Mike Hrostoski: The High-Performing Man
There are some things that men can only learn from each other. Whether it’s strategies for financial success or the secrets to better sex, men who are looking for more in their lives turn to men like them.
Mike Hrostoski, The Men’s Coach, does exactly that. Mike helps high performing men master their relationships with their women and their work.
But Mike's life hasn't always been draped in success.
He grew up in a family that kept him sheltered from the outside world. He was afraid of everything. Especially sex. He played it safe in everything: relationships, job offers, friendships, and life. He asked for very little. And in return he received very little.
It was only after the passing of his mom two years ago, that Mike learned how precious life really is. He quit his cushy job, took off on a 12,000 miles road trip, and never looked back.
Mike may be The Men’s Coach, but Mike’s story is inspiring for anyone who wants to see us all be our best.
Don’t miss my interview with this driven motivator.
1. Mike, As you say on your website, you haven’t always been The Men’s Coach. How have all the personal struggles you’ve lived through -- speech and weight challenges, parental influence, lack of confidence -- combined to make you the person you are today -- a person able to help other men be their best?
The good news about experiencing pain is that you overcome it and then you have that experience in your body of work to help others. Any time a man comes to me with an issue, nine times out of ten I can honestly say, “Yep, I know exactly how that feels. I’ve been there too.”
A coach can only take you as deep as they’ve gone themselves. So although it wasn’t fun when I was going through all of that stuff, I’m thankful I had the privilege of going through it so I can help other men on their journeys.
2. You describe the death of your mother as a turning point for you. Losing a loved one definitely changes our perspective on life, but why do you think that this experience was so powerful for you?
It was the first big death in my life. I was never close to my grandparents and I never had anyone close pass away in my life. And my mom was my everything. So it rocked me to my core.
After that, life just wasn’t the same. Everything mattered a lot more. I started to ask questions that men ask on their deathbeds. Purpose, love, and integrity became a lot more important to me.
And I realized that I too would die.
So with those realizations, I changed everything in my life that wasn’t bringing me joy. Two and a half years later, I’m living what most people would call a “dream life.” But it took a lot of hard work and stripping away of old ways of being.
3. When you decided to become a life coach, did you know right away that you would specialize in men? How does this selective focus make you a better coach?
I didn’t plan on it but when I went through my life coach training program I realized that no one was serving men. There are the pickup artist guys, but that only gets you so far in your development and some of the material that they teach is actually counter productive to having a healthy relationship with a woman. There is men’s work, but a lot of it is done behind closed doors.
Basically, I looked around and no one was stepping up as a coach for men. So I decided to take that stand.
Men’s work has done so much for me in my life. I was part of a men’s group for a while when I first left corporate that kept me moving along in a time of great uncertainty. Then I did work with the ManKind Project, a non-profit that supports men through their weekend initiation ceremonies. Then I did intensive work with David Deida, the author of The Way Of The Superior Man, that totally changed how I show up as a man in the world.
This selective focus makes me a better coach because people know exactly who I work with. Yes, I’ve worked with many women as well, but I’m known in the marketplace as The Men’s Coach. The more that I’ve learned about sales and marketing, the more I realize how crucial it is to know exactly who you are selling to. Without having that customer avatar, your business will be unfocused and the marketplace will be confused on who you serve.
4. You spent hundreds of hours doing pro bono coaching before launching your business. Why did you choose this approach? When did you first feel like The Men’s Coach?
I did it because I wanted to. When I left my corporate job I had a good cushion of savings so I told myself I was going to take a year of to be in the service of others. I didn’t have any plan after that year but I just knew I liked helping people.
Looking back it would look like I had some brilliant master plan, but I’ve been making it up as I go. Like everyone else.
I first felt like The Men’s Coach when I changed the copy on my website. I practiced saying my new elevator pitch in the mirror a couple dozen times. That’s literally how easy it is to rebrand. The beauty of the internet my friend.
5. After leaving your job in human resources, you were able to travel and establish a “digital nomad” lifestyle. How did you manage this financially?
I had a good amount of savings and a decent network of friends to stay with. When I first started traveling, I used websites like CouchSurfing to find places to stay. Now I can essentially go to any city with a 24 hour notice and have multiple offers to stay.
When I first started traveling, people used to say things like, “Oh, it must be nice to be rich.” But the truth is, I live cheaper living all over the world than I did when I had a one bedroom apartment in central New Jersey.
I don’t know how much longer I’ll be living this lifestyle. It’s amazing for life experiences, but difficult for growing a business. Rituals and consistency are hard when you’re moving constantly.
6. How does travelling impact the work that you do, both as a coach and as a man on a personal mission?
I’m in Thailand right now traveling with five of my friends all throughout Thailand. We’re spending the whole month of February there. I learn more from traveling than I do from reading blogs or watching TED talks or spending time in front of my laptop. The perspective that I get from travel also keeps me grounded anytime I’m complaining about any of my first world problems.
I’m a huge fan of experiential learning. I’m all about doing. And getting out of the house and moving, interacting, and exploring is my favorite way to learn.
And for me there’s nothing that feel better than the feeling of being dropped off in a foreign country with no plans and no itinerary. It’s a little like being a newborn baby again. Which makes me grow, explore, and learn.
7. In helping clients from all over the world, do you ever have to handle cultural differences in men’s experiences? What have you learned from the differences that you’ve encountered in men, whether they be cultural, socio-economic, or personality-related?
There are cultural differences, but ultimately we all have the same basic human needs. I’m a fan of Tony Robbins’ model (Certainty, Uncertainty, Significance, Connection, Growth, and Contribution).
Yes, men in certain cultures may be naturally more timid or aggressive than others, but ultimately we all want the same things.
We want to be loved. We want to be appreciated. We want connection. And we want to feel like our life matters.
8. Being found by potential clients can be a challenge. How do potential clients find you? Do they primarily come through your website? What else have you done to promote your business?
Something that I’ve done well is being out in the world a lot. Being a nomad, I have the advantage of living everywhere. I’m always throwing meetups in the cities that I travel to, in order to bring awesome people together. I’ve picked up several clients just from meeting them at these events.
I’ve also been blogging for two and a half years now, which brings a steady stream of eyeballs onto what I’m working on at the moment.
The best thing I do to get clients though is just ask, “Do you want some help with that?” Then I jump on the phone with them.
Clients are everywhere. You just have to ask.
9. Why do your clients choose to work with you? What do they tend to be looking for when they choose you as their coach?
I help men make more money and have better sex. So it’s usually one of those areas that a man wants to work on that brings him my way. Sometimes it’s a new coach who needs help growing his business and sometimes it’s a man who is having trouble in his relationship. When we do the work together though, both his business and his relationship benefit.
The men who work with me want someone who will cut through their bullshit and hold them to a higher standard. Since most of them are entrepreneurs, they realize that having someone to be accountable to is a very worthwhile investment of their time and money. My coach helps me tremendously.
10. Are you still coaching yourself in any areas of your life? What’s next for the men’s coach?
I’m always looking for ways to improve myself. Right now I’m putting a lot of focus into my business. I’ve been working on figuring out how to scale my business so I’m not doing everything all by myself. I’ve also spent a great deal of time studying copywriting.
The next big thing for me is The Conference For Men. I’ve been putting all of my energy into creating THE personal development conference for men.It’s going to be a life changing event for everyone involved.
I’d love to see you there.
Mike Hrostoski is a life coach, writer, and full-time traveler. He's the founder of The Conference For Men, a 3 day event in San Diego. You can find Mike on Twitter @Hrostoski
Tal Gur is an author, founder, and impact-driven entrepreneur at heart. After trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, he spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His journey and most recent book, The Art of Fully Living, has led him to found Elevate Society.