About Eric Recker: Eric is the Owner and CEO of WintheNOW, LLC, where they help High-Achieving Leaders to #WINtheNOW and design a life where they are working to become the best version of themselves for themselves and those around them. He has also been a dentist since 2002 and has led a team of 18 dentists since 2002. Eric has been a pilot since 2018, traveling to 12 countries and 46 states. He has been mentoring and coaching most of his life. As a Certified Elite Success Coach, he works with high-achiever personalities who want to #WINtheNOW and enjoy life while realizing their goals. Check out the latest episode of our Conversational Selling podcast to learn more about Eric.
In this episode, Nancy and Eric discuss the following:
- What’s common in dentists and coaches?
- The story of Eric’s burnout journey.
- Lessons from climbing the mountain of life.
- Tips for leading a team of 18 and staying like a family.
- A pivot from dentistry to coaching and speaking.
- 30 minutes of quiet: the technique to hear yourself.
- How has COVID-19 changed Eric’s burnout phase?
- One of the biggest things that I’ve been gifted with is to be able to teach from my journey.
- I had been so distracted by achievement, and I wasn’t getting any satisfaction out of any of this.
- As business owners, entrepreneurs, people in the business world, and even people in life, we must understand why we are working so hard, or we’ll end up with many hollow achievements.
- We won’t make it if we don’t have time for our brains to idle when we’re not consumed with screens.
“I believe that one of the most important things we have in our life is our relationships. So, in our office, we are a family. We go through highs and lows together. We go through the journey of life together. So, one of the significant things in our office is knowing our patients’ stories and our other team members’ stories. So, people from this other company had noticed: “Boy, when we come in for our appointments, we’re not just a number; we’re asked how we’re doing. We have a little bit of conversation before we sit down. And then, through every step of the process, we know what’s going on. We know the next step, and we’re noticed”. So that’s one thing I stress with my team is that we have to notice people because many people go through life and they’re never noticed. They may be because they’re isolated working from home, maybe because it can be a laundry list of reasons, but when they come into our office, if their name calls them and they are asked how they’re doing, then that’s two touch points right there where someone feels like they’re seen, heard, and they’re valued. And that’s huge in our current society.” – ERIC.
“Through those 30 minutes of quiet, and believe me, I failed big time when I started this. The first day I looked at my watch, 45 seconds into it, I thought: “Boy, I got to be getting close.” So I tried to give my mind just some space to run. Faith is a big part of my life, so having some quiet space for God to be able to speak to me or to be able to hear what’s impressed upon my heart. During that time, I had to bring myself back to the moment for the first couple of times, probably every minute or two as my mind would wander and use a re-centering phrase like: “I am here”. I would say to myself: “I am here, right here, right now”. And then, I would get back to focusing on my breathing. And things like that helped me stay in that moment, in that quiet moment. And I think without that the burnout would have spiraled more and more.” – ERIC.
“Yeah, I think what we’re going to find in our lives is the biggest regrets that we’re going to have been going to be at the end of our life when we realize things that we didn’t try, things that we more of the regrets of omission. The things that we didn’t put ourselves out there for. So, it’s important for people to know what success looks like at this stage of life. And then also to know that that’s dynamic. So, a year from now, success might look different. So, to keep re-examining that and realize: “Okay, what are the opportunities I have in front of me that I’m not taking advantage of? And the decisions I must make if I don’t do these things… Are these the things that I will regret five years down the road, ten years down the road?” – ERIC.
Connect with Eric Recker:
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/eric-recker-583849278/
- Personal Website:https://ericrecker.com/
Try Our Proven, 3-Step System, Guaranteeing Accountability and Transparency that Drives RESULTS by clicking on this link: https://oneofakindsales.com/call-center-in-a-box/
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Voiceover: You’re listening to The Conversational Selling Podcast with Nancy Calabrese.
Nancy Calabrese: Hi everyone, it’s Nancy Calabrese and it’s time again for Conversational Selling, the podcast where sales leaders and business experts share what’s going on in sales and marketing today and it always starts with the human conversation. Today we’re speaking with Eric Recter, owner and CEO of Win the Now. Eric helps high-achieving leaders design a life where they are working to become the best version of themselves for themselves and those around them. He is also a dentist, keynote speaker, elite success coach, author, pilot, mountain climber, and a recovering triathlete. Eric, I’m gonna just jump right in. Welcome to the show.
Eric Recker: Thanks for having me, Nancy. I’m excited to be here. [00:58]
Nancy Calabrese: Yeah, I mean, I don’t honestly, I don’t know where to begin. You have such a fascinating background. I, and I’ve never had a dentist on the show before.
Eric Recker: Well, I don’t know if that’s good or bad. Maybe there are no expectations. So, it’ll be, it’ll just flow.
Nancy Calabrese: Yeah, well, I think there’s always a first time for everything. So, first question, I mean, how do you go from dentist to coaching and speaking?
Eric Recker: Yeah, that’s a great question. So, I think one of the biggest things that I’ve been gifted with is to be able to teach from my journey. So, the reason that I can speak, and coach is because I have a story of overcompensating. I have a story of chasing a lot of things that really didn’t matter. And the reason that you read so many things about me is because I have pushed my life to the limit. And for most of my life, I didn’t really know why I was pushing my life to the limit. So now that I’ve discovered that a little bit more, I love to help other people in their lives. [2:07]
Nancy Calabrese: I know you mentioned you have your burnout journey. What is that about?
Eric Recker: Yeah. So, I think I became, uh, burned out because I was bullied when I was growing up. And so, when I was younger in elementary school, I was not allowed to play recess kickball, so that doesn’t seem like much of a big thing when I’m 46 years old. But recess kickball was life. Among other things, as I was bullied, I was told that I wasn’t good enough. And so, I believe that story that I wasn’t good enough. And I remember as a third grader standing on the recess kickball field, off to the side, making a pact with myself that I was going to be so darn good at everything in my life that no one would ever not pick me again. And so, when you make such a declaration to yourself, then you live that way, and you chase everything to try to make people believe that you’re good enough. And burnout for me, largely came from pushing too hard and not taking care of myself. [3:17]
Nancy Calabrese: Yeah. Whose decision was it that you weren’t allowed to play?
Eric Recker: The other kids on the playground. So right now, I’m 6’5″, pretty athletic, pretty lean. At that point, you could call me Husky. So, I was uncomfortable in my body. I was young for my class. I was rough around the edges. And quite honestly, I probably wasn’t very good, but my only hope was to be good enough, to be able to be on the field to prove to others that I was good enough to play.
Nancy Calabrese: Wow. Yeah, well, you know what? Shame on the teachers. They should have jumped right in, but sorry you had to go through that. Lessons from climbing the mountain of life. Talk about that.
Eric Recker: Yeah. So, this is part of the realization that I came to. It was always what was going to be good enough. So, I started with a 5k and that wasn’t good enough. And that got to a 10k half marathon, then into a triathlon through the Ironman distance. And none of that was ever good enough. And then I found myself at the top of a mountain in Colorado a couple of days before I was going to do a hundred-mile mountain bike race. And the realization I had at the top of that mountain is if you don’t know why you’re climbing the mountain, you’re not going to find the answer at the top. And so, I had been so distracted by achievement and I wasn’t getting any satisfaction out of any of this. So, it was just climbing the next mountain, doing the next thing, signing up for everything. Keep proving that you’re good enough. And I realized that I need to know why I’m climbing the mountain. And I think as business owners, entrepreneurs, people in the business world, and even people in life, we must understand what our why is. We must understand why we are working so hard or else we’re just going to end up with a bunch of hollow achievements. [5:23]
Nancy Calabrese: Yeah, Simon Sinek and his talk about why. And so, you have a team of 18 people, correct?
Eric Recker: Absolutely. I do, yes, in my dental practice.
Nancy Calabrese: In your dental practice and you shared with me that you were approached, or the front desk team was approached by another company asking to teach them communication skills. What was that about?
Eric Recker: Yeah, so I believe that one of the most important things that we have in our life is our relationships. So, in our office, we are a family. We go through highs and lows together. We go through the journey of life together. So, one of the things that’s extremely important in our office is knowing our patients’ stories and knowing our other team members’ stories. So, one of the things that our front desk is amazing at, and our entire team really is amazing at, is knowing people’s stories, walking along the journey with those people. So, people from this other company had noticed: “Boy, when we come in for our appointments, we’re not just a number, we’re asked how we’re doing”. We have a little bit of conversation before we sit down. And then through every step of the process, we know what’s going on. We know what the next step is going to be, and we’re noticed. So that’s one thing I really stress with my team is that we have to notice people because a lot of people go through life, and they’re never noticed. They may be because they’re isolated working from home, maybe because it can be a laundry list of reasons, but when they come into our office, if they are called by their name and they are asked how they’re doing, then that’s two touch points right there where someone feels like they’re seen, like they’re heard, and like they’re valued. And that’s huge in our current society. [7:33]
Nancy Calabrese: Yep, I agree. I mean, communication is everything, you know, in sales, in business, in life in general. How did you pivot from dentistry to coaching and speaking?
Eric Recker: Yeah, great question. So, from the different seasons of burnout that I went through and especially ramping up towards COVID, COVID was, was crazy for everybody, but my family had a vacation plan to the south of Spain. So, we were going to stay in the Mediterranean Sea. We were going to do a whole bunch of fun stuff. We were going to travel to Morocco, to Tangier to see some of the places where the James Bond films were shot. And it was an important vacation for my family because my oldest son was graduating high school and it felt like the walls were closing in. He was going to head off to college. So then suddenly all our plans changed, and my plans changed, your plans changed, everybody’s plans changed. So, I had to figure out what to do with some discretionary time as my dental office was closed for eight weeks. And we were super fortunate in Iowa that we were only closed for eight weeks. I’m super thankful for that. But during that time, I committed to 30 minutes of quiet every day. And that was a foreign concept for me. I was always pushed through everything. [09:08]
Nancy Calabrese: Right.
Eric Recker: But through that 30 minutes of quiet and believe me, I failed big time when I started this out. I think the first day I looked at my watch, 45 seconds into it, and thought, boy, I got to be getting close. And I think a lot of people can resonate with that because we have, I don’t know about you, Nancy, but my head spins a lot of the time with a whole bunch of stuff, and quiet has been huge for me to try to slow that down. And during that time, that’s when I discovered the win the now message, which is all about helping people live present in their own lives, present to the current moment. So, we’re not stuck in the past or worried about the future because what we have is what’s right in front of us. [10:00]
Nancy Calabrese: Okay, so 30 minutes of quiet, what are you thinking?
Eric Recker: Yeah, so what I tried to do is give my mind just some space to run. Faith is a big part of my life, so having some quiet space for God to be able to speak to me or to be able to hear what’s impressed upon my heart. During that time, I really had to bring myself back to the moment, you know, for the first couple of times, probably every minute or two as my mind would really wander and just use kind of a re-centering phrase like I am here. I would just say to myself, I am here, right here, right now. And then I would get back to focusing on my breathing. And things like that helped me stay in that moment, in that quiet moment. And I think without that the burnout just would have spiraled more and more and more. [10:55]
Nancy Calabrese: Wow. So, it sounds like you really changed the burnout phase during COVID, is that correct?
Eric Recker: Yeah, that was the attempt. Uh, but what was crazy about our profession is that we were kind of dentistry was kind of seen as, maybe not public enemy number one, but we were pretty high because the procedures that we did generate aerosols and there was the potential for high contact of COVID with our patients. So that’s why we were shut down. Well, when we went, came back, there were all kinds of new air purifiers and vacuum machines that we would put close to people’s mouths while we were doing procedures and extra PPE and all of that. So ironically, the burnout got worse because I was trying to manage my team who was overwhelmed by how hot we were when we worked with all this extra gear on, how hard it was to breathe behind an N95 mask, and all of that. So, the burnout increased after COVID, which is not what I was hoping would happen. Yeah, and ultimately, I got very close to selling my dental practice and walking away because of the level of burnout. [12:17]
Nancy Calabrese: Wow. Well, things have changed now, haven’t they?
Eric Recker: Things have absolutely changed. And at this point, I did end up selling half of my dental practice to a partner. It’s a fantastic relationship. And so now I’m able to through win the now and the different things that I, that I have learned over my life. I’ve started doing some keynote speaking, some coaching, and some writing. And now I have, so Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. I see patients in my office. Thursday and Friday, I work on what I call the content side of my business. So that’s the speaking and coaching and content creation. [13:01]
Nancy Calabrese: Well, you’re still juggling a lot though, would you say?
Eric Recker: For sure, for sure. And so, I must be careful with how I structure my days because it can lead to burnout again. So, things like making sure I stick with the quiet, and making sure I do things like time blocking to make sure that I’m not just letting my mind run are important. [13:27]
Nancy Calabrese: Tell me something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Eric Recker: Hmm, something that’s true that no one agrees with me on. I think we’ve bought the lie that, and I know maybe not everybody doesn’t agree with this, but we’ve bought the lie that, um, it’s okay to be isolated and it’s okay to spend all the time that we do on our devices and on our streaming services and all of that, but I really think that we are in a time that if we don’t have good quality relationships, and if we don’t have times for our brains to idle when we’re not consumed with screens, then we’re not going to make it. We might survive, but we’re not going to thrive. [14:17]
Nancy Calabrese: Yeah, huh! And what is the one takeaway you’d like to leave the audience with?
Eric Recker: Yeah, I think what’s what we’re going to find in our lives is the biggest regrets that we’re going to have been going to be at the end of our life when we realize things that we didn’t try things that we more of the regrets of omission. The things that we, that we didn’t put ourselves out there for. So, to me, I think it’s important for people to know what success looks like at this stage of life. And then also to know that that’s dynamic. So, a year from now, success might look different. So, to keep re-examining that and realize: “Okay, what are the opportunities that I have in front of me that I’m not taking advantage of? And the decisions that I must make if I don’t do these things… Are these the things that I’m going to regret five years down the road, 10 years down the road?” [15:22]
Nancy Calabrese: Do you have any other aspirations, any feat that you want to achieve?
Eric Recker: Yeah, so I, it’s been a little while since I’ve had, a physical challenge. So, I kind of kicked triathlon to the curb several years ago. I’ve climbed a couple of mountains. There’s a, there’s a challenge that I want to do next year that involves, involves mountain climbing, but basically, there’s a place that will rent out a ski resort for the weekend and you hike up and take the sky tram back down or ski lift back down until you get to a total of 29,000 vertical feet. So, it’s a Mount Everest climbing simulation without the snow and the risk of dying and all that kind of stuff. It’s a 36-hour challenge so that’s what I’m hoping to get on my calendar for next year. We’ll see where the locations are. They haven’t been released yet, but I need a physical challenge. [16:31]
Nancy Calabrese: Oh, my goodness. And did you ever make it to Spain?
Eric Recker: We have not made it to Spain yet. It remains on the bucket list and, uh, but we’ve had a lot of life transitions with my oldest son getting married, my youngest son, we moved him to college just this last weekend. So, we’re kind of in the take a deep breath phase right now.
Nancy Calabrese: Oh, okay. Eric, how can my people find you?
Eric Recker: Yeah, the easiest place to find me is my website. It’s just www.ericrecker.com. From there, there are links to all my social media. There are links to my keynote speaking and coaching and the book that I wrote. And the blog that I do weekly. So that’s kind of home base for me and a great place to start. [17:19]
Nancy Calabrese: Wonderful. I can’t thank you enough for sharing your amazing story. I mean, now I’m motivated. I’ve got to figure out something I must do, but I don’t think it’s going to be athletic. Not the way you are athletically anyway. So, everyone, reach out to Eric. He’s so fascinating. And he is, as you can hear, very welcoming to listen to. Share your stories with him. Make it a great sales day. And Eric, again, thanks for being on the show.
Eric Recker: Thanks so much for having me, Nancy. [17:57]