PP 354: Bruce Langford, Host of Mindfulness Mode Podcast
In 2003, Bruce was a music teacher who got tired of seeing bullying swept under the rug. He put together a bullying and mindfulness program/production, and took his show on the road.
Listen as we chat about how Bruce’s program evolved, how we incorporate mindfulness into our lives, our kids, our businesses and more!
05:06 I share my middle/high school bullying experience
08:10 We chat about New Media Summit and my mindset shift between two events
10:15 I share — and we discuss — my oldest child’s bullying story
13:00 When I stopped putting up with bullying in my first marriage
18:14 Mindfulness in my entrepreneurial journey
19:46 Creating stories and chronic worrying
30:35 Bruce’s mindfulness during his transition from teaching to entrepreneurship
47:00 Sometimes you just need to keep up with the flow
Kim Sutton: Welcome back to another episode of Positive Productivity. This is your host, Kim Sutton, and I’m so happy to have you here. I’m also thrilled to introduce today’s special guest, Bruce Langford. Bruce is a Podcaster from Mindfulness Mode, and also does so much more.
But Bruce, welcome. I am so thrilled to have you on the show finally,
Bruce Langford: Hey, Kim, I am so excited too. I just really, really love every time we get together. And I always think, jeez, it’d be great if we could talk more. But today, we’re going to get to talk. So that’s awesome.
Kim Sutton: Yeah, no kidding. In the past seven months, listeners, we have spent eight days in the same room. And I’ve never talked in length as much as we’ll be able to today, which blows my mind. Yeah, no, we have to tell Steve, that needs to change. Like maybe there should be a second day of mastermind where all we do is sit around and talk, or something. Steve, I hope you’re listening. Probably not. But I hope I said that to you. Anyway, Bruce, I would love if you would jump in and give listeners a better introduction, your awesome introduction, because you know your story better than anybody else.
Bruce Langford: Well, I am a podcaster on Mindfulness Mode. And one of the things that I really love doing is talking with people, sharing things, interviewing people about mindfulness. But it all started quite a long time ago when I was a teacher in a school. I used to be a music teacher, and I’m very arts based. So I loved teaching music. And then skipping ahead, I saw some of my students being picked on, being bullied and I thought, jeez, this is just not right. Now, this was back in 2003. Bullying was not being talked about back then. It wasn’t in the media, it wasn’t even being really mentioned. And my school, I felt like it was being swept under the carpet, probably the same as it was in so many other places. And I thought this is not right. I thought, well, why not I go ahead and do something. So I put together a program, and I started going out into schools.
First of all, I just envisioned the program. I made up a flyer based on what I thought the program could be like. A musical program with drama, with role plays, with all kinds of concepts about bullying, how kids can survive, how kids can learn. And so I sent out this flyer to all kinds of schools. And even though I didn’t really have the program, yet, I only had the idea of that concept, I received all kinds of feedback. Yes, yes, yes, come to my school, come to my school, we’d love to book you. And all of a sudden, I had all these bookings and I thought, well, I’ve got two months, July and August, to create this program. And I did. I wrote the songs, I created lines, and then I made it into like a drama. And I thought, well, I’ll be at a radio station, I’ll be at FM radio and I’ll be the DJ. And I’ll be a little bit crazy, a little bit zany because I think that’s what you need for children so that they can learn and remember. And so I would jump around and act kind of nutty up there.
But at the same time, there were a lot of serious moments. And I was teaching all kinds of concepts about bullying, what to do if you realize that you are being a bully sometimes. What to do if you’re being bullied? What to do if you’re a bystander? So I did that for about 12 years, Kim, and I’m still doing it once in a while. But I did it full time, four days a week going into schools all over and just loved doing it. But the more I did it. The more I realized that if you can teach kids and teachers, kids and adults what it means to be mindful, what mindfulness is all about, then bullying just naturally diminishes. Because first of all, if we’re truly mindful, we’re not going to be bullying other people. Really much at all. And secondly, if we’re truly mindful when somebody bullies us, we are going to respond to it very differently than if we don’t understand mindfulness. Would you agree with that, Kim?
Kim Sutton: Oh, absolutely. I’m thinking about my own high school, middle school experience. Absolutely.
Bruce Langford: What is that like, Kim?
Kim Sutton: So I was the girl who was plagued by acne, and just was really shy. I moved schools in the middle of middle school, when a lot of kids who had been together, and five separate elementary schools were coming together. A lot of them already knew each other, and I was suddenly moving from a school of 100 to a school of 800 where I knew nobody. And while I had been a bigger fish in a small pond in the former school, I was not even a minnow. So immediately, the self esteem dropped, but I was getting picked out. My maiden name is Buckley. Okay, and just take the first four letters of Buckley and people can find something to run with that. And they did. I didn’t know how. And even if I could stand up for myself, and this is the early 90’s, it was definitely being swept underneath the rug, then I was scared to walk down the hall.
Bruce Langford: How did you survive?
Kim Sutton: Thankfully, at that time, I lived only two blocks from school. I would hide in the restroom until all the buses were gone. I would go to my locker when nobody was in the halls, like I would carry this ridiculous heavy bag full of books. Because I didn’t want to be at my locker when these two, I’m just gonna say at football jocks, their locker right next to mine, because every time I went when they were there, things happened. So I would carry a ridiculously heavy book bag, which didn’t set me up for any better treatment. I look like a hunchback carrying around 18 textbooks. But I went into hiding, I would have to say. I can’t say I dealt with it, I didn’t deal with it. But thankfully, as the years went on, I made friends and I gained more confidence, I still can’t say that I would walk down the hall looking at anybody. It took into high school for a friend to actually say to me, or it took until college, I should say. A year after we’d already been friends for a year, she told me, I’m gonna just say it flat. I don’t really cuss on the podcast very often. But she said, I thought you were a bitch the first year because you didn’t talk to anybody. I said, I don’t think I’m better than anybody else. Definitely. But I was scared. I was scared about what I would say. I was scared about what you would think I would say, so I just decided not to talk. And that really, for years, that was my thing. Just keep your mouth shut Kim, because nobody can say anything about what you’re saying if you’re not saying anything. And look at me now?
Bruce Langford: Yeah. And now, you seem to have no fear. We all have fear. We all have fear.
Kim Sutton: Oh, definitely.
Bruce Langford: I was just saying to you at New Media Summit a few days ago, you seem so relaxed. And any anxiety that I saw there seems to have just vanished. Is that how you feel? Do you feel a lot more relaxed than ever before?
Kim Sutton: Definitely more relaxed. I was actually talking to Thom Singer about it too, our other fellow icons, and he noticed it. When I went in September of 2017, I believe I reverted back to my high school, middle school girl. Be careful what you say, Kim, you got to make a great impression. But out of that, I was not talking as much as I wanted to. I was sitting at my table. I wasn’t getting up and talking to people. And this year, I decided, no, you are you. You have a voice, you shared on the podcast so get out there and talk to people.
Bruce Langford: Yeah, absolutely.
Kim Sutton: And it was so much more fun. I’m not saying that September wasn’t fun, but I definitely enjoyed this year more. I still haven’t recovered from it.
Bruce Langford: Meeting so many people, seeing so many old friends from before and just sitting, it felt like we were all on the same wavelength. That’s what it felt like to me. What about you?
Kim Sutton: Oh, I definitely agree. Listeners, if you haven’t heard me talk about New Media Summit with any guest before, you definitely have to check it out. Because this is an event like no other. I guarantee that you will walk away with new friends.
Bruce Langford: Yes. Yeah. Definitely. Everybody just seems to want to share and be completely willing to sit down and chat with you. Wow, I just totally loved it again. Loved it in September of 2017, but I sure loved it this time too. So it was great. It was great to see you and so many other people too, Kim.
Kim Sutton: Yeah. Same here. Bruce, I want to jump back to bullying just for a second and share with you. My 15 year old got inches on me. He’s 6’3, 6’4. He’s a bigger kid, and he’s a freshman in high school. Now, at the end of his sixth grade year, he had perfect attendance, but he was getting bullied. And with three days left in the year, he decided he had enough. They came up and they were pushing him, which is hard to believe that kids who have like a foot shorter come up and start pushing him. But he decided enough, and he pushed back. And wouldn’t you know that the teachers walked out in the hall and saw him pushing back and he was expelled. Perfect attendance, high honor roll, but they saw him and they had known that the bullying was going on. So I would love to jump back into the bullying conversation just for a second, because I know that there’s a probability some parents listening here with their kids in the car. What would be the first actions that you would recommend for the high school audience?
Bruce Langford: Unfortunately, what has happened in a lot of schools is whether they call it zero tolerance or not. That sounds like a situation of zero tolerance where they knew it was going on, they knew he was being bullied. And yet the first time, he really showed the confidence and stood up for himself, then he’s in trouble. And that’s so unfortunate. Now, the good thing is, hopefully, he’s getting a higher level of confidence. I don’t know how things have gone since then. But it’s all about confidence, how you carry yourself and how you show up. And it’s tough. It’s tough for kids in high school these days, that’s for sure because there’s so many dynamics going on. And that whole piece of feeling, the fear and feeling, the lack of confidence, other kids pick up on that immediately. And there are kids, yeah, it doesn’t matter if they’re a foot shorter than they think, oh, I’m going to jump on this. I’m going to take advantage of this. And then that will boost my ego. Because it’s all about ego, Kim.
Kim Sutton: Oh, it definitely is. Actually in 2010, I left his dad. Okay, I took them, and I was being bullied in our marriage. And that all shifted for me because I had put up with it for 12 years. We were highschool sweethearts, we started dating, I’d put up with it until 2009. I went to a referral networking group here in my town and I met a chiropractor, and I didn’t realize all the benefits of chiropractic. I had constant sore neck, I’m giving more of the backstory than I needed to. But during the first conversation, we hit it off. For now, great friends. He was at my wedding with my husband, but he told me about the law of attraction. Okay, I had never been introduced before, and I got home and I looked at it. I was immediately just enthralled. He’s enthralled the right word. I was like, oh, my gosh, I can control how I feel. I can control if I’m stressed. I can control how he’s talking to me is going to affect my mood. And that day, he got home and I had attempted to cook dinner. That’s how it always goes, listeners. I attempt to cook whether or not it gets burned is up to the given day. But I had done something wrong so he immediately started in. And unlike ever before, I looked at him and I smiled. I will never forget the look on his face. He was just so confused and he said: “Why are you smiling at me?” And I said: “Because you no longer have the right to control how I feel about myself.”
Bruce Langford: Wow. That’s awesome. Yeah. And that’s so much of mindfulness, what you’re just describing.
Kim Sutton: Yeah, it completely shifted everything. I realize, oh, my gosh, I don’t need to stay in this. And it ticked him off because he felt like, well, I can’t say how he felt. But it felt to me like he felt like, okay, I have to find other buttons to push now. So I got to get at her another way, and he definitely did. But I realized that I don’t have to stay. It is my right to be happy.
Bruce Langford: Absolutely.
Kim Sutton: So thank you for what you’re doing for the world at large, because everybody needs mindfulness. And I feel like so many of us grow up without even knowing what it is. I was already 30 by the point that I was introduced to the law of attraction, and that’s so unfortunate. I could have used that as a 6, 7, 8 year old. Yes, I would have been a pain for my mom.
Bruce Langford: Well, children really need to understand this. I totally agree, everybody in this world deserves to understand and to know about mindfulness. And that’s why I started my podcast because I wanted to reach out to people in the mainstream world, because there are lots of people who we might not consider are in the mainstream world. A lot of people that maybe study Eastern religions, or people who have been introduced mindfulness somewhere along the line, but we don’t see them somehow in the same way that we see each other. Because in the mainstream world, mindfulness has been kind of pushed down, kind of hidden, not so much now. We can all benefit from it, just like you’re describing.
Kim Sutton: I still think it is pushed out. Because I’m amazed just talking to some of the participants from The New Media Summit to hear about the people that they are working with, Fortune 100 CEOs who are consulting with them on mindfulness. I’m sure you do the same. I would love to dig into that more. But it had never occurred to me that it’s not all about timing and going to the right school. That’s what I always thought it was. Being raised in the right family, going into the right school, meeting the right people, but in all actuality, that could have very little, and probably does. No, I’m going to take that back. It really does have very little to do with where we go and the accomplishments that we achieve. Because if our mindfulness is not developed and we don’t think we can, then we just won’t.
Bruce Langford: Yes, you’re right. And there’s so many ways to develop mindfulness, there really are. I remember a long time ago when I started meditating. And at first, I’m kind of like, is this really making any difference? I know that a lot of people told me that it made a difference for them. And then it was only a couple of months before I could see that it definitely was making a difference. But I think that a lot of people doubt themselves. They maybe dabble in it. They meditate a little bit and they think, oh, yeah, well, I don’t have time for that. Or they kind of leave it behind. But it really, truly makes a difference. And it actually changes the way your brain is wired. They’ve proven that that’s the cool thing about mindfulness. Now, scientists have proven that these techniques actually changed the way your brain is wired. So that’s pretty powerful, isn’t it Kim?
Kim Sutton: That is so extremely powerful. From my entrepreneurial journey, I hate to keep on bringing it back to me. But listeners, I just want you to get a perspective. I was an architect for eight years, and there was a salary cap because I was working a job for other people, and there was only a certain level that I could get to. And then going into the entrepreneurial space, I don’t know if you know, Bruce. But when I started my business in 2012, I was a virtual assistant, I knew nothing about what I was doing. I knew how to use the Microsoft Office Suite. To be totally honest, that’s about all I knew. But I thought I had to compete with people overseas who were charging $3 an hour, so I went at eight because I saw two options. I could go work at the local gas station as a second job, or I could start a VA business charging the same as I would get the gas station. But I looked at other people who had been VA’s for years, and wondered how the heck can they justify charging that much. What are they doing? And it took me three and a half years, almost three and a half years to realize I can do that. Heck, I can charge more because I know what I’m doing. But had that mindfulness not been there, then the confidence wouldn’t have grown, and there is no cap now. There was never a cap except for me.
Bruce Langford: Yeah, the cap is in our own minds, isn’t it Kim?
Kim Sutton: Yeah. What is your cap look like when it’s not under control? If you could give it a material.
Bruce Langford: I keep noticing. I think that’s the thing about mindfulness. That all of a sudden, you’re noticing what your thoughts are. You’re noticing your emotions so much more than ever before. And so I’ll be doing something and then I’ll notice, hey, just a second, why are you thinking that, Bruce? Why are you thinking that you can’t go over to some country like Italy or Germany and consult over there, and talk about mindfulness and teach them from my perspective so that they can increase the bottom line of their company. Of course, I can do that. But then I catch myself telling myself, Bruce, forget that. You can’t do that. And then I stopped myself. So those kinds of things are caps for me. It’s so much better now to be able to identify that I am creating a story. That is a false story. It’s just a story that I’ve created in my own mind. And then I say to myself, no, get rid of that story. Don’t be creating a story. And I think as humans, we just do that a lot. We create stories that are really caps.You know what I mean?
Kim Sutton: I definitely know what you mean. Mine is chronic worrying. I worry and I create all me, that’s how I create my stories. I have to worry about this because this is going to happen, but I don’t know that it’s going to happen. And listeners, in our pre chat, I was explaining to Bruce about a little bit of a housing situation that my family was encountering. The markets are really hot in my area of Ohio. And for the past week, there was a concern that I was going to have to move my whole family. Which, again, if you’re listening, if this is your first episode, I have five children, a husband and an abundance of animals. So there was a worry of, we’re going to be homeless. We’re going to have to live in a hotel, we’re gonna have to get rid of all of our animals, we’re never going to buy a house. We’re just going to be screwed.
Bruce Langford: Hmm.
Kim Sutton: And then I didn’t sleep too well for the past week until last night. But I was telling Bruce in the pre chat, and listeners, I’ll put a link to this in the show notes. I had a conversation with Kristiina Miller, Episode 350, and she told me, be still and listen. And this was just yesterday, and I did that. I can’t tell you how hard it was because I have never given meditation a good try. Because I thought of being still and just listening, I always have, well, I have chronic idea disorder. I always have 18,000 other things that I’m working on and want to develop for myself. But I was still yesterday. And all of a sudden, the solution presented itself and we don’t have to move. But it was about getting the mindfulness under control. And my ceiling is worry, I need to break through that ceiling.
Bruce Langford: I think you can do it with meditation. I really do because it made a big difference. To me, I was always an idea person thinking, thinking, thinking, thinking, thinking and jumping into this and jumping into that. And I had a lot of ideas, and I actually carried a lot of them out. But at the same time, sometimes I created these stories that held me back. And then I’ve just noticed in the more recent years that I would sit down and I would meditate. Then all of a sudden, things seem to just kind of fall into place, and things become more clear. And there’s less anxiety, and I just feel so much better about things. So I totally recommend meditation. I think it just makes such a difference. Especially as entrepreneurs, because we’ve got so much on the go, we’ve got so much on our minds. You with your productivity, I don’t know how you do it. You’ve got your five children, you’ve got all your pets, you’re doing all the work for Steve, and you’re keeping things going with that. And you’ve got your own business and your podcast. How do you do all this Kim?
Kim Sutton: That was another thing that came out of New Media Summit, September 2017. Because I realized that I was selling fluff words, but I realized that everything that I need to keep myself going is what other people need as well. I’ve got self care, even though sometimes I lack on it. We all need sleep. And when I get sleep, that’s when the worry subsides, that’s when I think clear, that’s when my productivity boosts. So it self care systems and support. I’ve got the systems working for me behind the scenes, and I’ve got support. I’ve got my husband, I’ve got team members, I have an awesome community of people like you. That when I finally got the confidence to step out and be more authentic and transparent, and talk about struggles, the community just blossomed. I mean, I’m looking outside at Spring right now, it was like that. One day, I was not even a bird on the tree. And the next day, oh, my gosh, where did this whole community of people come from. But it was just nurturing through authenticity.
Bruce Langford: I’d love to know more about the systems that are working for you that make your life so much better.
Kim Sutton: Well, first off, this isn’t so much as, maybe system and self care combined. I have to remind myself that I cannot do everything. If I don’t tackle my whole to-do list today, it’s not gonna kill me. But everything that can possibly be automated behind the scenes is from setting up proposals that I only need to copy and push a button and get sent to a prospective client. And when they approve, the invoice gets sent. And when that gets paid, then we get started and all the documents are sent. That’s one automated marketing, even through the podcast flow. You and every single guess, I asked you to fill out a form. And it’s not because they don’t know about you, it’s not because they don’t want to get on a pre-chat, but it launches a whole sequence system of events inside my Infusionsoft from telling you where to go and schedule. So I don’t have to be there. Neither does a team member to reminding you about the calls, to notifying my team that the episode has been recorded, to everything. But actually getting the episode on my site, which I’m sure I could find a way to systemize as well.
But I really enjoy going back and listening to the episodes because, and I’m sure you have this as a podcaster as well. It’s not just the initial conversation. There are so many times that I get 200% more out of going back and hearing you, and hearing myself and I’m like, oh, in the moment, I forgot that I said that. That was deep. That was good, Kim. That was good, Bruce. I needed that today.
Bruce Langford: I do too. I’m exactly the same way. I love going back and just doing a little editing, just listening again. And I hear it with a new perspective as well. Because of course, you know this when you’re on a podcast and you’re chatting with somebody, you’re thinking about what they’re saying, you’re listening, you’re in the moment, and you’re thinking about it, maybe a possible question to follow or a comment. And then when you read, listen to it later, it takes on a new perspective. I love that.
Kim Sutton: Oh, yeah. And then the part that gets me in trouble is I start thinking about ways that we can work together. If I hadn’t thought about it, and then the initial conversation and then chronic idea disorder gets spurred and I have like 18 more ideas. That is the system that is struggling right now is my idea containment. What to work on now? What do you say for later? This week, it hasn’t been much of an issue. I’m working on a huge launch, and I know this is what I have to work on, and the rest will be saved. But with that said, I’ve been working on this launch and have been neglecting my inbox. But I have been even cleaning out my inbox, unsubscribing left and right, and really monitoring who can get my attention. So that when I go back to my inbox, I mean, I haven’t really touched my inbox for four or five days now. I only have 100 items in it.
Bruce Langford: That’s impressive.
Kim Sutton: Yeah. I know that what I want in there is what I want to see, or it’s going to be people who added me to their list without asking, but those will be quickly taken out with a couple clicks. And that’s another thing. I get to be having my team take care of my inbox, but that’s something I love seeing what comes in.
Bruce Langford: Sure. So what do you love doing the most? Is it funnels? Is it creating funnels for people?
Kim Sutton: I am passionate about helping people, empowering people to set up the self care systems and support in their business so that they can get themselves out. Because when I didn’t have it in my business, I was anxious and depressed. And this was just in 2016. I found myself ready to just end it all because I was chasing income. I was worried, seemed no mindfulness. My mindfulness had already been developed, but I was worrying about where the next dollar was going to come from.
Bruce Langford: Sure.
Kim Sutton: And I was only sleeping two to three hours a night, Bruce, for a year and a half.
Bruce Langford: I can’t believe that. How did you survive on two to three hours a night of sleep?
Kim Sutton: Barely. Yeah, no joke. I was ready to kill myself because I was so sleep deprived.
Bruce Langford: So do you do coaching when you say you like helping people with all these kinds of things? Is that how you do it? You hire yourself out as a coach?
Kim Sutton: I do hire myself out as a coach, and then also as a consultant for the business automation side. Because if we’re going to grow our business, we need to have the automation, and we also need to have the SOP, the Standard Operating Procedures so that we know that if we lose a team member, or if we bring on a new team member, that all those procedures are already documented. Because we could easily spend a month training a new person on everything that we do if we don’t have those, for sure.
Bruce Langford: Yeah, well, that’s impressive.
Kim Sutton: Can we go back to you? I forgot who’s show we’re on for a second. So there had to be mindfulness on your part in getting ready to take the plunge from being a teacher to taking your show on the road, and doing that full time. So what did that look like? And how long did that journey take to transition from a teacher to your presentations on bullying? Or was it just those two months?
Bruce Langford: No. What happened was I went half time. So then I went out and did my shows. But then I was back at my own school every other day to do what I was used to be doing. So I kind of eased into it a little bit. That was exciting. And then after two years, the school board said, well, you need to make a decision, you either go back full time into your classroom, into school.” I was, like I said, a music teacher. Or you have to just move on, you have to take a retirement, an early retirement. So that was tough. There’s a lot of fear. Even though I was doing great, it was very successful. I was happy doing what I was doing. But stepping away from a job that everybody thinks that’s such big when you’ve got this teaching job, you’ve got a pension, this is amazing. That was tough. There was a lot of fear connected with that. But I decided to do that because I thought, you know what? I just won’t look back. I won’t look back, I’ll just be doing my thing. I’ll be an entrepreneur. And I was right. I’ve always loved being an entrepreneur, making my own way, finding the answers. And I still do, it’s not always easy, Kim, you know that. Sometimes it’s like, oh, man, there’s so much fear, frustration. But at least you have choices that you can make, and you can decide what direction you want to move in. And you just dig in, and you make it happen. I’m sure you’re the same way.
Kim Sutton: Oh, I’m definitely the same way. Yeah. Choices and ideas. Someday I’ll get those under control.
Bruce Langford: Yeah. Then I just kept doing more and more presentations and programs. And then I started getting requests to go to various places like the US Virgin Islands. I went there and taught their students on the topic of bullying, respect and mindfulness, and just went all over the place. I had an assistant helping me out and making it happen. So it was very, very exciting. And it still is. And there are shifts that happen. As you know, I do more writing now, more content. And of course, I have my podcast now that I enjoy talking with people from all over the world about what mindfulness means to them, and how they use mindfulness in their lives. And my listeners totally resonate with it. I know that because they reach out to me, they send me messages. And I’m sure your listeners do, and that’s very rewarding to hear from your listeners to know what you’re doing really benefits them. So I’m enjoying being a podcaster, as well as all these other things I’m doing.
Kim Sutton: Absolutely. And it never wears off after I got the first email, that the second one wouldn’t mean as much But no, absolutely not. I think you heard this story. I was walking down the toilet paper aisle at the grocery and my phone started blowing up with somebody who had been listening all day and was Facebook messaging me. And I was just, I was so blown away by it. It never gets old. Listeners, don’t forget to send feedback–
Bruce Langford: That’s right.
Kim Sutton: –to Bruce and I on this episode, to the musicians that you listened to. I mean, you might find this funny, but if you’re watching a movie or a TV show, tell them how you feel about it. Hopefully good, but we love it just as much as you love compliments. And you could be making somebody stay. Chances are you would be making somebody stay. Doesn’t matter how big they are, because we could all be thinking, oh, they get so much mail. They don’t need anything from me. But the truth is they very well may not.
Bruce Langford: It’s true. It’s true. It’s great getting feedback, and you’ve got a lot of episodes on your show. Don’t you?
Kim Sutton: Yes. Bruce, you’re Episode 354. So listeners, you can go and leave feedback and any comments, I’ll forward on to Bruce, at thekimsutton.com/pp354. Bruce, I struggled for the longest time. I would start projects. I mean, it just goes to the route along with the chronic idea disorder. The most notable I can think of is my knitting projects. I have rubbermaid bins full of started knitting projects, and then not finished them. And both of my husband, my ex and my current would be like, do you really need more yarn? Are you going to finish the ones that you already started? So the fact that I’ve actually gotten to 354 episodes, every day is a boost of confidence. I stuck with it? This is amazing. And when you find that thing that you’re supposed to be doing, then you can stick with it. It’s so much easier. Do you agree?
Bruce Langford: Yeah, I totally agree. I totally agree. I was listening to you and Rob Dionne, talking with him on episode 302. I think it was. And he was at The New Media Summit. And I found that very interesting. He was talking about investing in real estate, how he did it and everything else. And that’s one of the things I did, because I was traveling all the time to my different presentations. I started listening to podcasts, and I started hearing this term passive income, passive income. And back then I’m like, passive income? What’s that all about? And I thought, well, that sounds something cool. I should be figuring that out. So then I started reading books about investing in real estate, investing in apartment buildings, no money down. No money down and I thought, okay, how can this even be real? But I thought, well, why not? I can always learn, I can read these books. And I did. I read a number of books about how to invest in real estate, and then that’s when the fear came. Because I thought, as you know all these books, it’s like, okay, you can read the book, but it’s taking action that will really make a difference in your life. And I’m like, yeah, that’s true. You got to take action. Again, I had quite a bit of fear, but I got out there. I got with a real estate agent, we started looking at properties.
And then eventually, I found this property, [inaudible] an amazing real estate agent who said, Bruce, just relax, I’ll call you. But when I call you and I’ve got an appropriate property, you’ve got to be ready to act. And he did call me. I think it was only about two or three weeks later. He said: “Meet me at that property because it’s going to go fast.” It’ll be like an auction kind of deal. Not exactly an auction, but a bunch of people putting in offers, and they’ll just take the best offer. And that’s basically what it’ll be like. So I went there. So when I got there, Kim, I was kind of thrown off because of all the high end cars, all the Mercedes, the Jaguars and all the different vehicles parked there, and I knew all these people were looking at this property, and they obviously. In my mind, that was the story I was creating. They obviously have a lot more money than I do. But I just thought back to all the concepts in the books I had read, okay, what do you do? What do you look for? How do you go about making an offer? That makes sense. And so to make a long story short, before long, I received a call from my real estate agent. He says: “Bruce, you got it. It’s yours.”
Kim Sutton: Wow.
Bruce Langford: I’m like, What? Are you kidding me? I hardly knew how to believe it. And so I was the owner of an apartment building. But in the book, it said, don’t stop there. Because once you buy your first one, you will have equity in that first property. And you can use the equity to buy another property. So a year later, I did exactly that. I bought a second apartment building. I think I was even just about as scared with that one. I was like, oh, man, am I crazy? Am I nuts? But I loved it. I enjoyed being a landlord. I enjoyed fixing up some of the apartments, and I always enjoyed people. So I enjoyed interviewing people that could be potential tenants, and then it turned out I was pretty good at it. Because you have to kind of be able to imagine what that person would be truly like as a tenant, are they going to be the right tenant? Are they going to stay there for any length of time? Are they going to look after the property? You have to have a feel for that kind of thing. And I ended up having a pretty good feel because I got some wonderful tenants, and I still enjoy doing it.
Kim Sutton: So you are still doing it?
Bruce Langford: I still kind of am. I have my studio office now in one of my properties. It was a storage area and I thought, man, this is too good space to use just for storage. So I hired a contractor. Before I went to pod fest or podcast movement in Texas, I think it was in 2015, I went to podcast movement. And just before I went, I hired a contractor and I said: “See this space? This is what I want. Couple of offices, a little kitchen, just make this all up.” And when I got back from the podcast movement, wow, I couldn’t believe how much my contractor had done. So it’s a wonderful space, looking over a ravine, it’s very, very quiet because it’s at the back of the property. I just love having this for my studio. So it’s all worked out.
Kim Sutton: So how many apartment buildings do you own now, Bruce?
Bruce Langford: Well, what happened was that second one that I bought, a couple of years later, maybe it was, oh, it was probably about four or five years later, I ended up selling it. And that was all good. Because then I realized that there’s a lot of work to do with renting out the apartments and so on. I thought I’d like to liquidate this one and just focus on the other one. And so I didn’t continue, and buy more, and more, and more. But I do have one. And I sold the other one. I just enjoy having one, not being too overwhelmed with all kinds of units or anything. And then I can still do my business, and my podcast, and my consulting, and all the other work I do. And I enjoy that too.
Kim Sutton: Awesome. Yeah. I’ve thought about that myself about investing in my town after we get our own housing finalized. But I was thinking about the time commitment, because I know there is so much time.
Bruce Langford: It’s true. That’s real. Yeah.
Kim Sutton: Although I could make my husband do it, I suppose.
Bruce Langford: Yeah. You could work together, whatever. Yeah, that’s true. How old is your youngest child?
Kim Sutton: I have three year old twins.
Bruce Langford: Okay. I knew you had twins, and they’re three. Wow, that must be a handful.
Kim Sutton: Oh, they are. Yeah, but fun. Actually, this morning’s fun was finding where dad’s keys went. He’s a retail manager full time, and the store key was on his key chain. But the keys had disappeared, and my husband isn’t as mindful as I am. So he was getting a little upset. He had to get to work and take the kids to daycare. And his keys were nowhere to be found. They had wound up the tricycles inside our house right now, because it was too outside, and I had a little back compartment like a trunk. And after searching for 15 minutes, I thought, hmm, let me just look. And sure enough, the keys are in there.
Bruce Langford: Oh, wow, 15 minutes. That’s not bad, Kim.
Kim Sutton: Oh, it’s not. It’s not.
Bruce Langford: You must be into productivity or something.
Kim Sutton: Yeah. Well, I just had to think because things wind up in their little toy kitchen once in a while. Where there’s compartments, we need to remember to look first in the future. But my husband is Dave, D2. My youngest son, one of the twins, they’re a boy and girl is D3, David III. And he looks at us on his way out the door and he says, I’m sorry, I put your keys on my bike. And it was just the sweetest thing. It totally melted me. When they say don’t cry over spilled milk, I don’t cry over spilled milk. I do my best not to get upset when I wake up late because I needed this sleep if I slept that long. And it’s not going to help his day or anybody’s day if we get upset about the keys going into hiding for a little bit.
Bruce Langford: Well, that’s a cute story. Yeah, it must be so much fun around your house, though, with your children, everything going on and all the play that happens. I know for me, I’ve learned quite a bit of mindfulness from children. Do you find the same thing Kim?
Kim Sutton: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. Just the things that they can find a laugh are amazing. Just saying a random word, and I found myself doing that too. And they’re not always inappropriate, right? I mean, if you say a word like fart, my three year old twins and four year old will just be in giggles for hours. But it’s the little things that they find a laugh about. And I’ve found that to remain in good spirits myself. I need to be grateful, and we need to appreciate the little things just as much as the bake.
Bruce Langford: You know what I noticed when my son was that age? Our son is now 16, but I noticed a lot of people would say, well, enjoy it now, because it’ll change when he becomes a teenager. And of course, they’re right. There are constant changes. No two days a light, your child and your children are changing all the time. But I enjoyed every step of the way, every stage. I just loved watching him as he grew up, and as he changed, and as he learned, when I still do. As he’s 16, I find, I learn, I still learn a lot of mindfulness from them. And he seems very wise, very level headed and centered. And I’ve been teaching him to drive lately. That’s been interesting. He’s pretty good at it. He’s very careful. Sometimes, I’m kind of like, okay, maybe it should just kind of let loose a little bit like, he’s very specific. If it says to go 60 kilometers per hour, he wants to go 60 kilometers per hour. And that’s it. He wants to lock it into that speed limit and not change it, because that’s the speed limit. So he’s very literal about things, and that’s probably a good thing. Although I try to say, well, sometimes, the flow of traffic is more important. And sometimes, you just kind of need to make sure that you’re going with the flow of traffic, even if it’s a little bit faster than the speed limit.
Kim Sutton: Oh, my heavens, yes. I lived outside of New York City for a little bit, and I believe it was the I-95?
Bruce Langford: Yes.
Kim Sutton: And the speed limit I believe was 60, 65. If even that, yes. But if you weren’t going 90, you were gonna get rear ended by everybody behind you.
Bruce Langford: Yeah, I bet.
Kim Sutton: Yeah. And I remember having that conversation with my ex husband, he’s like, you are going 90. It was like, Okay, I can slow down, but look behind you. Sometimes, you just need to keep up with the flow.
Bruce Langford: Yeah. And that’s true in life. That’s true in business, isn’t it? You sort of have to be watching all the time. Keep with the flow, stay with the flow, and do your own thing. But you also have to stay with the flow in a way because everything keeps changing all the time, doesn’t it? Especially in this high tech world.
Kim Sutton: Absolutely. I want to go back to gratitude just for a quick second, because I realized that while I was expressing gratitude towards material possessions, I realized just in the past couple days that I have not been expressing gratitude to people as much as I should. And I know even already in this conversation, I said, reach out to the people you are following and give them your feedback. But thank you, Bruce, for being here today. And what I also remembered, just last night, I expressed gratitude to my 15 year old son who I have, actually, I can start teaching him how to drive now because he’s 15 and a half. But I express gratitude for him doing his chores, and he took it upon himself to make dinner last night. That’s why I didn’t burn. He was actually surprised, and he just stopped for a second. He’s like, wait, what did you say? And that gave me a little bit of a shock. I don’t say thank you to people enough.
Bruce Langford: I know what you mean. And I think that’s true for all of us. I was being interviewed on a podcast one time and the interviewer said to me, Bruce, sometimes, we just need to stop and sit down with our loved ones. Whether that’s your spouse, whether it’s your children, just stop, sit down and look at them right in the eyes and say, what can I do that will make you feel better about who I am? Is there anything I can change? And have a true heart to heart conversation with that person. And I did with my son. Following that podcast, I sat down with him and I asked him those critical questions. I said: “What can I change that will make you enjoy being with me more?” And he said: “Dad, be more serious?”
Kim Sutton: Really?
Bruce Langford: Yeah. I like being silly. I’ll admit it, I like being silly. I like being a little zany. Like I described with my presentation I created on bullying, I just think, sometimes we’re too serious in life. And I just like being really silly sometimes. But when my son talked to me, he says like, I just like you to be more serious. So then I’ve always been aware of that. It’s just his personality, he doesn’t see the world that way. He would rather me be serious than me be really silly and crazy. So I do respect that. I tried to be a little more serious with him.
Kim Sutton: I’m really curious what my kids would say. I’m gonna ask them. It’s interesting. Oh, my four year old daughter, the next one’s four, and then they jump up to 12. My four year old told my husband the other night that we are old. That we are 18, but mama is still older than that at 19. And I just had to say thank you, even though I’m old in 19.
Bruce Langford: That’s so funny. I mean, kids are just such a breath of fresh air a lot of the time.
Kim Sutton: Yeah. And thinking back when I’m 21, I’ll be old. And I’m definitely not 21. But it felt good and funny all the same time. Thank you, Bruce. I’m going to ask my older ones. My little ones are in a silly state right now, you probably appreciate it a lot. You ask them a somewhat serious question and they make up words, right now the word is do-di-da.
Bruce Langford: Okay.
Kim Sutton: It’s just their answer to everything. It doesn’t mean anything, but it sends them into a fit of giggles for the night. I’ll ask my older ones, because I know I won’t get a response like do-di-da. Bruce, what would an ideal next 30 day, or next 90 days look like for you?
Bruce Langford: Well, I think it would be being very focused on one thing, and I’ve been more focused lately on creating content writing. I just got accepted to write for Addicted to Success. And I needed some pitches for some other sites as well. I already write for The Good Men Project, and I think it would be just being more focused with what I’m doing with my writing and creating content. Because I think, first of all, I learned a lot about myself, when I give myself permission to sit down and just write. And there’s something very therapeutic about that. And secondly, I think it would help me become more grounded in everything that I’m doing. So I think that’s what it would be is just being more centered on doing one thing, rather than trying to do so many different things all the time.
Kim Sutton: I do have two follow up questions on that. How do you write? Do you write in a notebook first? Or do you take an electronic?
Bruce Langford: I like to type. I love typing, I always did. I love to sit down at the computer. Sometimes, I just shut my eyes and just see, okay, what are my fingers gonna do? And maybe it’s partly because I’m a piano player. And sometimes, I love to just sit down at the piano, close my eyes and I think, oh, I wonder what’s going to come out. And I just start running my hands over the keyboard, and then see what music comes out. And to get through university, I played the piano and piano bars. And so sometimes, of course, I had exams the next day. And sometimes, I was just playing for background dinner music and things like that. I shouldn’t say just, I mean, that’s a good thing. So I would be sitting there and I could always, if somebody came over to the piano, I was always able to chat with them while I was playing. That was not a problem for me. It’s just something to do with the way my brains are wired, I guess. But what I could also do is sit there and put a textbook at the piano, and I could study while I was playing the piano.
Kim Sutton: Wow.
Bruce Langford: But then I would sometimes come back to my senses. I’m like, oh, what am I actually playing? What is that music that is coming out of the piano? And so I think the same thing is true for writing. For me, I just love sitting down just seeing what my fingers will create on that keyboard. There are a lot of people that say to me, oh, Bruce, you should do it longhand. You should get a piece of paper and you should just write. And sometimes, I do write that way. I love cursive writing, but it’s a lot slower, which can be okay because then it gives you time to think between the words. But my favorite is just sitting down and letting my fingers just find the words on the keyboard.
Kim Sutton: Do you have a focus tool?
Bruce Langford: Well, my focus tool is meditation. So I meditate every morning. But if it’s the middle of the day and I think, oh, man, I’m feeling frustrated, or I feel stress, anxiety. I’ll just sit down, and I’ll just stop everything. I’ll meditate and focus on my breath. And once I do that, then get back to what I want to do then I feel much more centered. So that’s my focus tool.
Kim Sutton: Oh, I like that a lot. Bruce, this has been an amazing conversation. Where can listeners learn more about you and get in touch?
Bruce Langford: Well, you can go to my website, which is mindfulnessmode.com. And you can certainly send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org. I also have a website where I talk a little bit more about myself, my corporate consulting and so on, and that’s brucelangford.ca. Being in Canada, that’s where the .ca comes from. brucelangford.ca. And I have a little bit more on there. But I’d love to hear from you, so send me an email, email@example.com. And check out my podcast. If you have a few minutes, I think you might enjoy hearing various people, including myself, talk about mindfulness and what it means to us.
Kim Sutton: Absolutely. Listeners, if you’re driving right now, all of the links will be in the show notes, which you’ll be able to find at thekimsutton.com/pp354. Bruce, thank you again, this has been absolutely amazing, I’ve got a lot to think about. You’ve given me a lot to think about. There we go. Thanks, my mouth and my brain can’t work together.
Bruce Langford: I just love talking with you. I put on Facebook that one day, your friendship is just like gold to me. Some friendships are, it’s a good friend, but maybe not the same as other friendships. And with you, I can look at you, I can look into your eyes and feel that there is so much there. There’s so much depth. And you’re just one of those people. I value your friendship, and I thank you so much for letting me be a guest on your show. It’s been a pleasure.
Kim Sutton: He just left me speechless. But all the same, right back to you, that doesn’t happen very often. So thank you.
Bruce Langford: Oh, my pleasure.
Kim Sutton: Do you have a parting piece of advice or a golden nugget that you can offer to listeners?
Bruce Langford: My parting piece of advice is about listening. No matter who you’re with, no matter who you’re talking to or spending time with, just stop and think, could I listen more deeply to this person? Can I give them more of myself by being a better listener? And the answer is usually yes. And they will appreciate it. So be a better listener.