a trustee for the Catholic Foundation. He also co-hosts a live radio show and soon to be released weekly podcast, which you can find on their website. undivided.life is also a devoted husband and father to his wife and their six kids, including one very young and recently born child.
In this conversation, we talk about living authentically, bringing your authenticity into all the various areas of your life, and in particular, showing up at work [00:03:00] and helping, whether you're an employee or a leader or a founder. To bring harmony and vibrancy and authenticity to your team to create, uh, strength, results, and excellence.
I hope you enjoyed this conversation as much as I did.
Thanks for coming on the podcast, and I'd love to know, you know, what is, maybe we could start this way. What is something that has happened in the last three to six months that has just been like the most amazing experience that you've had recently?
[00:03:46] Jeff Scheifelbein: I love this question. I don't love that you said, what is one thing or something like, I'm like, oh gosh, Nathan, I have so many things I wanna share.
And I think that's part of like this abundant life that I'm leading. Um, so I'm gonna cheat and I'm gonna give you two and a half . Yeah, [00:04:00] please. Uh, one that I would be remiss if I didn't say, because it is paramount just two and a half months ago when we've recorded this. So back in August, my wife and I welcomed, uh, a new baby.
We had a little girl named Avalon Maria, born in August, and she is number six for us. So we have, uh, six under the age of nine right now. And we are loving the abundance of life with our new little, little beautiful daughter. And she's actually been the easiest birth and the easiest recovery. So things are really great there for, for our life.
But I think along that same lines of like new birth, something else very unexpected happened to me. Mm-hmm. , I was, uh, working through the exit of the company that I started 11 years ago. Mm-hmm. and had run into a friend of mine who I have tremendous respect for. So much so that when I first met him seven years ago, I spent the first month recruiting him, to which I finally realized he's never leaving his firm.
He loves where he works, and so I [00:05:00] just completely put an X over. I I'm never gonna get to work with Nick Bezner. It's kind of like what I wrote down. Mm-hmm. And when I let him know that I was in the process of working on my exit, his eyes perked up and he said, we need to talk. And the first time we sat down, we almost had this, I'm just gonna say a Holy Spirit moment of realizing that he had put in his work with a really great firm.
He loved being there, but the chance for us to line up in our careers and work together had presented itself. And so to know that this person who was always top of my list, but I thought was never possible, , we sat down together, mapped out, you know, what was next in our careers and we stopped business dating pretty quickly and uh, and put a ring on it so that we could start this, this new marriage, right.
This new partnership into building a great business. And I even remember my wife saying, this all makes perfect sense. I've been waiting for you to see your own discernment. Like she could sense that I was being called out to start something new long before I could even [00:06:00] verbalize it. Mm-hmm. So in her support of that, when she knew that I was partnering up with Nick, all she wanted me to do was speed up a little bit because she knew that I was headed to where I was being called, if that makes sense.
Mm-hmm. So lots of birth, lots of new, new life in the, uh, the shuffle. House and, um, in the shuffle buying career right now, what do
[00:06:20] Nathan Hurd: you think was, like, was there anything about the, was there any shift in you and could you describe any shift in you that you think led to this conversation with this, with Nick who has been on your radar for so long?
Like, was there any shift in you that you think maybe lent itself to that conversation ultimately taking place? And, and what happening hap what happened? Happening?
[00:06:44] Jeff Scheifelbein: Yeah. Maybe it's a little bit of wisdom of experience because I think sometimes when we're kind of early career, I'm gonna call myself at the halfway stage right now.
I'm 44 years old, so let's say there's half behind and half ahead in the rear view mirror. It's pretty easy to see times where you were trying to [00:07:00] control what was gonna happen next. Yeah, I, I have this plan, here's the timetable, here's what happens. And when you do that, you end up letting pride also latch you on to decisions you're making.
Mm-hmm. that. , you're almost afraid to question yourself. Cuz what if I was wrong? What if I, what if I poured into or announced I was gonna do something and it wasn't actually where I was being called or what was best for me? Mm-hmm. . But you don't wanna look stupid. You don't you, you don't wanna look stupid to yourself cuz nobody else is actually watching, by the way.
Right. Uh, so it's literally just this pridefulness and I had started down a path during my, my exit. I knew I was gonna be exiting the firm. I had started down this path and when I ran into Nick, it's like I was more open to and, um, ready to receive the gift of Nick's interest in working with me instead of, since I'd already told a few people that I knew what path I was on.
Yeah. You know, inserting a partner, inserting [00:08:00] somebody with Nick's background in private equity didn't really line up with what I had been saying all along. So I think this, um, this abandoned to self or this abandoned to, um, Being open to a world of possibilities and not being so darn controlling of everything.
Yeah. Allowed that to materialize and quite honestly, be a better outcome with the two of us talking through what was possible than any of the versions of it that I had been doing, you know, with just me and my whiteboard. Mm-hmm.
[00:08:31] Nathan Hurd: I love that, man. That's really, um, that really feels clear when you say it like that.
It, it, it's easy to feel what you're describing. And I think about this a lot. I think about this notion of like a second mountain in life, right? Like, you know, I think peop uh, so many of us get to, I don't know, we, we get through the first hurdle or the second hurdle of third hurdle or whatever we think we are after, and then things shift and maybe it's time for something new.
Maybe it's time for something different, and I'm, [00:09:00] I'm really yeah.
[00:09:00] Jeff Scheifelbein: There that, that first mountain too often is about position. Mm-hmm. and profit and . Power. Like it's a, there's a lot of these things that are, that are about the self in that. Totally. And there, there's nothing inherently wrong with, you know, that's one of the reasons why you're in this pursuit of growth and excellence.
But I think that the wisdom comes when you realize that the title doesn't make you feel any better or different. And, you know, having years or time periods of extreme income doesn't create fulfillment. It depends on what you do with that and who you are in that, and really who you are, even in scarcity, like who you are matters than what you are.
And, and matters more than, than I don't achieving something. It's like impacting something becomes the second half to me. Like, you're gonna round this corner. And now it's about impact. It's about, um, even in a for-profit corporate America, you're gonna build something like what is the reason for it? [00:10:00] What is the.
The purpose behind your effort. I hope that makes sense.
[00:10:04] Nathan Hurd: Oh man. It, it so does, I'm like, you're like giving me goosebumps, literally, because I think about, you know, it, it money in and of itself, it, it, this, the scarcity trap is when you are thinking about how much you are compiling or how much it's adding up to, or how much you have or how much you might lose, or how much you don't have.
And the, the focus of your work or of the, of your attention becomes this about you, about this thing that you're trying to kind of clutch or hold onto versus what you just described, which is like, what am I trying to put out there? What is the, what is the impact of, of whatever I decide to do now or in the future?
[00:10:43] Jeff Scheifelbein: I gotta say something there cuz you just made me, I like that fear of what? Might lose. It's not even like trying to gain now it's about I might lose something. Right. And that becomes very possessive and again, self inward focused. And, um, the business partners that I [00:11:00] started my last firm with are incredible men.
Like we, we have this great love for each other. Mm-hmm. . But as we kept trying to solve all these financial puzzles about retirements and slowdowns, we actually became so inward focused that I don't think we were the best leaders for our company for some time period. There. And, and me included, we're all of us together.
Were not doing what we were called to do as a business, having the impact on our internal and external stakeholders like we were supposed to. Oh
[00:11:26] Nathan Hurd: my God. Yeah. It's so true man. I, I've, I'm, as you as you know, cuz we, we recently met up at the conference, you know, I think a lot of businesses, but certainly our business, my, my day job business is, uh, going through an economic contraction as well.
And it's just so e it's amazing to me how. And I'm just as guilty of this as anyone. People that have no reason to feel like their literal security is in danger can, you know, sort of behave and think and act as though that's the case. And so it's, it's really a, it's, it's almost a prison to, to [00:12:00] be Oh, that,
[00:12:00] Jeff Scheifelbein: the, that stress will bring out the worst version of you too.
Mm-hmm. the version of you that you tried to coach your way out of and you tried to read every book and do every sort of empowerment exercise in your life, and then all of a sudden you hit that fear or that panic, or that, you know, voice in your head and the, the version of you that has less empathy, that's more controlling mm-hmm.
that doesn't really give autonomy to people anyway. And I don't know your worst things, but I'm just saying like, the worst versions of us creep out pretty clearly cuz we never actually get rid of them. We've just figured out how to control them in the good times. .
[00:12:33] Nathan Hurd: Mm-hmm. . So, let me ask you, I, I just can't not ask you this since it's come up.
What do you do in your own life, especially through, you know, this, this new exciting transition and so forth to cultivate that sense of abundance to, you know, fight against that natural tide where your, where our minds, our egos want to go? Yeah. W do you have any thoughts you can
[00:12:53] Jeff Scheifelbein: share? I do. I think I was on this path, um, for a long time and it's a, it's [00:13:00] a path of priorities, right?
It's a path of, you know, put God above my wife, clearly put my wife above my kids, cuz someday they're not gonna be around and me and my wife get to keep journeying together, right? Mm-hmm. and to try to say, okay, well what are the behaviors and exercises that would lead to that? So that's, that's like a mindset.
Um, I certainly, uh, have, have grown in all of those areas. I've grown to be, uh, hopefully a stronger and better husband, uh, a man of greater faith, a very involved and empathetic father. But I don't think I've ever told you this. Maybe I have three and a half years ago. When my son Ambrose was born, his lungs didn't open and my wife didn't get to meet him.
And 18 hours later they had tried everything and they put him on the final machine where they just shove air in his body and they paralyzed him, sedated him, put him on fentanyl and dopamine and just rocked my bo rocked his body. They just shoved Aaron. They ripped his lungs and had to, had to drain his side.
So his lifeless body was just shaking [00:14:00] when they came and got me and my wife at midnight from her hospital room to say goodbye to my son. So I have the experience of taking my wife in a wheelchair, praying for God's will to be done through our tears, our sadness, but not our anger. I wanna be clear about this, just our sadness, this situation and going to say goodbye to our infants, you know, newborn son.
And he didn't die that night. He made it through. And the next day we did a baptism. And later that day I asked people to pray for him and his lungs opened, and five days later he came outta sedation. We held him when he was eight days old, and we brought him home when he was 16 days old. I know plenty of people who don't have that version of the story.
They have the, my son or daughter died in the first month of their life story. Yeah. But I was just at a lunch yesterday with somebody whose daughter died when she was 19 days old, unexpectedly from a heart defect. And the thing that he and I have in common is this complete abandonment to fear. Like, what could I possibly fear if I don't fear death?
And, and if I faced death for my own son before. And I realize that some people go a different direction, and this can be tragic. Yeah. But in [00:15:00] my case and in my wife's case, the the saying goodbye to our son and the facing our son's death, it makes it where I really care about being professional and doing my absolute best work.
I think it's dignified to give people your absolute best version of yourself as a leader, as a worker, as a part of society. But none of the details about my title, my bank account. My failures, my bankruptcy of my new business, if that were to happen, like none of it actually is who I am or defines anything about my worth.
Just like winning the big deal didn't make me feel like more of a human or more of the mm-hmm. , the Jeff, I'm called to be than the times when I have had to close down a business because there was no funding and, and we couldn't keep going. Like in either of those scenarios, I'm still, Jeff, I still have the same priorities.
I still can show up to people the same way and be a [00:16:00] part of their lives. And so Ambrose, my crazy beautiful three and a half year old son, who by the way, fell down the stairs and two of his teeth got knocked backwards yesterday. So you wanna talk about like, always keeping you on the edge of your edge of your seat.
Ambrose is my reminder every day that we get wrapped up in things that don't matter. You want the perfectly clean house. You want the perfect schedule. You're in the middle of going to an important meeting and your wife calls and says, Ambrose just fell face first down the stairs. Okay. Like, in the world of my priorities, Ambrose comes before everything else.
My wife, before Ambrose and God before my wife. And so from a, a bigger perspective, and I hope this is answering the question like you ever hear that question, what would you do if you knew you couldn't lose or say differently if you had nothing to fear? Mm-hmm. . What is failure? You know, what is, what is the worst case scenario?
I read a book years ago. Very much just, uh, [00:17:00] I don't know, maybe self-help it, it said feel the fear and do it anyways. And it was going through the logic pattern. We all fear the same thing. , we fear. Worst case scenario. Mm-hmm. , what's the likelihood that it happens? Very, very little. It does sometimes.
Sometimes you have natural disaster, death of a kid, tragic accident, but it's rare. It's mm-hmm. extremely rare. And if it does happen, well then you still have to take the next step forward. Yeah. You know, what do you do when you close your business, when you lose a family member, when you, um, you have a breakup, you ha you lose the biggest account.
Like, well, you take the next step, so you're gonna have to do it anyways. So if, if for most of us, the fear is not going away, then do it anyways. And in my case, I'm not acting like I'm perfect, I'm sure I have fear. I've just put that fear so far down below the surface that I get to play daily in a world of let's give it a shot, let's show up.[00:18:00]
[00:18:02] Nathan Hurd: And, and you think your son is really, the, was was a ma major shift in that whole
[00:18:06] Jeff Scheifelbein: experience for you? Yeah. In my life story, like if you were to make the chapters or the, the snapshots of the journey. Yeah. It's almost like everything is before Ambrose or after Ambrose. It's, it's a huge, huge part of who I am.
And it was almost like fight or flight, you know, like you don't know how you're gonna act when you're in a fight or flight moment until you are Yeah. And I can sit here and tell you that my wife and I have this certain relationship and my prayer life looks like this, and I have this trust in God. That was my fight or flight moment of who am I gonna be when I'm saying goodbye to my son?
You know, who am I gonna blame? What am I gonna, what am I gonna yell about? Or am I gonna instead pull myself into being present? If you think you only have seconds or minutes left with your son, guess what? You couldn't care less about anything else in the world. I [00:19:00] want every second of this to be implanted on my brain, cuz it might be my only chance.
And then, Are you gonna waste energy being mad? Are you gonna waste energy saying, why me And I get it? People go through tragedy, they have to go through psychological, like rebounds from that. But my fight or flight moment was that we were living by the priorities that we thought we were. And that when tested, my wife and I truly showed up for our family and each other the way we, we said we would.
[00:19:30] Nathan Hurd: Yeah. Yeah. So if you can handle that,
[00:19:33] Jeff Scheifelbein: can handle anything. Well, we ended up having more kids faster after that , which most people predicted. I was predicted that we were done having kids by most of the people in our community. And the next one came 19 months later. So, uh, sign me up for chaos. You have chaos.
I have chaos. We all have chaos. Yeah. But Nathan, you nailed me. You talked about one of the first times we were hanging out, uh, on this recent visit, like working at your computer and seeing your son coming up on a [00:20:00] tricycle on the, the driveway. And you and I have had so many mountaintop moments. We've traveled the world or we've, we've had like the cool interaction with one of our business heroes or we're been able to experience some beautiful part of life.
And a, your sun coming up the driveway on a tricycle is a mountaintop moment if you'll stop and see it. Mm-hmm. , and you said it first. Mm-hmm. . That wasn't me. That's why I know you and I are facing in the same direction. It's not just about kids, right? Mm-hmm. , it's, that's an easy one because we can see 'em and they're tangible, but our businesses are called to have impact that matters no matter what role you play in the business.
[00:20:41] Nathan Hurd: Uh, I love it, man. Yeah, I, um, I actually woke up this morning. I journaled a little bit this morning. Because last night my son is five and he fell asleep in my arms last night, which is not something that happens. That's right. Often five. Yeah. Yeah. It's rare. And man, did I milk that. I, I really, really enjoyed it and I [00:21:00] relived it this morning.
I, I reflected on it and I really took it in as a mountaintop moment. But you're so right, because I have literally had mountaintop moments that are literally just having coffee with a friend at a coffee shop, looking in each other's eyes and sharing like a really deep, you know, feeling or, uh, curiosity or conversation.
It, it can be, it can be so many things. You
[00:21:23] Jeff Scheifelbein: know, when you were with your son last night, yeah. I have willing to believe that you didn't use that as a chance to catch up on emails or read the newspaper on your phone. I have reason to believe that you sat there and in order to remember that. You took in the senses of that moment, how heavy he feels, how beautiful it is to see your child asleep, what the room looked like.
Because that can now be part of something that prolongs your time. Right? It can prolong your memories that it's something you can recall. But how many times have I held even my new baby and when she falls asleep, my other phone, I'm like, or on my other hand, I'm scrolling through the phone. Mm-hmm. , I don't [00:22:00] remember those moments from any other.
And so that coffee shop moment wasn't you and your friend surfing social media across from each other in a coffee shop. It's you actually being engaged, feeling heard, and allowing somebody else to feel heard. And that gift, that gift's a game changer for both of you.
[00:22:20] Nathan Hurd: Totally, man. Okay. Well, you know, one of the things that Jeff, that I really admire about you is that.
You, I mean, you have been impact focused from my understanding for a very long time. And so I don't know if you could say or what you would like to say, but just for people that aren't familiar with your work, you know what, give us a little history. Like how did you come, come to where you are today and what's some of the, what are some of the interesting parts of your backstory?
[00:22:48] Jeff Scheifelbein: Yeah, entrepreneur my whole life, um, really didn't even know that when I was young, but I can remember, just for fun to tell you, I had a band in high school called Nothing Vinyl, and everyone wore our t-shirts, but [00:23:00] nobody had ever heard us play before, so it was like a marketer's band. Uh, I was the lead singer of nothing vinyl, but, so I fast forward, I get to college and I realized that I was starting to realize I had charisma, that I could, uh, get people to go paint the fence with me if I wanted to, or I could use it for, for bad things.
I could convince people to drink more and party more, right? Yeah. Yeah. And. It was, um, by the grace of God that I ended up in a really weird situation, really tough situation. My sophomore year when it started, I got arrested, I got a arrest for driving while intoxicated and I was guilty of it. And I share that because I pled guilty immediately.
I wanted to suffer the consequences of my actions. And during a Mother's Against Drunk Driving Victim Impact Panel, the next year I had this vision of there's gotta be a better way for people to get home safely. And I have the charisma and I've started to build the connections and I have the energy to go do something about it.
And so when I got picked up, I didn't have a license at the time. My [00:24:00] friend said, how was it? And I said, I'm gonna start the best designated driver program in the country. We're gonna need a lot of help. And brother, I went and studied entrepreneurship student organizations, 5 0 1 . Uh, I studied all these programs that had failed all over the US and college campuses to reduce drunk driving.
And I found like, what was it that made them fail? And then I said, If I took just a logic approach, I created my own playbook around how to attack this. We can win. And I ended up launching a program 23 and a half years ago at Texas a and m called Caring Aggies are protecting over our lives, the longest acronym ever.
Carpool, carpool, carpool. I launched this program based on six principles that I knew would be a game changer. It had to be free, non-judgmental, comfortable, convenient, rewarding, and student run. And the rewarding part was that every single stakeholder had to be rewarded, which means being a member of carpool wasn't punitive.
It wasn't community service. It was something you wanted to do. That we created this culture [00:25:00] where you got to give up your nights and weekends to take other people home because you were part of something bigger than yourself. That was lifesaving. Um, and that was life giving to you? Yeah. And brother, it was so successful.
Within the first couple months, it was noted as the most successful program in the country. Um, I then franchised it to the University of Georgia, where it's called Watchdogs, then Missouri, where it's called Stripes in Colorado State, where it's called RAM Rides. We just started franchising this model and then built an umbrella over the whole thing called Safe Ride Programs United.
The model itself is actually a homage to building an incredible culture. Where you give agency to the people below you, to the farthest levels down. So that autonomy, decision making, responsibility and accountability thrive. But what you have is the mission, vision, and values, the pillars that we're not gonna go outside of those swim lanes, we're going in this direction.
But you allow fully formed adults to show up and do a creative work and take the appropriate risks and show you things that you never even thought were possible. [00:26:00] So I think I started that passion project as a way to make up to my parents for being the only one of their four kids to go to jail. Like it was kind of like, uh, I gotta do something to stop looking like such a jerk in my own eyes.
And then I
[00:26:12] Nathan Hurd: started getting Is Jeff, is that, is that really what you think it was? I'm, that's what I've been thinking actually as you've been talking, like, uh, yeah,
[00:26:18] Jeff Scheifelbein: certainly. It's a huge part of it, right? We all want the acceptance of our parents and I had just lost all of.
[00:26:23] Nathan Hurd: Because it's really interesting to have a, someone in, like a college student, you know, what are most college students focused on?
Like beer, money, and like, you know, social life
[00:26:31] Jeff Scheifelbein: and some school. And then when a, when a college student gets arrested, what do they do? Blame the police officer. Blame some scenario, blame some traffic. Like, totally dude, dude, you were drinking and you got behind a car, like the wheel of a car, you're guilty.
Um, I think part of it was that, I think part of it was me showing off, if I'm being honest. Mm-hmm. The fact that I could pull off something that everybody told me I couldn't, my mom said, great idea. You shouldn't go forward. , uh, The general [00:27:00] counsel of the Texas a and m system. It's a worldwide system.
There's nine lawyers sitting across from me. The meeting was basically called, let's Stop, Jeff, from going forward. And I beat them in a game of business chess because I had thought more pro prepared more and written a much more in-depth business plan than they could have ever seen coming. And even the director of the university police department, um, I always joke, he was, uh, X F B, I had an eye patch and scared the hell out of me.
He sent a note to everybody on that campus and said, don't support Jeff in this whole effort. Two years later, he was telling everybody, look what we started under my watch. So, um, I was supposed to fail and I think that drove me. Everybody told me, but maybe a handful of close friends and my, my college mentor, a man named Dr.
Ben Welch, they believed it was possible and they would pressure me. I can remember a friend of mine come up to me and she said, what's the latest? About two months in, I said, this is never gonna work. And she pushed me, , she goes, That's not what I want to hear. , you told me you were gonna do this, [00:28:00] you get back out there and you do it.
What do you need? And I said, uh, support. And she goes, you got it. What can we do? And I'm not joking. A staff of volunteers. Everybody in this whole picture is volunteers. What a tangent. I'm on a staff of volunteers, started to staff my own house where they would answer my phone for me while I was gone.
We'd put in a second phone line mm-hmm. . And they would come up with the schedule of who was gonna deliver my meals and who was gonna drive me from speech to speech as I was doing promo work and then raising money so that we could get this off the ground. And it took a village of people knowing that my story, my arrest, my ability to speak on, on the mic would drive the type of support that would cause this to catch hold.
That it would be the cool thing to do, the cool thing to support, and that people would have faith that we did our research. Uh, man, I gotta tell you, it launched on a Thursday. I worked the first three nights exhausted. I hadn't been to class yet. It was three weeks into my junior year. And then I get hospitalized.
My body got so run down [00:29:00] mm-hmm. that my throat was swelling shut. I couldn't even consume water. I was hospitalized for about a week. And so then came one of the greatest business lessons ever. I was the only person who knew everything about the organization and I couldn't even speak on the phone from my hospital room.
And so I learned very quickly that you are not doing the right thing. If you're the only person who knows how to do your job, you're in fact now a liability and a problem, and you've got to change that. So by the grace of God, we survived the second weekend and there was some people who stepped up and we took our, our operations manuals and built out the rest of every piece of what I knew.
And then we started transitioning to the new leadership only a few months into the organization so we could have like a seven month carryover, uh, as we did the succession. That's
[00:29:47] Nathan Hurd: amazing, man. Uh, you know what, what, what the other, the part of it that really does speak to what we're gonna, what we're gonna get to eventually is that you're right.
I mean, you said culture earlier, but creating a culture around something [00:30:00] that clearly no one's involved in for the money, right? Like it's a nonprofit. And to do that at that age, I mean, you've got purpose is what you've got. Yep. Like that, that is it. And so to be able to build something like that purely based on just a really deep and meaningful purpose in your own raw talents is, uh, it's awesome.
So is it still, is it still active now?
[00:30:21] Jeff Scheifelbein: Still running today? Largest in the nation. Over 300,000 free rides home. Not to other bars, clubs, or parties. Just in college Station alone, not including all the other, uh, sister programs. So pretty cool and, and it's something to say about purpose here. I was told I'd have to pay all the people that were our employees.
They pay us student fees to be in a student organization. So they pay to give up their nights and weekends after they go through competitive interview applications to get in. I spoke at a conference one day and there was maybe 40 different colleges there and they would all raise their hand, you can't do this in my college.
I'd say why students in our college don't like to volunteer and don't like to give [00:31:00] up their time for anything. And I would say, um, I'm sorry. You're the problem. Not , not the students. Like you can't paint that brush. I'm sure some that's true, but you're the problem here. You're not creating a structure and the type of communication and agency that would cause somebody to be excited about working with you and for you.
But so the arc of my career goes back to like purpose from day one. Mm-hmm. . But I didn't always have purpose because fast forward to, I'm in an energy company at the beginning of deregulation in Texas. I got to be an entrepreneur there because. Deregulation was brand new. They needed to figure out how to work with energy brokers.
And so I built their energy broker desk, like, how do I interact with all these third parties that helped to bring clients to our company? And I lost my soul. Somewhere along the way there I was getting promoted all the time. I was getting big checks all the time. I had a boss who told me he wanted basically best man wins between all the sales directors and I wanna make you money hungry.
It was a message that was [00:32:00] sent to me. Sure. And to be a good soldier. I tried it on and tried to see what it was like, and I got to travel around and have all these expensive boondoggles and whatever was miserable, I was overweight. I can remember sleeping in my office multiple times. I can remember being so stressed that I would cry in my office at 10 30 at night.
Mm-hmm. . And yet you would've said from the outside that I was on this amazing trajectory, but I had lost purpose. And so I'm not saying that it was all. All as beautiful as saving people's lives as a 20 something. Uh, but man, I could tell pretty quickly that I kind of lost my connection back to the dorky little kid who just likes to help out and do good things.
[00:32:41] Nathan Hurd: How do you, how did that, how did that happen, do you think? Do you have any sense of like, what were the, were some of the factors that, that contributed to you? And, you know, you, you losing
[00:32:51] Jeff Scheifelbein: yourself for a period. Yeah. One was watching family members go through ba. And just making this commitment that I would never be in that situation.[00:33:00]
And I think I made that pendulum swing way too far. Yeah. To where it was, um, work and money above all else. Mm-hmm. , uh, I would've not been a good person to meet my, my future spouse at that point with my priorities. Um, I'm not proud of all the things I did in my personal life when I was in between those couple times, a couple hours a week when I wasn't working.
Yeah. Um, and I don't think I was a good friend or family member during that. Um, so I think some of it was self-preservation. Um, I also think some of it was starting to believe these false narratives about what matters and what makes you important and the status, you know, the, you know, social media was just coming up, the status of.
you're somehow important because of what you do at work. Mm-hmm. , you and I have both met plenty of CEOs that are amazing people and others that we wouldn't spend an hour with in our personal time. Right. There's nothing about that title that that matters, but I digress. I think, I think that I was just, I dunno, [00:34:00] I've tried out everything.
I've tried being famous before. I've, I used to perform off Broadway in an off Broadway show. I used to be in commercials on M T V. I've tried being, um, a super athlete. I've tried being, um, wealthy or having big titles or taken 50 people to the World Series. I mean, I've done a little bit of all these things.
Uh, it doesn't, there's no fulfillment in it. It's . It's the wisdom of experience and I'm glad that I experienced it quickly because it also led me back. Kind of vocational concept that a business leader has a vocation. A vocation to create human flourishing and formation. And for me, that comes from my Catholic faith.
But I just think it comes from a truth for people, which is, you know, as a business leader or as a business person, , take the conscious capitalism pillars, right? Have a higher purpose. Make sure that every stakeholder is in a win-win scenario. That, that, I like that my [00:35:00] employees in the most recent company in five, I don't mind if they say, I love this job.
That's great. What's more important is when their family members say, my mom or my, my wife or my dad, whoever is a better person because they work at your company. Mm-hmm. like that, you're, you're now seeing work as formative, not as a way to make money to pay bills. Totally.
[00:35:27] Nathan Hurd: Totally. So, so let's talk for a second about five if we could.
So what, what was your moment of realization? Like, were you working at that energy company and then eventually you hit a, you, you came to a realization that you were just unhappy. Like what, what happened there? And then how did that lead into to five?
[00:35:44] Jeff Scheifelbein: I always thought I was gonna be the c e o of first choice, power, the energy company.
We were a subsidiary of a publicly held enterprise p and m resources. And, um, I loved this cultural turnaround. We took an old utility into deregulation and [00:36:00] then infused this culture where most people said I'd get to go to work, not I have to, you know, my book clubs in the sales team would be joined by operations and marketing.
And all of a sudden that meant that we weren't just doing book club. Everybody was involved in a conversation about our business. Awesome stuff. Mm-hmm. . But, um, we sold. Our parent company put it up for sale in 2011, expecting us to get somewhere close to 200 million. They would've been really happy. Just below 200 million.
We sold it for 300 million to a competitor. Uh, and I was on the team that helped to sell it and, uh, I was part of the team that they kind of recognized us why the premium happened, right? It was commercial sales. I was the VP of commercial sales culture, which I obviously played a big part in, in technology and I built a really cool technology with some of my friends there.
But, um, there was no way I was gonna go work for the big dinosaur that bought us, right? Uh, it was like my worst case scenario to get go to the big guy and they made us some pretty cool offers to stick around. And so we took a day off of work. We literally, uh, sold that business on a Monday. The paperwork was [00:37:00] done Tuesday, we took the day off, and on Wednesday we started this new company, five.
Mm-hmm. . I didn't expect it to happen, but once the writing was on the wall that the big company was coming into Buy Us, I got excited about the idea of being able to start a business where I wasn't the smartest guy in the room because I partnered up with the other executives from that company, the president, uh, the head of risk, the head of operations.
And so I got a chance to play my role, which was build out an incredible team and a structure around how we would go to market, what it looks like for, for selling and serving to be a team sport, not an individual sport. And then we brought in a technology component too. So it was almost just that life dealt me that hand.
And as soon as I realized that's what was next, I got pretty excited about it. ,
[00:37:42] Nathan Hurd: can you, uh, please share what, where the name five came from? Cause I think actually I've, I've heard you tell that story once before, but it, it really does, uh, explain in so many ways. The overarching, you know,
[00:37:55] Jeff Scheifelbein: culture and company starts by telling people that you can't buy the u r l [00:38:00] five.com.
It has to have more than one digit in it. And that we're not even fiv, v e we're five. The number, the number five. Yeah. Um, so I actually have this book. This is not a setup, it's always on my desk. Tribal leadership. I have it sitting right here because, uh, I give it out like . My, my love language is giving this book to people.
And it's also, um, kind of my playbook for business. A lot of times it talks about communication and relationships as the pillars of a business In tribal leadership, the first two levels are really bad, like kind of a life sucks mentality, but level three that we all experience in most of our lives is that I'm great and you are not.
Level three is very protectionist. We're, we're in those world where, or a world where we might have a reply all email going 10 or 15 emails deep cuz we're proving that I'm not wrong. You are. You said this, look where you got this wrong. And we, we are always jockeying. So we do this in education, sports and in uh, and certainly in business and good businesses, big businesses are built with a level three.
Mentality. Level four though, is kind of where you [00:39:00] really want to get to. That's, we are great and they're not. So it becomes partnership, not protectionist. Level four is more like Southwest Airlines, where a gate agent and the c e O and the baggage handler all act like they're part of the same group, but they know they have a worthy adversary.
They're, they're trying to beat the others and they act like they're small. Even they, you know, Southwest Airlines is gigantic, but they act like they're this tiny company that's just trying to do good work and they end up doing some pretty progressive stuff with fees and rewards. And even the way that they treat you is fundamentally different.
So level four, uh, is a great place to be so that you can be prepared to have level five moments. Level five is transcendent now. It's not about the competition, it's about competing with what's possible. And if you can have that breakthrough, which I've experienced probably a dozen times in my career, it's euphoric.
It's uh, it's enlightening. You can't even believe that you're. You're achieving the things you, you didn't know you could together as a team, but you now set a new high water mark so you can't stay there. You slip back down into high level four and [00:40:00] mid-level four. So we named the, the company five as a tribute to a reminder that we want to compete with what's possible.
Because if we were just competing with energy brokers, this wouldn't even be interesting. This is about changing an entire industry and impacting the way business works and to prove that we're competing with what's possible. One of my partners trademarked the digit five mm-hmm. . So every time I walk by and I see that trademark, I'm reminded that that's actually what I'm competing with is this, these false beliefs that something isn't possible because it is
[00:40:35] Nathan Hurd: Jeff, how did this lead you to, uh, what you, this concept ultimately of an undivided life, this is something I've heard you talk about more and more, especially recently, and what does this concept
[00:40:47] Jeff Scheifelbein: mean? I think through this whole career and energy as I was at First Choice Power, and then at five, for 11 years, I started to realize that I was spending a whole lot of my time [00:41:00] coaching people, coaching leaders, coaching coaches, building out this architecture of what great thriving cultures look like and trying to come up with what are the, what are the universals, what are the pieces of this puzzle that you could apply in for-profits and nonprofits in religious or corporate institutions?
And that would always lead to better human formation or the thriving of an organization and the people inside of it. And it really always came down to when we. Aren't intentional if we, if we don't have great intention about our communication relationships, then there's this sloppiness and this kind of return to the average.
So as I was thinking through how you can be more intentional, I started replaying all of the false narratives that people have put into my head. P things that I've been or watched other people be instructed in that fundamentally just aren't true. And that if you take the counter approach, you end up having [00:42:00] breakthrough results or breakthrough relationships.
I was told, um, explicitly that I was not supposed to be friends with people that I managed because it was impossible to have difficult conversations with people who you consider to be friends. Yeah. I think that's crazy, right? We spend so much time with these people. They're human beings. They want to be known and feel heard, and they want you to match their vulnerability.
And so when we cut off the part of us that makes us human mm-hmm. kind of stripping away the soul and mm-hmm. and to take that further, it's almost like don't bring your problems to work. You know, I'm not saying you gotta walk around shouting out everything that's going on, but if you have to hide your problems Yeah.
You've, it eventually like rots at you. It eats away at your, your core. You know, you, I told you earlier, my, my priorities are God, wife, kids, everything else. If I have to put all three of those on the shelf when I walk in the. Then you're getting some hollowed out version of me. And I'm not gonna show up the same way.
But that's not to say that anybody [00:43:00] needs to have any of the same priorities or any of the same beliefs as me. I love going deep with somebody who comes from a different view of politics, a different view of religion, a different view of family, a different view of priorities. Because then I can start to understand what makes this person a unique, what makes them tick, what makes them, um, frustrated?
What, what nuances in their life, uh, can cause them to not be in flow or to not be in their most, um, powerful moments. And when you really get to know somebody like that, you know, when they're facing family tragedy, you know, when they're facing financial stress, you know, when they're dealing with the care for an elderly relative or when they found their flow, when they found their niche, when they're ready for more work, and you kind of become a team that's sprinting together and taking care of each other along the way.
Okay, so all this arc to say, I found myself doing that inside of five. And then coaching people outside of five in our industry, and then coaching people that I was connected to through various [00:44:00] nonprofits, then helping people to launch nonprofits. And I realized one day, I think energy's really cool, and I think that Five as a company does better at giving electricity and energy advice than anybody I know.
I'm very proud of the impact that five has on commercial clients. But where my heart was pulling me was to go and make it where if somebody's gonna talk about work-life balance, that I help them put structures in place, that they're actually promoting that for their team. That if somebody says we care about you, that they actually start to understand how could you communicate to somebody that proves you care about them.
Um, that there would. Structures and norms and team exercises or shared experiences within their team that help to bring people together in such a human way that it's making energy, human making, financial management, human making, manufacturing, human like. Let's, let's stop stripping the humanity out outta this.
And you said it's earlier about scarcity. [00:45:00] I think that my opposite of scarcity, that that idea of abundance, abundance comes when I get to live my own playbook and when I get to help other people to live their own playbook, still within the confines of, we have a job to do, but not, um, not this world. We strip out the integrity and make somebody put their, their full personality on the side.
[00:45:20] Nathan Hurd: Yeah. Yeah. I, I mean, you're touching on something that I think is probably so many people wrestle with. I, I have certainly wrestled with this before, and whether it's the boundaries at work, but really it's like I have to compartmentalize different parts of my life. Yeah. And the energy it takes to keep everything separate is so, it can feel so exhausting and it can feel so difficult.
And it's like, you know, I mean, I'm making choices between my family and my work and my work and my own myself, and, um, and different layers of my responsibilities at work, whether it's a role, my role as an [00:46:00] employee or my role as a manager, my role as a leader, my, uh, my role as a coach, or whatever it might be.
And, uh, you know, what, what is it that you think. I, I guess maybe if someone is listening to this and they're wondering like, what's possible for me, compared to where I am, like, I mean, what are signs of, you know, a, a divided life and, and what do you think is possible for, for, uh, anyone who might be in that situation?
[00:46:32] Jeff Scheifelbein: Just yesterday I had, uh, a, an employee that's fairly new to five, talking to me about what it's like to be a working mother who has been rising through the ranks in all of her previous organizations and how she felt like she had to hide anything she was doing with her kids during the workday, like that she might go do pickup at their school, or she might be involved in something because it was shunned or it was frowned upon.
[00:47:00] And to me that that not only leads to burnout, it's also just not who we're called to be. Like if I created a structure that caused somebody to feel that way, shame on me. Um, . And at the same time, you know, she steps into this organization where we're encouraging her to fully live into her priorities, knowing that if she feels supported in that, I get a more loyal employee who's more creative, who in those times where you do have to kind of have crunch time and you might need to pull off some crazy hours, um, or be a little bit more tenacious about a project that you're in.
It's not somebody who's collecting a paycheck. They're, they're bought in, they're bought into the team. This actually happens a lot with bereavement, by the way. I see this all the time, where somebody's facing a tragedy in their life and they feel like they either have to hide it or they have to get back to work right away because it's, it's expected that, you know, this is your second miscarriage, you shouldn't have any time off from work for this.
Like yeah, if I'm the cause of [00:48:00] that, as a leader, yeah, I don't feel good about myself. Um, so what's possible for people, if I'm being really honest with myself, I think there's people that will. Step into a place where there may be being, um, more present in their job and it could jeopardize their, their climb up the corporate ladder.
It could even jeopardize their job, right? You could, you could literally be in a situation where somebody's like, well, you know, you, you put that symbol from your religion on your desk and we're gonna have to let you go for that. And my answer to that is, congratulations. Because can you imagine when Jeff and Nathan are sitting around 70 years old having coffee, looking back at our life, like what part of showing up every day as our full selves, are we gonna regret, you know, even if it stopped us from getting the next deal or it got in the way of the next promotion, like, I don't think the 70 year old man or woman sits around regretting those moments.
I think they regret all the times. Like I was saying before, [00:49:00] when, when I was dealing with Amber, I regretted the times that I slept in my office or forgot to go and get fresh air. because I was so busy being important, or people who go in the bathroom to cry. Because if you cried at work, you would be considered a weak employee.
And look, I'm not saying you, you still have to have tact. You still have to know the right time and the right place. I am saying that we sit here and broadcast, oh, your family comes first, Nathan, we really care about your family. But then let's say I email you and five other people on Saturday morning and you respond, and then one of your teammates responds.
And next thing you know, the person who's at their kid's soccer game starts to feel the social pressure of I need to respond because the boss just sent an email. Yeah, totally. And totally that slippery slope never ends. Mm-hmm. , you know, and then you say, oh, I sent you an email. Don't read it until Monday.
I own the company. What? What email are you not gonna read until Monday? Right. So I could work on Saturday morning. That's not a problem. But I'm [00:50:00] gonna come up with a way for you to not get it until next week. If I have an email to send you or a question for you. There's about a thousand different ways I can pull that off.
Um, and maybe that's like such an elementary example, but that's where it starts to shine through our words matter. Our mindset matters are structures matter. You know, even in our company at five, we didn't do annual performance reviews cuz I wasn't gonna give somebody a ranking after they just spent 365 days doing incredibly complex, nuanced things to propel our company and their own self-growth.
We do a coaching session, we, we have a 360 coaching session that's literally just about helping them. What are the strengths, weaknesses, community conversations and secrets to breakthrough performance for that person. And you would get to hear that from four different people one at a time. And it builds up this entire coaching to where Nathan can't.
You know, refute, explain, or rationalize. You can only say thank you for that gift of somebody pouring into you. Um, it's those kind of mechanisms. So [00:51:00] what's possible for somebody that I think there isn't a job in the world that you couldn't do and become a better person while you're doing it, instead of doing it just as, uh, ends to a means, to an ends that you're, that's how you pay the bills.
I think that work should be formative and dignified.
[00:51:19] Nathan Hurd: I love that. And I, I, and I, uh, I wanna come back to that in one second. The dignified and I, and I've heard you say fully formed, humans are fully formed adults a few times, and those two words seem really meaningful or, or concept. No, no. Um, so when I think about this, I'm thinking about like the priorities of a business owner, right?
Like they're, if they, if they give the hierarchy like you've given, um, versus the priorities of an employee. But really when it comes down to it, It strikes me that like a beautiful gift that we all have, that we can all discover hopefully Yeah. Is continue to clarify like, what are the [00:52:00] actual priorities of my life?
And of course they, they can change like, sure. Family. And so what would you say about w what would you say about that? Like how can people, whether they're, whether, whether it's a business owner or just an individual, like how did you come to realize your own priorities or how can people start to realize like what's most important so that they can begin to align themselves with a, a more undivided
[00:52:26] Jeff Scheifelbein: life?
That's right. I shared this a little bit with you, but I think the wisdom of experience helped me tremendously. You know, having a taste of celebrity or having a taste of wealth, or having a taste. Being the most popular guy in the party, or, or a taste of solitude, right? Of, of kind of shutting myself off from people for a while.
Like helped me to then internalize like, how do I feel right now? Have, have I, do [00:53:00] I feel like I've grown in this process? Is there anything about what's happened that causes me to feel like I'm now elevated the same as where I was or less than where I was? And you talked about journaling. I think that's a great way to do this, a little bit of, uh, pouring it out.
Um, it's the same reason I think that therapists work out for everybody or coaches, executive coaches or even friends that are trying to become coaches. That sharing of how you feel, what's your expectations were, what was the outcome? Would you change your expectations? Would you do anything different to get a different outcome?
That, that to me is the very rational, kind of breaking apart and then building back up of who I am and how I want to operate. In my life. I was on that journey. It was like a practical journey. And at the same time, I was on a very faith-based journey of trying to figure out, um, instead of waiting till I was a 65 year old man, to be serious about faith.
Like, why not just try it now? And every time I tried that on, it felt better and better. Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . Uh, [00:54:00] just like when I tried on being a selfish, money driven jerk, it felt worse. Um, I could say the same thing about dating, you know, dating legitimately versus playing the field. Like one feels good and the other makes you feel like a jerk.
Mm-hmm. So , uh, in those things, this, this convergence happened for me one time where I ended up reading a, a document called The Vocation of the Business Leader. And it was everything that I ever knew to be true practically and faith-based. And really it says things that are so basic, like, , when you give people real responsibility, we're in our world, extreme ownership, uh, the word they used is subsidiary.
When you give people that responsibility, not only do you get better results, but you're helping that person to grow. Mm-hmm. , and, and I'll take their mistakes because I want a person who's more well formed, go back to that fully formed adult. I want them to constantly be elevating and none of us are [00:55:00] static.
We should always be seeking and trying to get better. If you're the business owner though, and you listen to this and you say, this is a bunch of fruit, fruit stuff, like I have numbers to produce, I have expectations from owners or from the street. My other big thing I'll tell you is if you build a highly engaged culture with human dignity and respect and responsibility at the core of it, responsibility includes accountability.
Like this isn't just a free for all. I'm willing to bet you in on the scoreboard, I think you have. Better results, more creativity, more innovation. I think you have less costs. It's less hr, less turnover, less legal problems. When you do have problems, they're easier to resolve. You have less infighting, you have less backstabbing, um, you have less clock watching and quiet quitting.
And I mean, fill it in. I'm not saying it all goes away, I'm just saying that a properly formed culture or uh, an [00:56:00] undivided life operating system that is intentional about every step of the process when it wins on the scoreboard. Even the leader who doesn't agree with a word outta my mouth. Once, whatever it is, I'm selling
[00:56:14] Nathan Hurd: Yeah, totally. It, you know, it's, it's, this is very timely too because the pandemic and everything that followed, it was really a global reset of priorities and relationship with work and like, you know, what does it mean and how am I gonna interact with the work? I mean, practically like, am I going to be on video more or in person more?
But also what role do, do I play in the company and what role does it play in my life? Like, this is really, really timely stuff that you're talking about here. Ha. Have you seen, like with some of the companies that you have worked with or you know, that you've coached or interacted with, have you seen, has there been a challenge in, um, in making this shift or in kind of trying to [00:57:00] figure out where to land on all of this and you know, like are there certain things that you see that companies.
Uh, have an opportunity to really reevaluate
[00:57:10] Jeff Scheifelbein: most Yeah. Great questions. A thought occurs to me right now that I haven't fleshed out all the way, so I'm just gonna share it with you Please. Yeah. If you had a great culture going into the pandemic, I'm sure you took a little bit of a hit. Yeah. But the core principles of why you're doing what you're doing and how you interact with one another just had to kind of transfer in the way that they happened.
And so you see people that are working from home or remotely that continue to thrive, they maybe miss out on a little bit of human connection, but they're not suffering in the same degree that bad cultures were. And so this scramble in this whole quiet, quitting and everything else, I think is actually just an exposure of cracks that were always there.
Like there are people that could sit right outside of my office here on their computer having quietly quit because they're doing about 10% of what they're [00:58:00] capable of. Yeah. You know, it's now that they're at home or now that they were at home, Now instead of sitting at their screen pretending to read an email for an hour, they're actually doing something else
So I don't think the quiet quitting is different. I just think that the way they fill in that time is something that they probably enjoy more. It's more errands, it's some side hustle, it's whatever else. But the concept was always there. Um, so now you see people scrambling and they're like, we need to have a great culture.
It's at the core. How do we communicate it when we're doing electronic communications? How do we communicate? Verbally, how do we make triadic relationships so everything isn't one-on-one or siloed between groups? How do we start to have shared experiences that bring us together to be more creative, to have gone through something together, to experience what's possible together, even if it's not directly tied to the business line or the industry that we're in.
Um, how do we show people that they care? By coaching [00:59:00] coaches, by teaching people how to engage in active listening, in, uh, empathetic coaching, um, in recognizing people's efforts and their output and in how they even react to failure and the lessons from failure. So now, now you start to say, our culture is everything from how do you interview to what's it like to get fired here?
I think some of this reset and some of this, uh, job switching is good because I think it's causing people to have to realize you don't just promote somebody because. , they did their job well. A good salesperson is not a good sales manager. And you know how that all works? Mm-hmm. . Um, I think people need to be trained and formed, uh, into being better leaders and that we need to, we need to give credit to people who are constantly in that self-development and not just showing up, doing their job every day.
[00:59:50] Nathan Hurd: Yeah. Yeah. And what is, what's, what have been the results that, I think we touched on this a little bit earlier, but not fully. What have been the results that you've seen [01:00:00] manifest in?
[01:00:01] Jeff Scheifelbein: Yeah. The bad side is, um, when people don't have visibility to each other, they start to tell stories, right? They start to tell themself a story about what must be happening.
That so-and-so's not working hard and I never see so-and-so, and they forget that when they saw that person every day, they never asked them what they were doing. They just assumed they were working because they saw 'em. So I think that there is that runaway narrative that needs to be controlled and get back to, to what's real.
Um, What I have seen is a, the availability to get talent from many different places. Now we have states where we don't even have customers, but we have employees because they've become part of our service and back office team and they are high caliber. What they do really well is they will start and end every day.
This is actually a really cool thing for other people to do. They have a meeting at the beginning of the day and the meeting at the end that are really short for our operations group, and it's called Wake Me Up in the Morning and the end is called Before You Go Go. So Wake [01:01:00] me up before You Go. Go is the book ends of the day.
And part of that is just the debrief check in, like making them feel human because some guys in an A house in Indianapolis and is trying to make sure that he's still part of this team. Yeah, if you have to see your team every day, but it's not like you're sitting in two hour meetings, it's 10 minutes.
You get to kinda have that freshness of saying bye to people before you walk off from your desk. Now you've marked the end of the day. Now you feel like when you're working from home, you get to move on. Um, I think that's a big deal. I think that people who, uh, got who, who are still really intentional about creating experiences for their team will bring their team together and will put effort into it.
Let's not just put everybody in a room and say, here's the business update. Let's put everybody in the room and take advantage of the fact that they're all together. Let's go do a service project together, bring in a dynamic speaker, do a workshop, go through an exercise of self-reflection and sharing the same way you and I would see at some of the best conferences we go to, that kind of stuff.[01:02:00]
The good ones are rising up and the bad ones are saying, we pay you to work, so make sure you're in your desk and prove to me you're on Zoom and share your camera. Like, that's just like a, a multiplication of toxicity. Mm-hmm. .
[01:02:17] Nathan Hurd: Yeah. And, and so I mean, you, the, uh, culture, you, you've, this has been an award-winning culture.
Right. Oh, for a number of years now. So, so what are the biggest resistance that, that, uh, are hurdles against bringing this to fruition inside of a business? Was it a challenge to maintain this culture through Covid and through these,
[01:02:41] Jeff Scheifelbein: the hybrid stuff? Certainly, certainly. And, you know, we all know the debates about vaccines and not vaccines and that none of those are simple debates.
They're full of extreme emotions. Uh, certainly during that world, people became less in-person and more just virtual. So as people were posting things on their [01:03:00] social media to their friends, but then all their coworkers would see it, you would have heated responses there as well. So, just know that this culture at five has been not just award-winning for a very good reason, it's award-winning and it still hurt us to go through.
That two years of covid.
[01:03:17] Nathan Hurd: Well, just ultimately, what's the, what are the biggest hurdles when you try to bring Oh, biggest hurdles when you try to bring an un, an undivided life into an, into a culture and a business?
[01:03:27] Jeff Scheifelbein: Yeah. I think that the, the longer you've operated under a certain belief system, the harder it is to shake it free.
And so there are plenty of, of hurdles that are just the old school way of doing business, that that business exists to make a profit. Your job is to do this for the company. There's no part of your development that's our problem. Um, you know, you, you just run into this like, kind of archaic in my mind, but call it 1980s businessman mm-hmm.
about what a business is and [01:04:00] why it exists. And when you start talking about higher purpose, it's almost like, yeah. So long as it doesn't get in the way of my purpose, which is profit. And when you start talking about development, I've run into this hurdle before, I'll bring in development that we'll talk about something that's not directly related to electricity, sales and service.
And I get the, why did we just have that person present to us? Um, like a resistance to the full body. You know, integral development of a person I think happens all the time. And the number one thing is people say, you know, this is hurting the bottom line. It's an expense or it's a distraction. And that's where I always go back to.
One of the reasons I've had the leverage to be able to work on this for most of my career is cuz we never lost on the scoreboard. No matter what version of this story, I can tell you, nonprofit, for profit, sales service, we always operated with a higher level of proficiency, professionalism, and partner.
[01:05:00] Because we were doing it this way.
[01:05:01] Nathan Hurd: Yeah. Yeah. I think that's right, man. And I, and I do think that deep down, everyone in every business, in every position really does want to operate at a level of, you know, at a human dignity level where you can offer the best experience you, you possibly can for your employees and really, you know, lead from the heart to, for lack of a better word, but I, but I don't know, at least for me in the past and for, uh, leaders I've observed, like they just feel like it's that or.
The way that it's always been done, it can't be done.
[01:05:36] Jeff Scheifelbein: No. Yeah. And then you, you, somebody says that they agree with you and then in the next sentence they brag about how they worked 85 hours last week. Right. , you're like, I think we, I don't think we're talking about the same thing. Right, right.
[01:05:48] Nathan Hurd: So there's some, some, some unlearning that has to take place.
That's right. That has to take place. Well, listen, man, um, before we close, I know that you are, have, have started to, and, and are gonna continue to do [01:06:00] work with individual leaders with businesses. So can you just talk a little bit about what is it that you want to bring into the world specifically and, you know, how have you been working with companies, um, or individuals and, you know, what does that look like?
What's the, what's the opportunity? What's the, what's the gift you wanna share?
[01:06:19] Jeff Scheifelbein: One of my favorite things to do is to take an existing culture or a budding culture and help them to put the structure in place so that they can go through this process of success. Right. Success is not just financial, but it's also human formation.
And so I have launched a company called Undivided Life, uh, starting off with just one business partner in hopes that we will grow over time and become a conglomeration really, of companies where we're both teaching about the undivided life, but also running companies with the same principles, of unknown, undivided life.
So you can imagine what phases two, three, and four will look like. Mm-hmm. . Um, so imagine that as a consultant, we're able to come in alongside a group of leaders. [01:07:00] We would do anything from the most practical workshops to one-on-one coaching, to then really helping them to come up with how do you push that down so that no one leader or no one group is responsible for this movement towards excellence, accountability, uh, ownership responsibility, the, the principles that are gonna allow this team to thrive.
So that consulting is gonna be done kind of on a, a one-off basis. And then we're gonna be launching in Q1, a series of online courses around culture building. , another one on communication. The third course that we're gonna be offering is going to be around purchasing your first business. Mm-hmm. , so kind of the, the concept of demystifying business buying.
Mm-hmm. . And so my partner who's leaving the private equity firm has been working on this course. And it's really because long before you get to the valuation stage and the financing stage, people who want to step into their own business ownership and have the liquidity to do it don't even know what to do next.
Like, where do you start? What questions should you ask? How [01:08:00] do you go through the internal process? So there'll be a series of online courses and communities that we build out, uh, pretty quickly in the new year. And, um, at the end of the day, I like to do the part where I start a fire, right. Come in, challenge people, whether that's a keynote or that's a workshop, so that they have to leave thinking differently, even if they don't know what to do with it.
It's just, it's kind of rubbing them wrong internally that something that was said or something that we shared. They realize they're either guilty of or they could do better, and then working with them to start to solidify what does that look like in relationships, in communication, and then in structures.
[01:08:38] Nathan Hurd: Mm-hmm. . Yeah. I love it, man. And I, you know, with the scoreboard in mind, right? You don't have to lose the scoreboard. In fact, this can be a huge competitive advantage towards the scoreboard. And, uh,
[01:08:49] Jeff Scheifelbein: and you now, I'll be really disappointed if the scoreboard doesn't look a lot better as a result of this , because it, that's the, the way that this catches fire is that we talk about human formation and, [01:09:00] and this growth, but we're all trying to find out how that business did it and how that person did it, and why does this person, everything that they touch, seems to turn to gold and have this giant impact on the industry that they're in.
There's some reason for it, and I think it comes down to the way in which that person communicates and relates to.
[01:09:18] Nathan Hurd: Yeah, by far, by far. Especially through times of, of uncertainty. Oh, and you know, for what it's worth, I, um, you've, I, you've, you've sparked a lot of thoughts in my head, but in our, in our business, we have seen a really nice period of growth.
And a lot of these, a lot of the things that we were doing, were changing our culture as part of that growth and emphasizing our purpose and really making decisions oriented towards our purpose first. And it is certainly the, they have, they, it led to the best financial years in our company for sure. But then, uh, , but then, you know, there's, there's a lot this, now this moment's very ripe for [01:10:00] reflection on this because there's a lot of, you know, cultures and companies that are going through change as always.
But, um, well, Jeff, where can people, uh, reach out to you? What's the, what's the best place to contact you and, and where can they find, find more about you and, and your, uh,
[01:10:15] Jeff Scheifelbein: your thinking? Sure. So two things I would say. One is you, you mentioned morning journaling. Mm-hmm. , I make a pretty intense post every day on LinkedIn before, uh, before 7:00 AM Central.
So follow me on LinkedIn at Jeff Shuffle by, and then undivided.life is the r l that, uh, that we have some stuff sitting in there now, but that's where we're gonna be launching everything. undivided.life, pretty easy to remember. And, uh, I'm at firstname.lastname@example.org, so I would love to connect with anyone after this.
[01:10:43] Nathan Hurd: Nice, nice. Well thank you so much. It's been a pleasure, brother, and um, thanks. I love what you're doing. Keep up the great work, right back at you. Thanks for checking out this video. Make sure you hit subscribe. I'm Nathan Herd, also known as the Rich Life Guy. You can follow me at the Rich [01:11:00] Life Guy. Also, check out Rich Life Lab, which is the podcast available everywhere.
And leave a comment and let me know if this video landed for you or what else you'd like to hear from me in the future. Thank you so much.