Your Invisible Mentor: Michael McCleary
Company: Live Unconditional
We present part two of Michael McLeary’s interview today, and part two is as informative as part one. These interviewees are truly invisible mentors in every sense of the meaning. They are unique leaders who we can learn things from. What would happen if we combined the wisdom, wisdom and experiences of all the invisible mentors? What are your thoughts? Let’s read Michael’s interview and learn as much from him as we can.
Avil Beckford: Tell me a little bit about yourself.
Michael McCleary: I tell extraordinary stories for a living. It’s the best career I’ve ever had. What do I mean by telling stories? Well I own a video production/new media/web company about 2 hours north of Detroit, MI. Recently, I also had the opportunity to finish my first feature length documentary, An Anything But Ordinary Journey, with my business partner Casey Turner in October of 2009. I spent over 4 years on the project, interviewing people across the US and Canada on the meaning of success. So whether it’s making films, or serving clients through our business, it’s all about sharing extraordinary stories with the world and that is extremely satisfying.
Avil Beckford: As an Invisible Mentor, what is one piece of advice that you would give to readers?
Michael McCleary: Find your passion and purpose. I believe we were all empowered with a gift to give to the world. I’d like to emphasize the words gift and give. When we give of ourselves and our talents freely to others, amazing things occur. This doesn’t mean what you always do is free, but find ways to give back. It not only makes you feel good but also those you affect. When you wrap the concept of giving around what it is you have a passion for, you find moments of joy that are truly amazing and almost unexplainable. If you don’t feel you have found a purpose or passion, begin that search now!
Avil Beckford: How do you integrate your personal and professional life?
Michael McCleary: Sometimes it’s hard but really my professional life is almost an extension of my personal and vice-versa. I love making connections and friends. If you are a client, I really do consider you a friend. It’s not what I can get from you but what can I give to you.
Avil Beckford: What’s a major regret that you’ve had in life?
Michael McCleary: Not always finishing what I’ve started. I love starting things, finishing a few times hasn’t always been the easiest. One of my resolutions this year is to go through and tie up any loose strings I have in my life.
Avil Beckford: What are five life lessons that you have learned so far?
- Find your Passion, you have a gift so find joy in using it.
- Truly experience gratitude and be thankful for what you have been blessed with in your life.
- Persevere even when it looks like there is no light at the end of the tunnel.
- Be willing to make a Change, even when it may be difficult.
- Find your Faith, whether it be in God, friends or family; faith is the power that will keep you going.
Avil Beckford: When you have some down time, how do you spend it?
Michael McCleary: Down time, what’s down time? Actually, I’m a notorious web surfer. I love reading news. I’m also a Facebook addict. Yes I admit it, I enjoy social media! I also just really enjoy spending time with friends and family and long drives in the summer.
Avil Beckford: What process do you use to generate great ideas?
Michael McCleary: I generally don’t have a process, in fact when I force it, it’s harder for me. I’ve been blessed that ideas often just pop into my head out of thin air so I take the time to write them down before I forget. If I really need to find an idea or solution, I’ll actually go out and do something fun and non work related and those are the times I have the best insights.
Avil Beckford: What’s your favourite quotation and why?
Michael McCleary: Only 1? I guess I’m going to break the rules and give you 2…
“Don’t ask what the world needs, ask what makes you come alive and go do that. Because what the world needs is more people that have come alive.”
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead
Avil Beckford: How do you define success?
Michael McCleary: Find your purpose and passion. When you do that and find joy in your life, no matter what society may deem success for you, your life, that is success because you are doing what you are supposed to do.
In your opinion what’s the formula for success?
Michael McCleary: It’s different for every one. Watch my film, An Anything But Ordinary Journey http:/www.anythingbutordinary.net. Yes, this is a bit of shameful self promotion, but the film follows my journey to find out what it really means to be successful and has so many nuggets of wisdom from a wide range of people. It answers this question.
Avil Beckford: What are the steps you took to succeed in your field?
Michael McCleary: The big thing was really to make a decision that I was going to commit to my career choice and continue to pursue it even when times were tough. By taking committed steps of action towards a goal, the path becomes clear, even when at first it doesn’t appear to be.
Avil Beckford: What advice do you have for someone just starting out in your field?
Michael McCleary: I recommend getting some work as a production assistant on various productions. Work for free and find out if you really like it. If you have an opportunity, I strongly recommend finding a quality film school. There is so much to learn. I’m blessed with a natural aptitude for this, but I really want to eventually go to school myself.
Avil Beckford: If trusted friends could introduce you to five people that you’ve always wanted to meet, who would you choose? And what would you say to them?
Michael McCleary: I’d ask mostly a lot of questions… My life has been one giant interview with people about success and life. This would be no different.
- Mitch Albom – “For someone who has the success and fame you have achieved as a writer, author and personality, how do you manage to live such a fairly normal life and stay humble?”
- Pope John Paul II – “What was your secret to moving almost a billion people in a positive direction, and do so with such humility and warmth?”
- Elon Musk – “As the creator of PayPal, now SpaceX and Tesla Motors; how did you not only come up with these ideas, but follow through and actually create successful, growing organizations?”
- Abraham Lincoln – “In the darkest days of the US Civil War where did you find your strength to continue moving forward? What was the secret of your personal success in one of the darkest times of US history??”
- Sarah Palin – “Hire me, I’d be the best strategist you’ll ever find.”
Which one book had a profound impact on your life? What was it about this book that impacted you so deeply? Did you have an emotional or intellectual attachment to this book? Why?
NMichael McCleary: ow Boarding Next Stop Your Remarkable Life by Kandee G. I don’t just say this because my friend and mentor wrote the book but because it was one of the first self-help books that I’ve ever read that not only put large concepts in simple language but also did it in a clear and easily readable format.
Avil Beckford: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what are five books that you would like to have with you and why? Summarize the book in two sentences.
Michael McCleary: This is hard because I only really like reading books once. I’d have to say The Bible, because I’ve never read it all the way through, second it’s has a diverse set of stories, concepts and ideas, third, it’s huge. I could meditate on many of the ideas therein for a long time. Otherwise, there is nothing that has caught my attention that I haven’t read that I want to. One other way to solve this would be to ask my friend Steve for recommendations on 4 other books, he’s a voracious reader and could pick some great ones for me.
Avil Beckford: Have you read any books that inspired you to start a business, service or invent “something”? If yes, which book?
Michael McCleary: Tony Robbins Unlimited Power really encouraged me to find my purpose and go after it. I’m definitely a Robbins fan.
Avil Beckford: What one music CD and movie would you like to have with you (on the deserted island) and why?
Michael McCleary: My tastes constantly change, but right now for an album, independent rock group AG Silver and their album Wake Up and Smell Reality. Movie? I have so many favorites. Probably Star Wars, but that could change tomorrow.
Avil Beckford: What excites you about life?
Michael McCleary: I have an opportunity everyday to do something I love and to help change people’s lives and organizations for the better. Everyday brings something new. It brings new opportunities, friends and experiences. I can’t wait to see what will happen each day.
Avil Beckford: How do you nurture your soul?
Michael McCleary: Simply taking time out and being with myself or sharing thoughts and ideas with friends. Simple conversation is very relaxing for my soul.
Avil Beckford: If you had a personal genie and she gave you one wish, what would you wish for? Or, if I gave you a magic wand, what would you use it for?
Michael McCleary: That everyone would find a POSITIVE purpose and passion in their life. If everyone could do that, there would be little need for arguments, wars and disagreements.
Avil Beckford: Complete the following, I am happy when.….
Michael McCleary: I hear that I did something to encourage someone else to pursue their passion.
How can you apply Michael’s interview? Which aspects resonated with you?
Let’s keep the conversation flowing, please comment.