083. Not Chasing More When Abundance is Right Here with Wally Carmichael

The Do a Day Podcast from Bryan Falchuk

Wally Carmichael was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, and grew up in a trailer park.  His childhood and teen years were extremely formative, and we talk about that in the show. About a year after graduating HS, he joined the US Army as a Combat Medic, and spent 25 years on active duty. In that time, he traveled to 23 countries on five continents. During that time, he met and married his wife, with whom he shares three boys.

Wally has always been an entrepreneur at heart, having started many business ventures and learning from many people, in person or through their books, courses, videos and podcasts.

He’s lived a wonderful life with many ups and downs, always choosing to learn from the adversities and count his blessings. He’s at the point now in life where his biggest desire is to share his knowledge with other men and continue leveling up his life. Like we say in the Army “Constantly improve your foxhole“.

As he says, the 23 year old Wally certainly thought he had it all figured out because he knew everything. Of course he knows now he may never have it all figured out. But he’s enjoying the journey.

Now, go out and Live Your Life of Abundance and make sure you Pay It Forward.

Key Points from the Episode with Wally Carmichael:

  • Wally is an early-riser to be sure he’s there for his kids in the morning to start his day centered and focused on them.
  • Following that, he does physical activity, has breakfast, and then digs into his work with his podcast, coaching and researching ideas to help impact business owners try to grow their business in times when they feel they just aren’t where they thought they’d be.
  • “Aren’t where they thought they’d be” is a idea Wally knows about first hand.
  • Wally grew up without much, living in a trailer with parents scraping to make ends meet.
  • His dad who was kind and friendly, seemingly not wanting to hurt a fly.
  • That also meant he was more interested in being Wally’s and his brother’s friend than father. He also was interested in hooking up with girls Wally or his brother would bring back to the house even though he was married.
  • Wally’s mother left his father in the wake of the infidelity.
  • Wally found himself out of money in college, unable to continue his education when his uncle suggested joining the military.
  • Wally was deployed as a medic in Central America (Honduras and Panama) during the political and military unrest in the 80s.
  • He ultimately spent over 25 years in the military, rising through the ranks and focusing on strategy work in hospitals across the world.
  • That training really honed his strategy and business skills, also teaching him how much of it is mental vs. mechanics. He had the mechanics already, but learned the power of changing mindsets and plotting paths.
  • At the end of his military career, he was in Hawaii working in the military hospitals through retirement, and then coming back to the same hospitals after retirement, getting to hone and deploy his strategy skills further.
  • Wally made a point about his work. He chooses to do it.
  • His pension from the military means he can get by without working, so his work is 100% by choice, which allows him to connect with it more personally.
  • Specially, he sees how high the suicide rate is amongst small business owners, and especially when they’re also veterans.
  • That problem gives him purpose in his consulting and coaching work as it’s not just about making more money, but saving lives while also making those lives better once they’re saved.
  • The compassion from his medic skills translates through directly in this respect.
  • After retiring, Wally had the idea to start Men of Abundance when he realized he was making enough money, living in Hawaii, had a great, loving family, and really didn’t want for anything.
  • It struck him when his wife asked, “Wally, what are you striving for?” It helped him to start letting go of that chase of more, and recognizing the abundance in front of him.
  • When we see people with “a lot”, we don’t know if they’re renting it, going into debt, or are even truly happy.
  • What we find instead is that having your health, family and your needs met is far more satisfying than having too much and not being able to sustain.
  • People say you can have everything you want, but the reality is you can’t.
  • You can buy lots of things, but the trade off is that paying for them has a cost beyond the dollars.
  • Buying stuff means not being able to afford the rich experiences that last beyond things, like family trips. This is not abundance.
  • Being in debt or having to work more to pay for that stuff keeps you from enjoying it and those around you. This is not abundance.
  • Wally isn’t against seeking more, but seek more while being grateful for what you have today.
  • Abundance includes paying it forward and giving to others.
  • We got into Wally’s childhood, being on food stamps and needing handouts. He talked about how he came to a point where he didn’t take handouts anymore.
  • That was a moment he realized he needed to take responsibility for his needs and how to meet them.
  • It’s not to say we don’t all need help sometimes, but to build the ability to sustain yourself is a mindset Wally developed.
  • He had a reminder of his childhood when he was living out of his truck in Hawaii for 43 days while his family moved and he was between living situations.
  • It was a strong reminder of the struggle and how to value what you have – getting out of his comfort zone, so to speak.
  • What he realized is that the moments when he is most uncomfortable, he figures out how to do what he’s stuck with.
  • He was trying to replace his day job income with his coaching business, and couldn’t, so he got uncomfortable as a forcing mechanism.
  • As soon as he did, he was offered to telework from his day job for six months, giving him the space to build his coaching practice while not having to be in an office every day, keeping him away from getting to build it.
  • Wally actually interviewed me for his show from the truck he was living in, totally unbeknownst to me!


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