Stan Peake is a business coach, speaker, entrepreneur, and bestselling author. He is the founder and executive coach of InSite Performance Coaching LTD, professional training and coaching company helping value-based leaders grow their business acumen, create more impact on the company, and ultimately live their legacy.
Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like? Did you have any particular experiences/stories that shaped your adult life?
I grew up in Calgary, AB. I was fortunate to have a ‘functionally dysfunctional’ childhood. Two loving parents, an awesome younger brother I love to bug any chance I get to this day, no crippling drama. Got bullied a lot, and had enough adversity to give me perspective, and a pretty good sense of humor, but nothing that haunts me to this day.
What is something you wish you would’ve realized earlier in your life?
That it ends. Most people coast through a portion of their life, often a significant portion. The average North American gets 27,375 days to live. That’s it. I was at least 10,000 days in before I could appreciate that, and I can’t get any of those days back. A day might be the worst thing anyone can waste.
What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?
The worst advice I ever hear or see in my industry is “give me money and I’ll show you how to become a success like me”. Sometimes this advice comes from 19-year-old ‘coaches’ standing in front of a boat that’s not theirs on a vacation their parents paid for. Coaching is an unregulated industry. For every Marshall Goldsmith, Tony Robbins, or John Mattone- there are 1,000 coaches who aren’t certified, haven’t owned a business, and might not be able to help their clients.
It can become buyer beware which is why I paid to become certified as an executive coach by the # 1 coach in the world.
Tell me about one of the darker periods you’ve experienced in life. How you came out of it and what you learned from it?
In 2005 I was addicted to chewing tobacco, while homeless and sleeping at work for a month, with no goals to speak of, and I was drowning in debt. I didn’t recognize, and I didn’t like the guy I was becoming.
To climb out of my rock bottom, I had to quit chew, tell my mentor and boss at the time what was going on, set some goals, hit my workouts consistently, and share my struggles with my inner circle. Progress started slow, but within 3 years I’d tripled my income, met my wife, wrote my first book, hiked the Grand Canyon, and become a dad!
What is one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your success so far?
Attitude and perspective. From these two choices (yes, they are choices, and we can choose a different attitude and a different perspective at any time), everything else followed.
First, you can’t find what you’re not looking for, and you won’t look for what you don’t believe exists. I believe an opportunity exists in every situation, especially a crisis. When I broke my back in a mountain biking accident, I told my mentor the next day that I would find a way to turn my broken back into an unfair advantage- that I wasn’t going to waste a perfectly good broken back!
Second, I believe in wasting no success. Taking the broken back for example- when I got on stage talking about overcoming obstacles while wearing my back brace, I had 160 people register. Before I broke my back, I had 20 people come out for the same talk. This gave me the idea to write a book about my experiences. I then used the book as fuel, pitched Entrepreneur Magazine, and ended up getting published! I then used that article to get accepted to over a dozen podcasts as a guest speaker, which I then leveraged to get on stage at several conferences which helped build my coaching practice.
What is your morning routine?
Alarm goes off at 5:15, but it’s a few minutes ahead so really 5:10. Then my routine for a G.R.E.A.T. day is;
Gratitude: I immerse myself in gratitude, focusing on the people and experiences recently that I am truly thankful for. I bring myself to high levels of feeling gratitude, I don’t just write it down.
Relationships. I reflect on the state of the most important relationships in my life. How is my marriage? How am I showing up as a dad? Son? Brother? Friend? I then make notes of anything I need to change to be a better participant in my life’s most important relationships.
Exercise. Whether I have 10 minutes or 90, and whether I run, lift weights, or even see how many burpees I can do- I need to move my body. Even if I’m nursing an injury, I find something I can move, or at the bare minimum, stretch and go through my rehabilitation exercises.
Achieved. I review my day- my appointments and to-do list, and I visualize everything being done and done well. I visualize my clients having breakthroughs, sales meetings as a win-win where we land business and get the opportunity to change more lives. I imagine projects getting completed, and leading my team well.
Tweak. After reflecting on my relationships, and visualizing all I have to do, I see if there’s anything to add, move, or tweak on my to-do list.
Then I grab my coffee and get after it!
What habit or behavior that you have pursued for a few years has most improved your life?
Investing in self-betterment. I read 33 books and articles on sales before my colleagues and I wrote our sales book, probably why it became a # 1 bestseller. I’ve taken 4 certifications and gone back to school twice to better myself and learn more about leadership, business development, and business strategy. This was after owning three businesses (which is now currently at 7), and I’ve worked with several coaches to learn and get an outside perspective. I’m part of two mastermind groups, and I’m working with a health coach.
What are your strategies for being productive and using your time most efficiently?
My to-do list goes into my calendar in bite-size chunks. Rather than check my email when I have 15 minutes between appointments, I check the to-do list. I try to check email at set intervals and disabled any sounds on my phone alerting me of an email or text. This has all led to fewer distractions. Even on 12-hour+ days, I try and live by the saying “never put off to tomorrow that which can be accomplished today”.
Lately, I am trying to cram a bit less in so that I can have time for open reflection and creative thought. This is when I gain the most clarity of what’s important to me, and it’s when I get some of my best business ideas.
Finally, working with a team helps. Whether it’s my mastermind groups, or my business partners in the various businesses I’m involved in, having to report on the state of my initiatives is enough accountability for me to do what I said I was going to do. If I profess to be a leader, I want to set the example I want others to follow and I never want to show up having done nothing and making a bunch of excuses. Not perfect, but getting pretty proficient at following through and doing what I said I was going to do.
What book(s) have influenced your life the most? Why?
To Sell is Human by Dan Pink showed me another, more professional and personal, side of sales and business
Intelligent Leadership by John Mattone. John is my biggest mentor as a coach, and he has done so much to advance the field of executive coaching – his model, and his way of teaching it, just make so much sense!
Do you have any quotes you live by or think of often?
Theodore Roosevelt’s ‘The Critic’
Vince Lombardi’s ‘What it takes to be number one’ speech
“He who has a WHY can endure any HOW.” – Friedrich Nietzsche