Joey Klein is the founder and CEO of Inner Matrix Systems, a personal mastery training system for high achievers. He is the author of “The Inner Matrix: Leveraging the Art & Science of Personal Mastery to Create Real Life Results.” He has been interviewed by Self Magazine, INC.com, Yahoo Finance and NBC. Klein has coached leaders from some of the world’s top companies, including IBM, Coca Cola and the World Health Organization. Learn more at www.innermatrixsystems.com.
Where did the idea for Inner Matrix Systems come from?
I started my journey working with people around what I think of as internal development skills or internal training through meditation, mindfulness, and techniques based on science in terms of modern neurology, psychology, etc. My mentors taught me to support people with their inner world – their minds, emotions, etc. As I got into that work, I noticed that there are not many places where people can effectively receive training on an internal skillset, meaning emotional intelligence, emotional development, thought strategy training, etc. There are a number of programs on health, nutrition, and exercise, and all kinds of systems around developing hard skills like sales, negotiation skills, etc., but there is no place to really train and develop internal capacities, emotional feelings, thoughts, and learn how to think in the most effective ways to get the outcomes people want to create. There was a clear need for that, and seeing that there are not places that people can go to for that type of development and training other than traditional methods, which don’t develop capacities in those areas, that’s where Inner Matrix Systems came from.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
When I wake up, I always start my day with a daily routine to set myself in the right alignment for the day that’s to come. I make sure that I start every day with a workout, followed up with an internal training or meditation practice. My routine also includes setting my intention for the day and the high priorities I want to fulfill. I start every day that way, and I find that that ensures that I hit the mark.
How do you bring ideas to life?
When I look at what I want to create, I always start with the end in mind. I always ask myself, “What do I want the end result to look like? What do I want the vision to look like?” If everything works out and everything happens, I imagine what that would be. If I’m looking to get into better shape, I would imagine what I would be doing if I was in phenomenal shape. Would I be mountain biking? Would I have a lot of energy? Would I be skiing? I start with the end in mind before I engage the process of how I attain that mark. I find that if I can stay focused on what the result would look and feel like in a precise, practical, and vivid way, that tends to guide the process of where I am relative to the mark I’d like to hit, and how to make steps towards making it occurs.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I find the trend of biofeedback quite fascinating. The different wearables coming out, such as the Oura Ring, the Garmin watches, and heart rate monitors (to measure things like heart rate variability), help us gauge if our body is fully recovered. They can help us determine if we are putting out too much energy physically, mentally, etc. We’re using these devices to learn more about how we can effectively calibrate to what’s going on with our bodies in a very sophisticated way. You can know for sure when you wake up if you should put in a hard workout or take a rest day based on real data and science that we can get from our bodies in a way that’s never been possible.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
The habit of acknowledging the long-term outcomes that I want to fulfill on a daily basis helps to inform all of the micro-steps that I’m going to take that day, that week. That consistent routine ensures that I’m doing all of the things that will ultimately hit the mark that I want to hit.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would tell myself to really have fun and enjoy the journey as much as possible. Number two, don’t take the things people do or how people show up personally. It has more to do with them and what’s going on for them; it doesn’t have to do with you. Three, trust that it’s all going to work out, which reinforces number one, which is to enjoy the process and have fun while doing the things you’re doing.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
What most people consider to be conscious decisions – “Do I have a burger or do I have a salad?” “Do I work out today? Do I sleep in?” – is actually a predetermined choice based on a whole set of information in their unconscious reality based on their beliefs, values, etc. We are actually making choices and decisions from this archive of information inside us that most of us don’t have access to. When we make what we think of as a choice, we were already going to decide that before the question was asked. If we accept this as true, we can then use the right techniques to learn how to get inside this pre-conditioned reality and change those conditions so that we set ourselves up to make the choice that aligns with the outcomes that we want to fulfill.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Something that has become a way of being for me that I find valuable is consistently assessing and naming as clearly as possible what I’m doing well and expanding on that. Then I consider what I can optimize. Once this is clear, I make sure that I’m investing time in asking myself, “Which are the most important things I should be optimizing or expanding on based on the outcomes that I’m trying to fulfill?”
Trying to be excellent at everything is not only impossible, but it takes a lot of time away from developing the skill needed in the area of my specialty. I am clear about the things that I’m okay being okay with; I’m clear about the things that I’m okay being bad at. I don’t need to know those things. And I’m good at being clear on the things I need to create a level of excellence or mastery in. I’m continually optimizing or expanding my abilities and capacities based on that specific focus.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
I think the most important thing I’ve done and consistently strive to do better is, making sure that the vision and the outcome that we’re trying to fulfill inside the company is as crystal clear as possible so that everybody who’s involved in the organization can not only align with that outcome and feel great about what we’re trying to achieve together, but they also feel like it’s their vision, it’s their outcome that they’re contributing to, it’s also their legacy. By way of having that, we do a great job of opting people in who are the right people for the company. Everybody who is engaged loves the idea of what they’re up to, and they’re inspired to come to work every day; they feel like their contribution is making a huge difference and contributes to them personally.
You can pretty much achieve whatever mark you set out to with coherence and the right people on the team. If everybody on the team is in agreement with and in alignment with each other and our job is to fulfill this specific outcome, and everyone is working together to make that happen, with one mind, nothing is impossible.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Years ago, we set out to build a technology platform that was supposed to fulfill on a variety of things for the business and create efficiencies and give us the ability to serve customers better, and give us the ability to run our business to scale. I spent a lot of capital to build this technology platform out, which was necessary and critical for the company to operate at its current level and ensure that we could scale for the future.
It completely failed. The people we hired and paid were incapable of doing the job. We’d already spent the capital, so we had to try to get them to finish the job. As a result of that epic failure and the loss of quite a bit of capital, I went back to the formula that I always use, which is, what went well in this process? What can I optimize next to hire our next technology partner?
Our next engagement with a technology partner also did not go very well. It was certainly better than the first partner, but it was way short of hitting the mark for what was promised. At that point, I wanted to quit. I have found that when you have a vivid and very clear vision and a picture of what you want to fulfill in mind (I certainly had that with this project), as long as you stay consistent in the pursuit of it, you tend to hit the mark eventually. I have the rule for myself that if I haven’t fulfilled what I set out to fulfill yet, I’m not going to deviate until it’s fulfilled. That supported me to go ahead and execute the process yet again with another technology partner. The third time was the charm, and we finally hit the mark in the way that needed to be hit. We found a great technology partner, and the system does everything that we needed it to do and a lot more.
In those times that occur for every entrepreneur, when you start asking, “Maybe this just is impossible. Are we going to make it?” and you’re hitting your limit, it’s important to find the emotional and mental strategies to stay the course toward the outcome you know is necessary. This strategy has been key for me.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I’ve always thought that it could be highly advantageous to build out an app that could guide people through the process of health and fitness that would be dynamic enough to work with them based on where they were to create health and vitality inside of daily life and living, and not in terms of trying to get people super fit or lose a lot of weight really fast. Although there are many apps out there right now that do this, most of them are not dynamic enough to meet people exactly where they are in terms of the varieties of lifestyle that exist.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I bought a vibrating foam roller. By far, it’s the best purchase I’ve made in a while under $100 because I use it to roll out my muscles, especially before and after training. I started using it at the beginning of my workout as a warm-up tool, just two or three minutes of rolling, and two or three minutes at the end of my workout. Adding that process into my lifestyle routine has probably eliminated just about every ache and pain or sore muscle twitch we have as we get older. It pretty much eliminated all those for me. I even travel with one – it’s a game changer!
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I enjoy the Oura Ring in combination with the Garmin biofeedback devices. What I like about them is they act as a governor for me. I tend to live life all out. If I’m working out, I want to work out as hard as possible, and I would work out as hard as I could every day if my body would let me. When I take a vacation like I recently did—I went surfing in Mexico—I don’t surf for an hour here or there, I surf two or three hours every day for days straight. I just tend to live all out, which is a lot of energy output, and I don’t always prioritize rest.
When I use these biofeedback devices in concert with each other, they do an excellent job of letting me know where the body is. It reminds me that I should probably do something a little bit lighter that day, which gives me the ability to put out that much more output when needed and hopefully play the game for the long run.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I go back time and time again to Dale Carnegie’s book, How to Win Friends and Influence People. It’s a great book of age-old wisdom in terms of treating people well and how to care about people. I find that if you genuinely and authentically care about people and nurture the relationships in your life, whether that’s business relationships, personal relationships, etc., those tend to be the key to thriving in life. Every time I read it, I find ways I could be better at relationships.
What is your favorite quote?
I love Bruce Lee’s quote, “I fear not the man who knows 1,000 kicks, but the man who does one kick 1,000 times.” I think especially today, in general, people create enough capacity, meaning they’re capable enough in their work, they’re capable enough in their relationships in life, etc., and they’ll do just enough to be good enough at whatever they need to be. That’s a very different reality for people who create extraordinary outcomes and results in life. Every person I’ve ever met that does something extraordinary tends to do the right few key things over and over again until they produce a level of excellence or mastery inside of those few things. The idea of mastering a specific reality and creating something extraordinary always inspires me. To do that, we have to pick the most important thing to us and invest our time there because it’s just not possible to master everything.
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.