Today, I’m excited to share a special habit profile and interview with Mike Hrostoski. On June 4, 2011, Mike’s life changed dramatically with the loss of his mother and the discovery of a new tribe. Over the last two years, he has transformed from a frustrated Fortune 50 executive to someone that lives exactly as he would if he only had 30 days left. Even though Mike is a men’s coach and focused on being location independent, he shares several principles that can we can all apply to live better.

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Here are the key ideas and excerpts from the interview.

How do you define success?

Mike says that he doesn’t have any tattoos, but if he did, it would say “If it doesn’t involve love or fun, what’s the point?”

He also shared a simple exercises that we can use to measure this ourselves: Draw a line down the middle of a piece of paper, and write “Energizes” on the left and “Drains” on the right. Whatever we’re considering, we just have to decide which list it goes on or experiment until we know. Over time, we can eliminate as many draining activities as possible.

Was there a time when you had a different definition?

Like  many of us, Mike was focused on money and achievement in his early twenties. Commenting that he thought that it was a great way to spend a weekend, Mike signed up for the first WDS on a whim. In a hostel the night before, Mike learned that his mother passed away unexpectedly. As the conference gathered the next morning, he wasn’t sure if he could stay, but an opening keynote from Pam Slim helped him understand that he’d just gained a whole new tribe of support. It was at that crossroads that he chose another path.

At the end of 2011, he left his corporate job. Two months later, he sold all his stuff and spent $7,000 on a life coach training program. He and his brother dedicated the entire summer of 2012 to serving others.

What he knows now is that success is an inside job. What matters most is what’s going on inside himself, not external facades.

Are there any habits or systems that you return to despite being location independent?

After a first couple months that he described as a “dip” in his health and well-being, Mike acknowledged his new normal and gave himself some structure.

He eats 95% paleo, and enjoys his indulgences. He has a morning ritual that gets him “on fire” and aims to complete it every day when he awakes: smile, drink water, physical movement, brush teeth, journal, focus on his most important task, and eat breakfast.

Mike also shared that he’s very conscious of repetitive tasks and works to eliminate them. For example, he uses automation and paperless statement to pay all his bills in 5-10 minutes each month. The best resource he recommended for this was Work the System by Sam Carpenter.

Another key for Mike is “not holding onto ideas.” “If I have an idea, I act on it or get rid of any attachment to it.”

Ideas are like fruit. If you hold on to them in your head, they rot.

Are there any other habits you’re working on? What’s next?

Like many of us, Mike’s next focus is something he frequently tells his clients to do: get help.

Instead of trying to do everything on his own, Mike next step is to focus on his superpowers and build a team to handle the rest. As he reminds himself, “we’re doing the world a disservice if we’re doing things that take away from sharing our gifts. It’s back to the first question – what drains me?”


Mike Hrostoski is a life coach for high-performing men. His mission is to make the world a better place, one man at a time.