In this episode of the show, I am interviewing Mike Burke, the owner of Live Bold Coaching.
As a professional speaker, Mike comes across people of all kinds who share their individual stories and challenges with him. In the search to support them “beyond the stage,” he found life coaching.
Not everyone realizes that are capable of great things, but Live Bold Coaching reveals the best of people and provides confidence to courageously overcome adversity and pursue challenging goals.
Mike believes that living with cystic fibrosis, being a marathon runner, and building a successful career have all provided him with key insights to success for performing at a high level. These life experiences, combined with a formal education in coaching, mean that Mike has a wealth of practical skills to help others create their own success.
Live Bold means to be fearless and outstanding in all things so we can make the most of our time, relationships, and opportunities.
Transcript-(performed by otter.ai. Terminology and grammar may not be accurate.)
Hello, and welcome to STL active St. Louis is a premier health and wellness podcast. STL active aims to give listeners in the St. Louis area the information they need to succeed and progress with their health and fitness. This podcast is brought to you by St. Louis.com and hosted by Doctor of Physical Therapy, Greg, Judice.
Hey guys, it’s Dr. Greg, owner and physical therapist at Judy sports in rehab. On this episode of the show, I’m interviewing Michael Burke. Michael is the owner of live bold coaching. As a professional speaker, people have always shared their challenges with Michael, leading him to eventually helping them be on the stage. Michael has a great story of triumph,
fighting a debilitating disease
throughout his entire life. And I’m excited to have him on the show to share that story with you. Without further ado, let’s get into the interview with Michael. Welcome to The STL active podcast. This is Dr. Greg Judice, today with me. I have Michael Burke from live bold coaching. Thank you so much for being here.
Yeah, Greg, thanks for having me on. I appreciate
you. This is awesome. I’m excited about this. We’ve, we’ve been talking about this for a couple of months. So I’m glad to have you on the show.
Yeah, it’s great to see
you as well. Yeah. So let’s introduce the readers to you or the listener, excuse me. Tell us a bit about your background.
Oh, boy, we probably shouldn’t start 1970 when I was born, but we can actually reach it. Okay. Well, I guess what folks need to know is, I was born with a well actually with the number one genetic killer of children. And I was given five years to live. I’m about to turn 50. So we broke all those expectations. But I’ve spent a lifetime of taking medicine, sitting in machines doing therapy hospital visits, And some generally low expectations for how well or how long I might live. And the illness that is the background is cystic fibrosis, and really happy to say that we have really broken all those expectations. I even with those kind of scary outlooks on things, my parents were super positive and helped me take all that medicine as a kid and live a full life, even though I had this thing. And when some time came when I had doubts, you know, as I became a teenager and you know, had a great parental influence, that wouldn’t allow me to sink to those levels. And as a result, I’ve I’ve done some really fun and cool adventurous stuff in my life, and truly unexpected things.
That’s awesome. So we met a guests about six months ago, and As I heard your story, I knew that you’re just a cool dude. Right? You’ve done a lot of cool stuff. You’ve lived a cool life and you haven’t let something that’s such a huge burden too many, or possibly a killer, too many. It, it obviously affects you, but you’re able to push through it.
Yeah, I mean, just to get my body to function at a near normal level. I have to take 13,000 pills a year. That’s 36 a day ish when I’m feeling well, that’s the medicine routine. In addition, I have to do well, I’m prescribed to do 500 hours of therapy every year, breathing and breathing treatments, and sitting in vibrating vests to help clear the stuff out of my lungs that cystic fibrosis creates. I was gonna say
let’s, for folks that aren’t initiated with what cystic fibrosis Kind of give a little bit of a background.
Yeah, thank you. So cystic fibrosis is a genetic, primarily lung disease that that’s the part that generally kind of gets us and shortens the life expectancy. So we’re gonna grow some out real quick. My body produces a really thick mucus. So we all have mucus, and it’s all throughout our body, it kind of lubricates our systems. Mine is super thick, and that real thick mucus clogs up the lungs, so it blocks airways and it also traps bacteria. So bacteria that moves in and out of your lungs because the mucus is normal gets trapped in mind, and it colonnades and it grows and it gets stuck and it really creates havoc. It creates pneumonia and potential for infection and big time infections. Yeah, that normal population just doesn’t get and so give you an idea about somewhere between 30 and 40% of my lungs are totally scarred. Meaning, I operate on about 70% lung capacity due to the disease. The other big factor where this mucus causes trouble is in the digestive system. My entire digestive tract is covered, coated with this stuff. And over the years, as it sits on top of various organs, this thick mucosa kills the organ. So I have no pancreas. Therefore, I’m diabetic. So it’s cystic fibrosis related diabetes, gosh, and I’m totally insulin dependent because I don’t have a functioning pancreas. And the pancreas also releases digestive enzymes, and that’s where the 13,000 pills comes in. If I don’t take those enzymes 36 a day. I don’t digest food,
you can’t process I can’t, I would starve to death.
So you could eat
it. Go somewhere else and get prices go.
Yeah, they would go right through. Right. Yeah. So the encouraging part of all that is these medicines have come along all these years and borderline overweight for a guy who’s 50 years old who exercises a lot. But I’ll take that all day long, because it was a long time before I could gain weight at all. Sure,
yeah. That’s fascinating. I mean, this the amount of effort that you have to put in, just to stay, okay. And that’s, that’s unbelievable. That’s awesome. I mean, it’s, it’s awesome that you are a person that can do all those things. Right. And 13,000 pills a year. That’s just such a astronomical number. You know, it’s, I can’t fathom that for myself, who takes probably less than 100 a year? No. It just, it just sounds so crazy. So with with cystic fibrosis, what you know, I was looking at your website last night. I was just trying to get A little bit of a background and it sounds like every time you were to hit a milestone growing up, they gave you just another year or two. And so how, how did you deal with that growing up? And obviously, you mentioned your parents were a great support system. But how did you deal with that growing up that, you know, this is not gonna last very long.
So, you know, yeah, so I’m born, they give me five years to live each year, each year. We were all living a little bit longer, but they didn’t know why. And they, they just didn’t know. So my life expectancy was really never more than two years in the future. And I didn’t know this as a young kid. You know, I was I played soccer and baseball and backyard football with my brother. So it didn’t hit right. I knew I took a lot of medicine with a doctor a lot. But I didn’t know why I was a kid. I wasn’t thinking about it. And you know, you get to those teen years and you start thinking, like, wow, I take 10,000 pills a year. I go to the hospital every year for a week. Just just to keep me going. And you know, when you’re in a hospital and you see other kids with your disease, and they’re really not doing well, some of them aren’t coming back the next year. You know what’s going on. And as a team, you start thinking, and that’s when it started hitting me hard, and I just didn’t know what the future was. Because when I was 15, and I really started putting all this together, the life expectancy was 18. And Greg, there was not a single surviving adult. There was no buddy I could look up to and say, Well, he or she’s doing it. Maybe I could do it too. It just didn’t exist. So I I never lashed out. I never turned to drugs or, you know, soft thoughts that my life wasn’t worth living, you know, thank God. But I became super apathetic like Well, what’s the point in trying hard, I am not going to college. I mean going to be alive.
Why wouldn’t all the effort if, if I’m not gonna make it anyway?
Yeah. And so I just want to have fun. You know, it’s so I was a terrible student because I didn’t see the point. And it was hard for me and I just didn’t put in the effort. And just anything that was hard, I didn’t see the point. So I, I kind of just wanted to have some fun. And it all came to a head though. I’m 18 must have just graduated from high school and all my buddies are off to college, you know, getting ready for that. And I hadn’t applied to a single university, I wasn’t going and my dad is chatting with me one night at the dinner table and he says, Michael, what are you doing? I said, Well, what do you mean? He said, Well, what are you going to do for college? I was like, God, Dad, I’m not going to college. And he says, Why not? That’s why I’m gonna be dead in two years. What’s the point? And he had never heard me say anything like this like this has been brewing for A few years in my mind, but I certainly didn’t tell him that out loud. Oh, no. Yeah. And he, like it hit him like a two by four across the face. And he leans over the table at me. And he says, bullshit, you’re going, and you’re going to do well.
I knew he loved me, right. And he was always direct. And that’s just the way he was. And I thought, well, if I’m going, I want to do well, because I’m not a dummy. And apparently, I’m pretty healthy right there. I was doing quite well. Good. Be healthy as I could be. Yeah. And so that was the thing that really snapped me out of that. And Greg did a really important thing was, is I never had anything I wanted to strive toward. Nothing to achieve. And he gave that to me. And having that goal of graduating from college got me real focused on something positive, instead of this thing hanging over me. And the funny part about it is when I was 18, my lung capacity was 100%. I took the pills and all that, but I was a healthy young man. So my future wasn’t even this limited future that I saw wasn’t even based on my reality. It was
based on other people’s prognosis and averages.
That’s right. Got it. That’s right. And that’s what my father didn’t allow me to sink to.
That’s awesome. You know, it’s funny, I was telling a client yesterday about this interview, and then that you had CF and that you were super active and did a lot of different things and we’ll get into that in a minute but she’s a nurse and when She heard that you’re 50 Plus, how old are you?
I’ll be 50 in January. So
you’re gonna be 50 in January. So sorry for the
hurt. I’ll take it. I’ll take it.
When she heard that you’re 50. She was just dumbfounded. And he’s doing what he’s doing what and so that’s, that’s one of her statements was, he must have had an amazing support system. That was her first go to, because she’s seen it from so many different folks that she’s treated in the past that if the support system is not there, or that encouragement is not there early on, it can go bad quickly, very badly. So that’s awesome that you had that with your dad. And obviously with your mom, too. They got you to 18 and then encouraged you to take it past that on your own.
They did and yeah, I didn’t mention mom because just because she was the quiet one. Right in the background taken me to the doctor four times a year, every every year as a child. She was The one who had to hear the bad news experience the other kids not coming back because they had passed like that was hard. And that’s a hard story to tell. Right? Dad’s got the easy story to tell. But yeah, mom was incredible. And you know, my father passed away a couple years ago and has just a day or two before he passed, and I’m sitting on the bed with him. And I said, Dad, do you know how many times you thumped on me as a kid? And he said, No, Michael, I never thought about it. And what? I need to clarify that because he didn’t abuse me back in the day before we had this technology of these vats that vibrate. He had to lay me across his lap and do the hand cupping. Yeah, very hostile drainage, what they call it, essentially he would thump on my chest, back and sides. 800 times a night. Just put, it would make me cough and get that stuff out. Just knocking some of that just knocking that mucus out. That’s right. And I said, Dad, you did about three and a half million claps on my body in my lifetime. Wow. And it was just such a neat moment that I could let him know how important that was. Sure, because there were a lot of families that just didn’t do it. Right. And those kids, you know, did that with us didn’t do as well as you did.
Yeah. Right. Yeah. So yeah, they were very significant ways. Yeah, for sure. Yeah. So let’s kind of walk through college and then how did you get to where you are now?
So college, I was a terrible student. And
I didn’t you didn’t want to be though
I didn’t want to be I had no, what I thought no reason to be. So I was so bad. I probably shouldn’t say this. My grades were very poor. So I couldn’t get into a four year school. So I went to community college. And what I discovered was while I wasn’t a great student, I was intelligent things had sunk in. And so I started applying myself and my grades went, I mean, almost a straight A student. And that felt good, right that for the first time in my life, I thought my work is producing something unexpected. And I had a goal and I didn’t think Ivy League school, but I wanted to get into Mizzou or align I, and I had to get a 3.75 to do that. And I got in to both of those schools. So it was this really important moment in my life that I knew that my effort could produce great things. My You know, my ideal outcomes could be achieved with my effort. And that started fueling a lot of confidence, this boldness that we’ll talk about, like I can do anything and I’m gonna give it a whirl. I think I can do anything. And I’m going to give it a shot. That’s where that started. And so I graduated in four years with a real nice GPA and, you know, studied political science because it was interesting. And my first job out of college was a in the financial planning world. And I just spent four years in that, doing things that hadn’t been done before. breaking records in the office helping a small business grow, get this 500% in three years. Dang, we’re not it wasn’t all on me. But I was a big part of that. And if I knew it wasn’t for me, I knew that this wasn’t for me. And I had I was uneasy about life. I still had this thing hovering over me because I was 24 at the time, and the life expectancy was like 26 or seven again, there’s nobody older than me. So I just had this thing and so my, my wife, she says, Let’s make moved to Colorado. And I was like, heck yeah. So we move out there just for the adventure of it. And you know, she grew up skiing every year and I been out there and so we move out there and within six months, I’m divorced. I lost the job I transferred out there with my health took a big turn down. Because I was working a lot, not taking care of my body and stressed out from a relationship that I really cared about that was going bad. And after all, that dust settled, I got to thinking, Greg, I said, Well, I’m out here, I either can move back home and pursue something ordinary that I know there’s support there, you know, my family and all that. Or I can go create my own life, which is really what I wanted. I wanted to not find myself, but I wanted to The my life the way I wanted to live it. And that meant adventure and fun and financial. I wanted to do well financially. And I wanted to do something for a living that was of my own choosing. So, I got in the hotel business. I knew some guys out in Denver that I had met, they were working for the Hyatt and boy, they talked about a fun, and they were doing good financially, and they got to move every year. Like that was the thing. If you were an up and comer. They would say Hey, who wants to go to Dallas, we need help in Dallas or New York or LA or the Caribbean wherever there was a hotel. So I thought Boy, that was sounded really cool to me. So I got in the hotel business. I had set a goal for myself. Now this bold thing. I didn’t spend a day working in the hotel business ever. All right, I get hired as a department secretary to the sales department. And I said to myself in four years, I’m going to be a director of sales for an upscale hotel, not just a little two star, three star, but a four or five star hotel. And I told my boss this when she hired me, and she said, Well, Mike, that’s pretty aggressive. But here’s what you would need to do to make that even possible. And she kind of laid out a high level plan for me. And I just was like a dog with a bone, pursuing that. And in three years, and 11 months as a director, youngest director of sales for Omni hotels, that’s all I did. And that again,
I had lost a sales job.
And I thought, instead of sinking to someone else’s thought that I was a good or bad salesperson. I knew I was good. And almost out of spite, I took a sales job like I’m doing This thing and I, I helped Marissa in Colorado Springs they had suffered, they had made their goal in a long time we made the goal. I then took a job in Richmond, Virginia for the Omni hotel there. They hadn’t made their sales goal in 12 years. And I made it in the first year. And then I got transferred up to Detroit with Omni and help that hotel turn around. And again, I knew my effort was making great change for others. Awesome and myself, of course.
So when did you kind of shift from being superduper focused on career to adding in that fitness and health component?
I got that transfer to Detroit. Okay. And now I was the youngest director of sales for upscale hotel, very well respected hotel chain. And I put all of myself into that I worked 16 hours a day. liked it. I like working. I like working hard. But with this chronic illness and not taking care of it, that can catch up real quick and it caught up fast and I got pretty, pretty good and sick, lost a bunch of weight loss lung capacity.
Now, when you lose lung capacity, does it come back?
Not always. Okay. Actually, it’s fairly rare to gain back lung capacity once that tissue is scarred.
So once those processes have set in, where you’re getting sick things are trending downward. The best you can have is right where that ended? Correct. Typically,
typically, and the big fear is, is once that ball starts rolling downhill that it never stops. Got it. That’s what we see a lot of am going into the hospital for an infection, and you never come out. So that was a real thing. And now I’m 30 right. I’m 30 years old, and I created this life this fun, adventurous, healthy financial freedom. Right life and it just blew up. And I had to decide do I What do I do? Do I focus on the career like I have been and run the risk that I was running or, or focus on all of life like the whole person. So I moved back home to St. Louis and I took a job that was a sales job and it was a lot easier than 16 hours a day sure right being on call 24 seven you know, hotel never closes. But at that time, I was like, boy, I really need to get this health thing under control. I lost so much weight, my lungs were just caught I was coughing all the time. And so I started going back to the doctor real regularly, I started taking all of those pills again, right all 30,000 you know, I got one of those vests so I started sitting in it, but God I hate sitting in that that’s just sitting there for an hour. While this thing is vibrating my body and I just it’s terrible.
is still terrible now?
Ah yeah, I don’t like it. Okay.
I figured that just the tone there. That didn’t seem like a 30 year old tone that sounded like I’ve been doing this for a long time and I’m tired of it. Yeah.
And I just it’s hard for me to sit still anyway. So for me to sit there for an hour is it’s just torture. So I started doing all this in Funny enough, the doctors always wanted me to be active, funny, have a chronic illness, but being active was really important. So I thought, Well, I’m not going to be playing soccer anymore baseball and all that business. What can I do? They want me to run. Running. Heavy breathing, causes coughing. So that’s therapy, as well. I guess I’ll start running. I ran in college and it was kinda I liked it and let’s, let’s take this to the next level and I started running and Greg, it was tough. I would cough so hard that I’d have to stop and sometimes puke. Like you get that thing caught near Is coughing so hard. Other times my belly was so out of whack I, I didn’t know what was gonna happen on the middle of the trail side to be close to a bathroom. However, after a few months, I started feeling better. I was coughing less, my, my belly was more right. And it felt good. Like that that thing like, okay, just like college just like my career, my effort will produce a result. So I thought, this running thing is getting boring, you know, four days a week, three miles a time. There’s no goal. There’s no challenge. It’s not run. It’s just running for the sake of therapy. And with me, I kind of like a challenge and I like interesting things. I like things to be
almost impossible. Okay.
Driven guy. Your goals.
Yeah. And I like it to be. It can’t just be like, Okay, I’m going to run a 10 K. I thought, well, what’s further than that? Time came. I guess I could run a half marathon. But I think I could do that pretty easy. How can I run a marathon 26.2 miles.
So you’ve got a a condition that limits your lung capacity and you want to run 26.2 miles without stopping as fast as you can.
Alright, so not only do I have the lung thing, but I’m not digesting food, remember? So the three obsessions of endurance athletes is lung capacity vo to max nutrition and electrolyte replenishment. So electrolytes, right Gatorade, think Gatorade. The things in Gatorade makes your muscles function, right without electrolytes. Your muscles can’t fire right? Well, cystic fibrosis with cystic fibrosis, I lose electrolytes at astronomical rates
because it goes into mucus and pass through
well the salt I lose tremendous amounts of salt in my sweat, okay due to the disease. Part of the cellular defect is my hydrating mechanisms don’t work. So hydration of fluid and chloride. The chloride doorway doesn’t work, right? So I’ve got the three handicaps of any athlete much less than endurance athlete. And I thought, Man, whatever, I’m gonna give it a shot. Okay? So like right now I subscribe to Runner’s World Magazine. I get hell Higgins book on running marathons. He was a ex Olympian. And I thought I know everything. I got it covered, right. So I boy, I started training and I was doing really good. I ran eight miles and wasn’t tired. 10 miles and I wasn’t tired. 1314 and literally feeling great. Not struggling one bit. coffin. Right. But that kind of became a background thing. And that’s
part of the therapy. Anyway, that’s part of your therapy with that.
Yeah, and the stuff I was getting up was great. It’s no longer in my body. But I hit a wall at 16 miles. I tried. I you know, I’m training for this marathon, which is something like six weeks away. And I have to run 16 miles because then it’s 18 minus 20. twice, two weekends in a row, I fall to the ground. Totally dehydrated, salt depleted, electrolyte depleted. I mean, go down cramps, every muscle in my body is cramping. And I’m down in a heap on the sidewalk, like a fish rolling around out of water and having to walk back to the car. I thought, man, how am I ever gonna run 26 I can’t even do 16 and it was the spark. I always thought I had to do these things alone. I have to be strong. I have to do it. And clearly wasn’t working. I didn’t know enough how Higgins book wasn’t enough, right? So I went up to fleet feet sports Who were you know, the running experts here in St. Louis. And I said guys You know, I’ve been a customer a long time and trying to marathon dine at 16. Well, they said, Well, what are you drinking from like water? Like, what are you eating during your long sessions? It’s like Who? Who eats during reading? So I can’t eat a candy bar, not even a PowerPoint. I can eat a power bar trying to run 16 miles. That’s crazy. Like, Oh, no. Have you ever heard of goo? I was like, God know what to do. And for the non endurance athletes in the crowd, it’s a pudding, but it’s a high electrolyte high caffeine. Bought 120 calories of instantly digestible food and marathoners. We’ll do a couple of like one every 45 minutes.
Really? Yeah. Wow.
Huge because you right you’re depleting plowing through so rapidly. Yeah. So as I go, alright, let’s give it a shot.
And just I guess we’ll give a quick promo. Yeah, gee. Right,
yeah, G G, G. That’s right g U. And then they asked me what I was drinking. I said water and like, well, you’re depleting your electrolytes further by drinking water. You can actually die. Oh, yeah. hyponatremia. And I said, Well, what do I do like Gatorade or Powerade, or the various high level now electrolyte replacements that are out there. And I did that I bought a guru for every 45 minutes for three hour run. I drink Gatorade, and I ran 18 miles at the same pace. I had run 13 went on to finish that first marathon in four hours and 21 minutes, which was my 10 minute mile pace, which was what I was gunning for. And then I got obsessed.
Okay, that is awesome. And I think that just shows your competitive spirit right and that you don’t have to just settle and that’s one of the one of the themes that has been kind of coming up with these podcast is don’t settle. If you’re having pain, if you’re having limitations, if you’re not able to complete your run, don’t settle, find the solution. Whether that solution is for you, it was nutrition. That was the biggest thing. And once you found that solution, you were able to plow right on through that.
And I had to reach outside of myself because I didn’t have the solution. Right. And but I wanted something pretty bad. And that was, so most people would assume I love to run. And I have grown to love it. Like I do like it now that I can’t run so much. I miss it. But what I really wanted, Greg, the thing that was driving me was to do something unique, that a lot of other people didn’t do and quite challenging, because it would keep my interest. So and it was bold, right? This is where that live, bold thing comes again. I couldn’t To run a 10 K, and it would have been it would have helped me in my health, and I could have gotten in shape and but it just didn’t seem enough. Right. And it wasn’t it was or 10 k was ordinary for me and I didn’t want to be ordinary. I have an extraordinary challenge. And I felt that I needed something to do something extraordinary to meet that challenge in the marathon Was it because you didn’t want to just be
And listen, by this time, I’m 30, the life expectancy, I had actually
saw my 30th birthday life expectancy was 28. And part of it was I honestly didn’t know how long I got and none of us do know how long we live 72 years old is not guaranteed. And I thought I want to take advantage of my time. And I want to go big in everything I did. I wanted to go big because I didn’t want any regrets I learned to live fully?
That’s awesome. Yeah. So I got to ask who, who is the oldest living person with CF?
Well, there are now folks in their 60s and 70s. What they discovered is there’s over 2000 mutations of cystic fibrosis. So we don’t all have exactly the same disease. Some folks don’t have the digestive issues. Some of our lungs take a harder beating than others. So what was misdiagnosed in the past? They’re finding out is CF. Okay. My mutation is the most common mutation. I have the whole package. And I’ve just done
surprisingly well with it.
That’s awesome. Yeah, that’s awesome. And you know, that live bold. I want to get into that. That is the name of your company. Yes. Live bold coaching. Yeah. What was the transition to get to being a coach
so I had started my own business, to kind of take control of my future, whatever that was, you know, I couldn’t work those long hours in an office anymore. It was my body couldn’t do that. So I started my own business and I tried a couple different things. And then people, as I ran multiple marathons, I’ve run nine falls 20 hats, I didn’t Iron Man. People like Mike, you need to write a book, you need to write a book. I’m like, I’m just doing my thing. I’m just living my life. I don’t think a book is worthy. And I finally got convinced. So I wrote the book. And I was asked to speak in front of a number of groups. In Greg, as I spoke, and I am very vulnerable when I speak, I’ll tell them my challenges, what was going on in my head, what my body’s doing and how I tried to overcome those things. That’s a certain vulnerability that attracts people because it’s vulnerability through hope. And they, they they’re attracted to that we’re all attractive. To that, and they would ask, they would tell me their story, Michael, I don’t have what you have. But can I tell you my story? Oh, yeah, tell me. And Greg every time like, Man, I’m glad when I got. I know what I can do. I wouldn’t wish that on my enemy. That’s a tough deal. But I couldn’t help them. Other than being encouraging.
And just a sounding board, just yeah, just being able to listen to their issues. And like you said, being attractive because you’re vulnerable. And what can you do past that?
Right? I wanted to go beyond the stage. Right? Because I knew a day or a week later, as the effects of the speech go away, they’re still in the thick of whatever they’re going that’s going on. Their problem doesn’t go away. So I thought, How can I help them and so I looked at therapy and these folks weren’t depressed or anxious. They didn’t have things that needed therapy. They were lost, they were unsure. They weren’t clear on what they wanted, and why they wanted it and they couldn’t see a path forward. And I thought, that’s not necessarily therapy. That sounds like coaching. And so I looked for quite a while on it for a coaching, style and philosophy that could meet the challenges of cystic fibrosis, which I can’t imagine there’s much harder than that. And I thought, Man, if I can find something that matches that challenge, helping people in their career to you know, do better there or achieve some difficult goal or repair relationships at home. Whatever tool I pick for CF will definitely be strong enough for helping folks in their career. And that’s how the coaching came about. I found that that philosophy the the tools and the techniques, if you will, specialized training that can help the cystic fibrosis community and professionals perform at a high level. I love
it. And I think the biggest thing there is that living boldly helps them become the best version of themselves. And I think that’s a lot of people kind of get into that middle ground where life’s not bad, but it’s not awesome. And getting to that next level is always challenge. And that’s where you come in. Yes. So how to, how do you make that happen?
So I wish I could tell the audience Hey, there’s a 1234 step process that will get you from ordinary to extraordinary.
Well, it’s an individualized process and yes, why you need Mike.
So there are some universal things that we can all do to get us unstuck into that life that we really want. But each person like you said, is at a different stage. And if you try to do the thing for myself, Work for Greg Judy’s at the same time, it might not work. But that’s the cool thing about coaching. It’s a one on one relationship where we’re in a guided, intentional environment where we can explore. I like unlimited possibilities. Let’s just see what’s out there for us. And I tell you what, when people start thinking, like what would my ideal life be? It’s actually a lot more achievable than we might think. Sure. And we have lots of things we can do to work toward that and make that forward movement. And it’s not always about the end goal being achieved when my favorite favorite quotes by Bruce Lee, who was unbelievably successful in what he did, and he said, not all goals are meant to be achieved. Goals are simply meant to be pursued
in the pursuit of happiness or
you, because in the pursuit, you’re doing things to get that ultimate goal, and you’re going to move that bar, and you’re going to be happier in the process, because you’re not settling. You’re pushing and everyone around you will reap the benefits of your growth. I think about your kids, your near your spouse, your loved one, and your mom and dad, whoever it is your co workers. As you grow in knowledge and positivity, intentional positivity, that stuff rubs off. And now we have the science to prove it. That attitude and positivity actually is contagious.
That’s awesome. Yeah. Now you mentioned the pursuit that kind of reminds me of myself a little bit so I do some woodworking in the garage. Nothing too crazy, but I do some stuff. objects here and there. And, you know, the project itself, the creation of it, the design, the measuring, that’s fun. When it’s done, there’s kind of a low, you’ve hit the goal, you finish the project. And all I can do is criticize the project sometimes. Even though it came out exactly like I wanted to, oh, it could have been a little bit different. It could have been a little bit different color could have been. And so the pursuit is way more fun than the finished product. So I can definitely appreciate that.
So what we would spot on by the way, that is spot on there is a letdown, a mental and emotional letdown when we achieve something special. Like a a handcrafted piece of woodwork or marathoner, Iron Man or a career promotion. There is a letdown. So what we would always encourage our runners to do. So I trained runners for six years as a marathon coach, and we’d say get your spring race. paid for and your fall race paid for. Because when you would finish your spring race and you would,
you know finish notably have that loan have
the lol afterwards and unless you were paid for the fall race, you probably aren’t gonna train for it. So in the work that I do now is I will ask my my coaches, hey, what’s our short term goal? And what’s the long term goal and way out in the distance what’s the ideal outcome? Because that can always be pursued. And we so those negative voices don’t come in like I could have been better. It’s the fine line of I’m pursuing excellence versus perfection. And if I am hitting excellence, then I can be joyously prayed, I can have joyous pride in how I’ve conducted Myself and who I am and what I do. So we want to foster these positive emotions. Because our natural tendency is to focus on the negative. And what’s interesting, some of that’s
part of the human condition it is to focus on those negatives, and that’s part of our species.
It’s what we do part of the makeup of Yeah, of our species. Exactly. And they think that’s what kept us alive for so long. Well, now we don’t have real danger, day to day lives here in America. So we make stuff up, like our brain is wired to find danger. And so we make danger up and what they found. Dr. Barbara Fredrickson is a positive psychologist, and she studies positive emotions instead of negative emotions. And what she’s discovered that when we’re in a positive emotional state, that our entire thought action repertoire expands versus contracting. So when we’re thinking negative, it’s either fight flight, freeze or fawn. That’s all we do. Well, when we’re in a positive state, we’re creative or persistent, where you and you think of a positive action or thought, and it is multiplied with is multiplied. So we’re a more creative whole person when we’re in a positive emotional state. And she’s studied this. It’s she calls it the broadening effect of positive emotions. It’s amazing. That is awesome.
Yeah. And so you’re able to use
her her words as well as everybody else that you’ve gotten information from and education from on coaching to help your clients use these techniques to help their life. Yes, that’s awesome. Yeah. One of the statements you’d made earlier is that you have a somewhat easy time. building that initial relationship because of your story because of your vulnerability. Let’s touch on. How do you cultivate those relationships and really build that trust with your clients? Because they have to, they have to love you. Yeah, they have to know you and love you and trust you completely. How do you get to that level?
So my own vulnerability, hey, I have this thing and it’s been really hard in my life and but here’s how I’ve overcome it. So that’s the, that’s the thing that breaks the door. What really builds that trust long term, Greg, in our business relationships and at home and whatever is your ability to lock into that person, when they’re telling you something, to get rid of all of your own thoughts, to not problem solve for them. Let them be vulnerable with you in a really safe, positive environment. And in that way, you can then understand what they really need and it wouldn’t get that deep with them. business relationship typically, although it can can, okay, and that’s when you really got something with people. But if you, you know, if you get in a conversation with a networking partner, if you will, and you don’t ask what their challenges are, you will never know how you can help them either through your own services, or a colleague who has that service they need. And if you can help people solve their own problems. You have got an ally for life. So in coaching, it’s like coaching slash consulting. My ultimate objective with coaching is to have my coaches solve their own problem, because they’re smart, they’re whole, they’re creative, all these great things. The we just have to uncover the dust on their way of thinking right? And they generally will have their own solutions. Sometimes they get super stuck, and they’ll just say bark tell me the answer. I might suggest something to them. But it’s always their choice.
They’re the ones pursuing that next goal. Yeah, they they have to be the ones that find it. That’s right. Otherwise, it’s just paying you for solutions, which that’s not what you want. That’s really
not what they want. Right? There are some things like, Hey, I have an accounting problem. Okay. I know a great CPA. Sure. They’ll help you get in, right? Different types of rap. That’s a different type problem. But what we’re helping with live bold is, is that mental game, where they’re not sure if they can achieve something they haven’t ever thought big, like big, big, right? And that’s a challenge in itself, for host of different reasons, but it’s all in there. And when someone sees themselves for the first time, in the light of no limitations. It’s really fun for both of us. That’s very cool.
Yeah, very cool. So you’d mentioned the going big or thinking big or setting those dream goals. That’s something that people don’t know do regularly, how do you? How do you encourage people to get into that mindset? Because it’s it’s hard to think what my business could be, if everything went perfectly in 20 years, you know, so how do you how do you get into that mindset?
First thing is to surround yourself with people who have done just that, to allow their success to penetrate your thoughts of possibilities. That make sense. So that’s the first thing you you in in change in the process of change, we have to think about it first. Okay, if you get an action first, without really thinking about it, it doesn’t last. So you got to spend time thinking about possibilities is this possible? What is possible, and so you get surrounded by amazing people. And let their vision maybe sink in to you. Like my father had a vision for my life I didn’t have that was not my vision college. I borrowed his vision. And I let that drive me for a number of years, until I got my own vision. So, if someone thinks you’re the cat’s meow, except that, like if they tell you man, you’re really smart, you’re, you do a great job. I really love the energy you give, accept that and maybe even go beyond acceptance and foster that. Like, oh, he said, I’m smart. I don’t feel smart. I wonder why he thinks I’m smart. What What have I done that would make him think that or maybe you could even ask them. So get yourself surrounded by folks who who are encouraging and know how to do it. Not the people you want to do that because the people you want to be encouraging aren’t always the ones that know how to do it. So So get out of your comfort zone get surrounded by people who are already there are already on the journey in a significant way to think about it, like intentionally Think about it, where I really started doing well, I took a job in Colorado Springs, and I was in Denver. So I had a 45 minute, one way commute. And this was right at that time in my life. Remember when all hell broke loose, and I had bought a car, a brand new car without a radio? Because that’s what I could afford at the time. So I was driving an hour and a half every day in total silence. And guess Can you imagine the problems I solved without the radio in the background?
You got an hour and a half to think
hour and a half time to think to work things out. And so I worked out the things I didn’t do well in my divorce and I know what went wrong at the past job. How can I improve upon those I wasn’t in a negative frame of mind. I was excited about where I was going with this hotel thing. Every day, you know, I had a great call with whatever company, what went well there. So I was teaching myself how to reproduce the good things. So it’s got to be dedicated time. And the best way in our busy lives to do that is on the drive home. It’s built in time. Because you know, when you get home to your kids and spouse, your attention goes to them, right? So can you set aside that 30 2040 minutes just for you. So you can go home, creative, and undistracted. Like that’s the great benefit of it. You get all this stuff worked out in your head, in your home in a better frame of mind. Perfect. So get surrounded by good people and start thinking about it. be intentional about your thoughts where you might want to go.
So I may have questions about the first part. Because the surrounding yourself with good people, I have good people that I know that I like that I trust that have done it. How do you? How do you ask? How do you how do you get them to be on your team, if you will?
Yeah. ask their opinion. Just straight up. Everybody wants to share their success, okay? They do. Not everybody. What I’ve found is the vast majority of people want to share their success. They want to tell you how they did it. It feels good when you tell someone about your success. And that can be that joyous pride thing that I mentioned. And the point is, you don’t have to do the success just the way they did it. That’s not the point. I wrote a book. So people could see that great things are possible. They don’t have to run marathons. That’s not what I’m telling them to do. I’m encouraged them in a way of thinking, get big think think crazy possible. And whatever crazy possible is in your life pursue it. So if they say, Hey, this is how I did it, just think about the concepts of how they did it and ask deeper questions. And I’m pretty certain they will tell you, and then you have got to show great appreciation. And above all, you have to go into that ask with, this is what I want. This is what I’ve thought about. I would love your opinion on that. Because we don’t want to help people who aren’t helping themselves. That’s really hard there. There are some special people in the world who will just help to help. by enlarge, we want to know that our thoughts are being taken into consideration. Like if I share how I was successful, I want that person to listen. Sure and take in those thoughts. So let them know. I’ve thought about it. I think I have solutions. I’d love I would value your opinion. That goes a long way. That’s great. And then and then you’re coming from a hopeful, positive standpoint, aren’t you? You’re not saying I don’t know what you’re doing. I’m sorry. I’m not even trying. Got it.
Yeah. You’re saying, here’s what I’ve thought about. Here’s how I’ve been creative. This is what I’m thinking. What’s your opinion? Yeah, I value taking to that next level potentially.
Have you ever thought about this, Mike? Oh, no. And when they point something out that you didn’t think about, you can’t be defensive. You truly have to be like, I just never thought about, it’s okay that I didn’t think about it.
Why be defensive? You’re asking for an opinion.
You’re asking for the opinion. Sure. Accept it. Embrace it. Got it.
Yeah. So I want to touch on your coaching. You’re speaking your book in just a minute. But I have one last question before we get to that. Something that you’d mentioned earlier was always having to do things alone. Not being aggressive. thing, right when you were training for the marathon, initially, everything was on your own. Eventually, you knew you had to ask for help. So you found the folks at fleet feet, they got you in the right direction. So how about your clients? They’re working with you, but they’re still kind of on their own, after they’re done with their meeting with you. Is there some sort of community aspect that you use for your clients so that they can collaborate with each other? Yeah.
I want them to think that they’re a part of something bigger. And this is that live bold experience. Okay, like it’s an experience. It’s not just a coaching program, it’s a life experience. And in with that experience, is the ability to see that they’re not alone. And so, you know, I’m kind of creating that in its infancy. I have a little Facebook page called Live bold with Michael Burke. For you know, I shared Some things just yeah, hey, if you want to be a little more positive how you do it, if you want to think bigger, this is how you get started. But I hope one day that that community is a big thriving community and full of people who are her really understand that our time is a gift. pursuing those difficult things, while difficult, is very rewarding. And they can have this life with no regrets. That, you know, I’ve seen my mortality
much too often. Sure.
And when that happens, you wonder, have I lived a really great life? And I would love it for people to not have to ask that question. But they know that there’s a knowing that I don’t have the perfect life. But I don’t have to wonder what would be because I tried it. I gave it my shot. And things worked out the way they worked out, but I gave it my best effort. That’s what I want them to experience. That’s awesome.
So with live bold, how does it work? How does someone start? What’s the process?
Yeah, so most of my work has been by referral, which is exciting, you know, you help someone bring out their best and they really want to tell some other folks about it. It’s it’s really easy though, Greg. It’s just conversation. It’s powerful and meaningful conversation. But, you know, kind of how it gets going is we just find out what, what they want in life, and do they have everything they want? And then are they even striving toward something anymore and if they want some support with that, Then the coaching process happens. And that process has a lot of conversation in it. It’s it’s enlightening and positive conversation. They might be tough, tough topics. But folks leave. That’s a loose term is overused but empowered. I like to say they they leave powerful knowing that they can influence the outcomes in their life. Right. We can’t control them, but we can influence them to a great degree. So yeah, and there’s a lot of different techniques that I might use from the field of positive psychology, which actually the the training program that I follow, is a is coaching informed by positive psychology. And boy, anybody who wants to read what that’s about, I would recommend the book flourish by Martin Seligman, who is the father of positive psychology. Just to clarify, I’m not a therapist. I’m not a psychologist. I’m a coach who uses positive psychology as a coaching background as part
of the tools that you use. Yeah,
sure. We’re not healing people. And that’s the big difference. Understand? Yeah.
So we’re getting kind of in towards the end here. You obviously wanted to talk about live bold. What about your speaking because I know you’ve given lots of different speaking engagements, and I’ve been at one of those, and it was awesome. So what, what is, what does that look like?
So the live bold speaking, is the first step where people start thinking, they’re, they’re challenging their own ways, because they’re seeing some knucklehead from St. Charles, who did some pretty cool things in life and took his life in a direction that just really was unexpected. And they start thinking maybe I can do that too, with my Life. So that’s the trigger. That’s the the first step of the entire process that can lead to coaching that first thought, and I’ve heard some amazing speakers over the years, and they just get me thinking. They might not even propose a solution in their talk. But they get us encouraged to think I too, can do great things. So the speaking does that and the topics can be truly live bowl like how to get a vision that’s beyond anything you’ve ever dreamt before. how that process happens? And all the way through to how do I stick to it? this thing called the process for tenacity, right? How do you stick to things that are uncomfortable, seemingly undesirable, and sometimes I don’t see the benefit of it. That’s tenacity. And so we got to have the initial new breath of life coming in. Then you have to stick to it. And that’s that’s some of the topics on my cover.
Pretty good. Yeah. Awesome. And then obviously your book, tell people about your book where they can find it.
Yeah, so the book is titled waiting to die, running to live. And it’s really an essence, that encouraging story about the kid who didn’t know what may happen, and kind of waited for things to happen in his life. And then took charge, and then created things in his life. And it just crowned and it’s not just for chronic illnesses. Although, if there’s someone in the audience that has someone with an illness, this would be really good for them. It’s also good for just anybody who isn’t quite sure what’s possible. They’re going to read some things that again, it’s super vulnerable, I tell them what’s on my mind and, and, and then how to start building that community that’s in the book. Like how I went from doing it alone to having just an unbelievable level of support that I never I could never imagine as a young man. Sure, yeah. And they can find it on Amazon
Amazon perfect. Awesome. So if they wanted to get in contact for with you for coaching or for speaking engagements, how do they find you?
Yeah, so email is Mike at Michael Patrick Burke calm or man just give me a call 314-283-5985 that’s probably the easiest way and I always, always love talking with folks.
Sure. So we have about five minutes left for I have to pack up here. Okay, anything else that you want to share?
You know, I, this live bold thing is hard to define. But it means to take full advantage of your time, too, to be courageous in the face of adversity. And not to be afraid to go beyond ordinary. And, and to know that you can do that. That that’s, that’s live bold, and it’s livable for folks who are already bold and want to continue to do even more. But it’s also for folks who aren’t sure how to be bold. Maybe I’m not a bold person, maybe I don’t feel I’m courageous and a risk taker. Well, that’s okay. That’s what the program’s for, is to help us all move forward to heart. Ideal outcomes. That’s awesome.
Yeah. And I see that in my own practice, as well. It’s, you know, some folks are facing fears. And I would imagine that’s very similar to you. They’re afraid to fail. They’re afraid to succeed. They’re afraid of what’s next. And you’re able to help them get over that hump, and get to that next step, which allows them to be that big thinker, that big business owner, that big person in their family’s life, whatever it is.
Yeah. Very cool. That’s exactly right. Awesome. Yeah. Anything else? No, man.
Very good. Thank you so much for being here. I appreciate it. This has been fun.
Thanks, Craig. Looking forward to hearing everything. Perfect.
This has been STL active.
Thank you for listening to the STL active podcast from St. Louis PT comm If you enjoyed the show, please spread the word. Thanks again and see you next time.