In this episode, Amberly Lago brings you an incredibly intimate and impactful conversation with Scott, a renowned figure in the industry. They discuss Scott’s unique approach to creating a retreat that allows guests to spend quality time with legends in their respective fields. From Navy SEALs to world-class athletes and renowned artists, Scott has curated an unforgettable experience for his guests. Tune in to hear about the life-changing moments and golden nuggets that guests walked away with, as well as how to connect with Scott and learn more about his work. Don’t miss out on this exclusive interview that will leave you inspired and motivated.
Scott MacGregor, the founder and CEO of Something New and The Outlier Project, is a four-time author and has been recognized in Founder Magazine’s top 100 founders, and serving on the advisory council of Harvard Business Review and LinkedIn hiring advisors.
- [00:02:38] Growing up poor, entrepreneurial motivation.
- [00:12:52] Setting boundaries as an entrepreneur.
- [00:19:40] Creating impactful retreats.
- [00:32:51] Showing up differently as an entrepreneur.
- [00:47:57] Shifting perspective after loss.
Links mentioned in this episode:
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(00:02 – 01:09) Amberly Lago: Well, hello. Thank you all so much for tuning in to True Grit and Grace. I have one of my really amazing special friends on the show today that I have been dying to introduce to you because he is a legendary entrepreneur. I think it’s been about a year that I’ve been trying to get him on the show and he is finally here. I just want to tell you a little bit about him, and then we are going to jump in. You are going to love him and all he has to share. He is the founder and CEO of Something New. He’s also the founder of The Outlier Project. He’s a four-time author. He has been award-winning and recognized for so many things, even in Founder Magazine for the top 100 founders to follow. He contributes to Ford. He is on the advisory council Harvard Business Review. and LinkedIn hiring advisors member. He’s a total rock star on LinkedIn and has just been just an angel in my life. He’s the most giving person and despite his luminous success, so humble and so amazing. So Scott MacGregor, thank you so much for being here. Amberly.
(01:11 – 01:24) Scott MacGregor: This is so exciting. And it’s a total honor. You know, I love you to death. And you are a very, very special person. So it is a complete honor to be on this podcast today with you.
(01:24 – 02:37) Amberly Lago: Well, thank you. And if y’all are listening and not watching on YouTube, Zoom opened up and we’re matching. Yeah, we’re color coordinated in our blue sweatshirts. And you know what, Scott, you amaze me with all that you do. And you are such a supporter of others. I mean, every week you send out an email on someone new to binge, and you’re amazing at connecting people. And I’m so glad that we got connected and I’m a part of the outlier project. And I want to start just by asking you a little bit of how you got to like where you started and to where you are now today, because there’s a lot of entrepreneurs that listen to the show. Yeah. And, you know, I think a lot of times when we see somebody like you and you’ve achieved such, I mean, amazing things, luminous success, and you make it look easy, but we all know that a lot of times being an entrepreneur is hard. We have struggles. And so I wondered, like, growing up, was there a moment that you thought, I want to be an entrepreneur or anything that happened that kind of shaped you into the person that you are today and to be the leader that you are today?
(02:38 – 03:42) Scott MacGregor: Yeah, I had an interesting childhood. So I grew up relatively poor, but in a very affluent town. So it’s interesting because later in life, I was the chairman of the board for Elevate New York with all these kids in the Bronx. And because most of those children are surrounded by people that are very much like them in terms of their economic circumstance, I don’t think they really recognize you know, their level of, you know, struggle that they go through. For me, it was very, very obvious that we were like the poor people in town. And through that, I just saw incredible stress that my parents had to try to provide. And I just thought at a very, very early age, I mean, I’m talking, you know, seven, eight years old, just thinking, I don’t want to live like this.
(03:42 – 03:47) Amberly Lago: And it really didn’t have to do with- I completely understand that. I mean, I relate to that so much.
(03:47 – 04:28) Scott MacGregor: It didn’t have to do with material things. It had to do with, I didn’t want to live with the stress and anxiety that I saw them experience. So I was super motivated. Sports for me kind of leveled the playing field. And I realized at a very early age, that I had a tremendous amount of curiosity about people. And I always wanted to understand how they got to wherever they got in terms of achievement. It didn’t matter what they had achieved. So relationships to me, I’ve been kind of a relationship junkie since I was a kid.
(04:29 – 05:10) Amberly Lago: Wow. And you know what? You are so good at it, making introductions. I mean, you even congratulate each new member into the Outlier Project and do a post and introduce people. Y’all have to follow him on LinkedIn because I’m telling you, he is like a rock star on LinkedIn. But that I can relate to everything that you shared so much because I grew up with seeing my parents, you know, well, they divorced and then they fought over child support and we’re constantly stressed. At one time my mom was working three jobs and so I too felt like that’s not what I want to do. So tell me about, well did you have brothers and sisters?
(05:10 – 05:20) Scott MacGregor: Do you? I do. So I have an older sister who’s 16 months older than I did, than I, and I have a younger brother and a younger sister.
(05:21 – 05:30) Amberly Lago: And I’m curious, did they kind of have a path similar to yours where they said, I want to be successful or did they take a different path?
(05:30 – 05:41) Scott MacGregor: No, I think, I mean, I think they all wanted to be successful, but I don’t think we chose very different paths, very different paths. So I’m, I’m a little bit of a, you know, maybe the black sheep of the family.
(05:42 – 06:17) Amberly Lago: a little bit of an outlier. Well, most entrepreneurs are, I think. Tell me how sports and being a part of a team really helped develop the grit and resilience. What did sports teach you? Because I know that really helped me. And I learned so much from my coach and from my dance instructor that were mentors for me, not just with dancing and running track, but taught me how to run a business. What did sports teach you, and how do you think it’s really important for kids to get involved in sports?
(06:17 – 07:42) Scott MacGregor: Yeah. I mean, I was incredibly passionate about sports from a very early age. And looking back now, it really taught me work ethic, discipline, resiliency, all the things that, at the end of the day, make up either a good employee or a good entrepreneur. And I just threw myself into it. And it helped really, you know, elevate my confidence. It helped me understand how to be a good teammate. And, and again, for me, it just leveled the playing field, because economically, I wasn’t going to you know, ever be in the same situation as my peers that I grew up with. But sports was the way to do that. And I had the very, very good fortune. I played for two Hall of Fame football coaches, Larry Ciotti, who actually I’ll see on the sidelines at Yale this upcoming Saturday. He’s 80 years old and still coaching at Yale. And Steve Philippone. So I played for two iconic football coaches that taught me a ton. So sports, I owe a lot of my success, not to the things I learned in college, but really the things I learned as, you know, a young teenager playing baseball and playing football.
(07:42 – 08:19) Amberly Lago: Wow. And I wish I was going to be with you at the Yale at the game. I was just texting my daughter who’s, you know, she’s going to Yale. I’m so proud of her. She, they, they awarded, uh, or they allowed two people from all over the world to do their PhD program. And she was one of the two people that they accepted for that. Yeah. She’s, She’s the brains of the family and I’m so impressed with her because I didn’t go to school. I didn’t go to college. Um, tell us what schools, cause you love to learn. Tell us what college you went to. Cause I’m so impressed by it.
(08:19 – 09:55) Scott MacGregor: Yeah. Well, I went to the university of Hartford, so not exactly a school. It’s funny because I had, I done my favorite aunt, uh, her aunt Betty rest her soul. Uh, she, for years thought I went to Harvard. And I remember once I was sitting in the living room and she was talking to a friend of hers and she was saying, boy, you know, we’re just so proud of Scotty, you know, going to Harvard and graduating from Harvard. And I said, what? I said, I didn’t go to Harvard. I went to Hartford. So when I wanted to play Division I baseball, And I wasn’t good enough to play at Miami or Florida or Arizona or any of the really big schools. But I had a friend, Jeff Bagwell, who I grew up with, who happens to be now in the Baseball Hall of Fame after an incredible career with the Houston Astros. He said, Scott, why don’t you check out where I’m going, University of Hartford. We’re building an incredible program. And I met with the coach. I got hooked and anyway, wound up blowing out my back. So I never wound up playing. Wow. And it was the end of my sports career. But it all of the things that I learned and all the motivation that I had in athletics, I just channeled it to that next chapter of my life, which was, you know, to get out, get a job and work my tail off to be successful.
(09:56 – 10:09) Amberly Lago: And it does take work and your tail off to, to build a company. What led you to, or what inspired you to, to build your company? Um, the something new.
(10:09 – 11:54) Scott MacGregor: So I was a, so I had worked at a fortune 500 company, uh, and at 29, I got recruited by a startup of less than 10 people. to be their chief revenue officer. So I thought, wow, 29, I can be a chief revenue officer and I can build something from scratch. And I did. So we helped build that company from less than 10 employees to 300 and we had unbelievable success. And while I enjoyed it, it wasn’t my passion. So I had worked on, because when you grow at that rate for such a long period of time, I was working with lots of people in the talent strategy space, particularly recruiters, to help build our team because I was trying to outsource anything that I possibly could. And my experiences really kind of fell flat. And I thought I could build a better mousetrap. I know I could. But this is where kind of my fear came in. I thought I, it seemed irresponsible. I had two teenage boys. I was making a ton of money. Um, and I thought, boy, how irresponsible would it be to just quit and start my own business, even though I really wanted to be an entrepreneur. So I sat on a business plan for 10 years, uh, until my wife, uh, Meg finally said, you know, you’ve got to do this. You just have to do it. Um, so she pushed me off the cliff, uh, that was nine years ago. And, you know, it’s, it’s been a really, really fun ride, probably the best thing that I’ve ever done.
(11:54 – 12:06) Amberly Lago: Well, that’s so amazing that you had the support of your wife. How important do you think it is to have support around you when you’re making a big decision like this?
(12:07 – 12:51) Scott MacGregor: Incredible because the life of an entrepreneur is 24-7, 365, it never stops. Especially if you want to grow something special and I’ve made the choice to grow two different organizations and continue to write books and do things like that. To say it’s a full-time job would be an understatement. If I didn’t have Meg’s support, it would be impossible to accomplish any of the things that we’ve accomplished. And I have a really fantastic team, but without Meg’s support, none of this would happen.
(12:52 – 14:28) Amberly Lago: Yeah, I mean, my husband really thinks I’m crazy a lot of times because of all the ideas I have and things that I say, I’m going to do this, you know, I’m going to do that. Now he knows when I say I’m going to do something that I make it happen, but I almost had to kind of prove that to him. Like when I wanted to write a book, he was like, you want to write a book? And then, especially when I created the Unstoppable Life Mastermind, it was going to launch, I’ll never forget this, March 16th, 2020. And the reason I won’t forget it is that’s when the world shut down and everything was closed. And my husband was like, you want to launch something called Unstoppable Mastermind when the world has stopped? And I was like, Yep. I’m going to do it. And so now he’s like, okay, you might be crazy, but I know when you put your heart and your effort and the grit and the resilience in it, you, you get it done. But speaking of being an entrepreneur, it’s a 24 seven. It’s a lot. Uh, how do you, um, kind of set boundaries with, because I know for me, sometimes I can be in my, cause I love what I do. I can be in my office for hours and hours and hours and, And even the dog, when the dog’s looking for me, she comes into my office to look for me. And so have you set like boundaries for your work hours or days that you work? Because I know for me, that can be a little crazy. And all of a sudden I’m like, oh, wow, I have been going for 18 hours straight time to take a rest. Do you have certain boundaries that you’ve created that help you so you don’t burn out?
(14:29 – 15:32) Scott MacGregor: I don’t have anything formalized, but you know, my priority is, you know, I always say I’m, I’m, I’m not married to any business. I’m not married to any business idea. The only thing I’m married to is Meg. Um, so she’s my top priority. We spend an unbelievable amount of time together. And, you know, she’s very, very independent. So she doesn’t mind, you know, the extra hours that I put in. I’m also fortunate that my kids are, you know, I’ve been an empty nester for a long, long time. So, you know, I don’t have, and we don’t have pets. I mean, we by design have created a life that provides us with a ton of flexibility. So while I haven’t set formal parameters, You know, it’s just a smell test to, you know, are we connected? Are we spending enough time together? The answer is always yes, because we love, you know, fortunately, we love to spend time together.
(15:33 – 16:04) Amberly Lago: Oh, I love it. And I love how you praise her even through your and, and through your social media posts and stuff. It’s beautiful to see that support and see how you guys are thriving. And man, I am not an empty nester. I, I don’t know what I told my daughter, I said, when you go to school, I’m going to go with you and live in the dorm with you. So maybe I’m going to have to read some books on how to get through that. But you look way too young to be an empty nester, by the way.
(16:04 – 16:09) Scott MacGregor: My oldest son will be 30 in three weeks.
(16:09 – 16:10) Amberly Lago: Wow.
(16:10 – 16:24) Scott MacGregor: You must have started really young. I have a 30-year-old and a 28-year-old, both military kids. So they joined the military right out of high school. So yeah, I was an empty nester very quickly.
(16:25 – 16:52) Amberly Lago: Wow. Um, well, what do you do? Cause I know a lot of entrepreneurs that, um, face burnout, you know, and success can have a double edge sword. Is that the saying, you know, when you get, you know, whatever that saying is, but it’s like, there’s a lot of people that especially entrepreneurs that just, they get burnout because they’re going and grinding and going and going, have you ever faced burnout?
(16:54 – 17:49) Scott MacGregor: I haven’t in the nine years of being an entrepreneur. I think I did at times in my former life. And I think it all had to do with, if you’re not living your truth, if you’re not truly passionate, I almost think I couldn’t get burned out because I love what I do. I mean, I really love what I do. When Meg says, hey, you know, I’m going to the movies tonight or I’m going to dinner with my sisters or whatever the case may be. It’s like, I’m, you know, very, very happy to spend those hours in my office working because I, I enjoy it. Um, so I’m really fortunate, uh, that I’ve found things that I really love to do and I really have not faced, uh, any, any burnout at all.
(17:50 – 18:17) Amberly Lago: That’s amazing. And I think, you know, when I think we, we don’t get burned out from doing the work that we do, but we get burned out if we forget why we’re doing the work that we do. So for me, that’s what inspires me to keep going as I remember why I started. Um, but you are doing some major things. You just had a retreat. Um, and I love seeing the outlier project retreat. Uh, it was your first one, right?
(18:18 – 18:19) Scott MacGregor: First one.
(18:19 – 18:20) Amberly Lago: First one.
(18:20 – 18:40) Scott MacGregor: I told Meg, we’re going to take a big financial chance here. And I just wanted her to be aware and get her kind of sign off on it. And I barely had the words out of my mouth. She’s like, do it. Do it. I believe in you. Like, I know it’ll work. And it was spectacular. It really was.
(18:40 – 19:40) Amberly Lago: Well, and that’s the thing, you know, it is like I’m doing an event. You just had your retreat in October, and I’m doing an event next April for the Unstoppable Success Summit. And I don’t know if people realize what a financial commitment it is when you’re holding space at a hotel, you’re providing food, you’re paying speakers to come in. And you had some legendary people that came in for the retreat that people have to spend time with and get to know. One of them is Jason Redman, who he’s written a couple of books and got another one on the way, but he is actually going to be, I’m going to be interviewing him. today. Tell us who all you had at the retreat that people got to actually know and spend time with because I was amazed. And if I hadn’t been booked to speak at events, I so wanted to be there. I mean, it looked amazing. But tell us who all was there.
(19:40 – 22:28) Scott MacGregor: So we decided to do something very different. So I think, you know, podcasts like this going to conferences are all fantastic. but it’s one way communication. And oftentimes, you know, what happens is we go and see somebody who’s unbelievably dynamic and inspirational like you on stage. And it’s like, wow, that’s amazing. And you take away some nuggets, but you don’t really get to spend time necessarily with Amberly Lago, which is unfortunate. Or maybe you get the obligatory selfie with somebody. I said, you know what, I want to create something very different. I want to create something incredibly intimate. And I thought, you know, our word for the retreat and our word for the year is impact. So we thought, what can we do that would create maximum impact? And what we decided to do was take over the number one hotel in the Northeast, top 100 in the world. It’s called the Week of Baguien. And we were only able to bring 30 guests because it’s a small hotel. So we had 30 guests that spent four days with absolute legends. So we had a Navy SEAL who you had mentioned, Jason Redman, who’s written a New York Times bestseller called the Trident. So people got to spend time with Jason and his wife, Erica, and his dog, Karma. So that was very cool. We spent time with Meryl Hodge, who’s kind of an all-time great football player, played for the Steelers, played for the Bears, was 20 years on ESPN. Wow. U.S. national women’s team and all-time great soccer player, Joe Lohman. And then Dr. Jeff Spencer. So Dr. Jeff Spencer was in the 1972 Olympics. He’s a world-renowned artist, and he’s also the coach and advisor to U2, Richard Branson, Tiger Woods, Lance Armstrong. So we brought all of them in along with the number one chocolatier in the country, Siavata Adare, and Megan Riley, and brought them all in to spend time with our guests. And it was truly life-changing because people walked away with not only the golden nuggets, but also real relationships with people that they may only hear on a podcast or see on a stage. So it was, it was incredibly impactful.
(22:28 – 23:35) Amberly Lago: Oh, it sounds amazing. And I totally agree with you. Like I’ve, I’ve been to events and spoken at events where you were backstage. They even had like a metal big fence around the stage, kind of like it would be at a concert. So I remember speaking on stage and then I couldn’t even see the audience. The lights were so bright. So I like seeing people. My favorite thing about events is connection and meeting people and building those relationships. And not one of the speakers went out into the audience. And I thought, I want people to get to know each other. So when I do my event, I’m too, I’m doing it very intimate. I’m having time for people to actually get to know, get to have lunch, get to have dinner with these speakers. So they don’t just get to learn from them, but they build those relationships, because I really do believe that success is built on relationships. So I love that. And I want to hear about your next retreat. I think it’s October of 2024, right?
(23:35 – 23:42) Scott MacGregor: Yeah. So we we actually start September 29th. We’re back at the week of again. Again, it’s.
(23:42 – 23:43) Amberly Lago: Oh, you’re going to be back there.
(23:43 – 24:33) Scott MacGregor: The most incredible venue you can possibly imagine. So we’re really excited. It’s September 29th to October 2nd. And we’re bringing in a new set of legends. So Mace Curran, who was the second person to ever fly lead solo for the Thunderbirds. She’ll be joining us. Joe Jacoby, who’s an Olympic gold medalist. He’s going to be joining us. Jackie Summers. who has the number one liqueur brand in the world, most awarded liqueur brand in the world. He’ll be joining us. Megan Riley from Shark Tank and, you know, Tippy Toes.
(24:33 – 24:39) Amberly Lago: I love her. I’m so grateful. Yeah, I’m so grateful for her because she’s the one who introduced us.
(24:39 – 25:28) Scott MacGregor: Yeah. So Megan’s coming back. And then Robert Hamilton Owens, who Robert at 71 just spent 42 days rowing across the Atlantic at 71 years old to raise awareness for veteran suicide. So a documentary is coming out. We’re actually having a movie night with him coming up in the Outlier Project. But Robert, I always say, it’s hard to describe him because he makes the Dos Equis guy look pretty boring. He is literally done. everything imaginable in his life. Uh, so those are the legends that are going to spend four days, uh, with our 30 guests. And, uh, they’re going to walk away with relationships that, you know, I think will be life-changing.
(25:28 – 25:33) Amberly Lago: Well, that’s amazing. How can people find out more about this retreat?
(25:33 – 26:04) Scott MacGregor: Yeah, they can go on our website. It’s the outlier project.com. Uh, or they can contact me. on LinkedIn. And I’m happy to jump on a call, because we already 60% sold out. And it’s not until you know, next year. So we’ll probably sell out, I would imagine by January. So if people are interested, you know, and want to hear more, feel free to book a call, and I’m happy to talk people through it.
(26:05 – 26:34) Amberly Lago: That’s amazing. Thank you. And you are so giving about jumping on calls with people. So you guys go to LinkedIn and it’s just, well, can they find the outlier project too? Is there a way to, okay. So Scott MacGregor on LinkedIn and you can find all that information, but I’ll have the link in the show notes as well. So I would love to know like, who’s been a big influence on you and your career or somebody who’s very, you know, inspired you.
(26:37 – 28:20) Scott MacGregor: You know, the person that pops into my mind, two people pop into my mind. The first is my Uncle Ray, who is my absolute hero, but somebody that, you know, people wouldn’t wouldn’t know who he was, but just an absolutely spectacular person who supported me. And I just loved how curious he was, how humble he was. He owned a paper. called The Shoreline Times, but people didn’t even know he really owned it because he was a partial owner, because he really never talked about it. Just an absolutely wonderful guy. The person who really probably inspires me the most is a really good friend of mine, Jesse Etzler. Jesse, to me, is just the example of somebody who is living life for a living. He’s so authentic to himself. He’s been so generous with me throughout the years. He wrote a chapter in my first book, Standing O. He wrote the cover quote for my second book, Standing O Encore. He’s just been there for me. And he’s just such an incredible human being. He’s such a great dad. He’s such a great businessman. I love how he thinks differently and he shows up differently, which is, you know, hence the outlier project. We’re not trying to be like any other community out there. So I would say Jesse is probably the person who comes to mind first.
(28:20 – 31:57) Amberly Lago: Oh, I love Jesse. I just want to tell you a little story about him because he is so authentic, so real, so kind, so giving. So I was asked to speak at this event and the person who had the event said, well, we’ve got Jesse Itzler coming and Ed Milet. So you can imagine we’ve already paid them a lot of money, so we can’t pay you to come and speak, but we want you to come and speak. And it was just how it was handled. I felt like Oh, you can’t pay me. I’m not worthy of it. But you’re paying these people. You know what I mean? And so Probably if it was worded differently, I would have said, yep, but I really wanted to go speak at that event because I wanted to meet Jesse Itzler. But I said, no, I turned it down. Anyway, I had major FOMO as I watched the event on social media and saw everybody and their stories in the post. And I was just like, man, I should have said yes and gone to speak at that event. But it didn’t make me feel good. So I had to honor myself and my worth and turn that down. Not that I don’t speak at events for free, because I do often if it’s something I really believe in, but I really think it was just the way it was worded. And so two weeks go by, and I get a DM from Jesse. And I was like, I didn’t even know he was following me. I’ve been following him on Instagram forever. He messaged me and said, hey, Amberlee, I think you live in Dallas. I’m going to be there speaking at two different events. And so I thought, oh, I’ll buy a ticket to his event. So I said, oh, that’s great. I’d love to come and support you. Where’s a link where I can buy a ticket? And he said, no, no, no, no. I just want to meet you. I want to hang out with you. And I was like, oh my god. Jesse Itzler wants that. What? I was freaking out. He goes, I’m speaking at this one conference and I’m speaking to the Dallas Cowboys. And, and he goes, you can come to both or come to one. And I thought, well, I really want to go to both. I was like, but my husband might really like have a problem with me meeting Jesse Itzler and hanging out with all the Dallas Cowboys, you know? So maybe I’ll just go to the conference. So I go to the conference. And I’m waiting for him. And I mean, he’s texting me and saying, hey, I’m running a little bit late, but I’ll be there soon. So I’m waiting for him. And he comes running in like literally five minutes before he’s supposed to be on stage. And I was talking to the event planner and the people up front saying, oh, yeah, he’s coming. He’ll be here, you know. So he goes and he runs in. He goes, Amberley. I’m like, oh, my God, it’s Jesse. He goes, come back with me. Come back with me. So I follow him backstage and I’m like, Um, do you want me to get some B roll of you pictures? I said, I will start the standing ovation. Let me know what you need. He goes, no, no, no. I just want you to be here and hang out with me. He had like a wrinkled t-shirt and kind of an old hat and he took off his wrinkled shirt and put another kind of less wrinkled t-shirt on and a little bit nicer hat. And he went on stage and I’ve never seen a speaker quite like him. He had a DJ with him on stage. But that moment I thought, wow, for me to be able to meet Jesse. And I think we, if we just stay true to ourself and we are aligned with who we are, what we’re doing, we meet the right people. Those people come into our life no matter what. And I thought here, I turned down this event, had no idea that I would ever get to meet him. And two weeks later I get to meet him. So that’s my story with Jesse Itzler, but he and his wife are just so amazing.
(31:58 – 32:12) Scott MacGregor: Sarah is amazing. Them together, I don’t know that there’s a better power couple out there, but Sarah Blakely and Jesse Itzler are, you know, they’re one of a kind, that’s for sure.
(32:12 – 32:20) Amberly Lago: Yeah, and I love watching their stories. Man, he must just keep her entertained non-stop. It will never be boring in their household.
(32:20 – 32:28) Scott MacGregor: No, no. Yeah. Plus a mess of kids. So that on top of it, they’re, they’re, they’re remarkable.
(32:28 – 32:51) Amberly Lago: They are. Well, um, just a few more questions. If you have a little more time. Absolutely. Thank you. I just appreciate you so much. Um, so I, for the entrepreneurs out there, what would you tell, if you can give us some tips for someone who is just starting out on their entrepreneurial journey, um, that would be helpful for them to really, uh, achieve success.
(32:51 – 34:34) Scott MacGregor: Yep. Um, I think you have to show up differently. Um, you have to show up differently to separate yourself from the thundering herd. I think so often people, you know, try to do things that are, they try to de-risk things and it feels more comfortable following the thundering herd. Um, but at the end of the day, you’re never really gonna, I think build anything extraordinary when you’re following other people. You’ve got to kind of carve your own path. And I think you’ve got to show up differently in everything that you do. So it could be the small little mundane things. So for instance, you know, for me, I don’t know if it’s somebody’s birthday, like I’m not going to just send them a text or I’m going to make a video and wish them a happy birthday. It’s just the accumulation of showing up differently and doing things that other people aren’t willing to do. A lot of them, I think people think, well, that’s not scalable, so I’m not going to do it. But it’s the unscalable stuff that truly makes us different. So if you want to build something great, I think you have to show up differently and flex that creative muscle and think like, what could I do that would create a very different experience from something that might seem on the surface similar to my business?
(34:34 – 34:35) Amberly Lago: That’s so good.
(34:35 – 34:58) Scott MacGregor: And it’s just like, Jess, you know, the example you used before, I think one of the reasons why Jesse is probably one of the best speakers out there is who else is out there with a DJ. At the end of the day, that’s not really the reason why Jesse is one of the best speakers, I think, in the world. But certainly, he’s not afraid to show up differently.
(34:58 – 36:36) Amberly Lago: Yeah, he’s not afraid to show up in his t-shirt and hat and tennis shoes to a business conference where everybody in the room is in their suit. And I remember when I first started speaking, I had a mentor that was like, well, you need to wear a suit. And I went to Nordstrom’s and bought like a pantsuit and it never felt like me. And I had a friend of mine that owned this cute little store back in LA and she would say, Amberley, we got some new stuff and I think it’d be great for you to, you know, do your next event wearing this. And I remember saying, No, that’s like, I don’t know. That’s felt a little too risky, you know? And she goes, well, I hope that someday you will show up really dressed what you want to wear and being authentically you. And I really heard that. And so I started wearing whatever the heck that I wanted to wear. You know what I mean? And so I think it is so important to be authentically you and to go and do things that, like you sending me a birthday video meant so much to me. And I was just blown, I was like, oh my gosh, he remembered my birthday and he sent me a video. I mean, that meant the world to me. It’s those things that you do. So I just want you to know that really touched what touched my heart. I wondered, do you have any non-negotiables for your life or business? Things that you are like, this is a non-negotiable. I must do this thing in order to be successful, in order to thrive, in order to feel my best and show up my best.
(36:36 – 38:12) Scott MacGregor: You know, I think a lot of it is values and ethics. You know, I tell every client that we work with, you know, we, we abide to the spirit of the law, not the letter of the law. Um, so, you know, it might say in our contract that, you know, whatever, but if it, if it doesn’t feel right, like we’re just not going to do it. So we’re going to err on the side of doing the right thing all the time. Um, that’s a non-negotiable the, what I had said earlier, you know, I’m only married to Meg. That’s it. So I’m not married. I don’t dig my heels in. I’m not rooted in like, these are our company colors and our logo and whatever, you know, the Outlier Project started as the Talent Champions Council. And, you know, I had a different vision and it just didn’t serve me the right way. And it wasn’t really what I wanted to do. So we pivoted and we, completely changed everything, much to Kathy Leckie’s chagrin because she had to change a website, a LinkedIn home, everything pretty much all at once. But I’m not married to anything other than Meg. And I think keeping that flexibility allows you to never feel stuck and you pivot. Um, so that’s kind of a non-negotiable, I guess, for me.
(38:12 – 39:06) Amberly Lago: I love that. And it was dry. I woke up in the middle of the night last night. I’m not kidding. And I was like, oh my gosh, Kathy had reached out to me because I needed to make some changes on my LinkedIn profile and update. Cause I’m, I’m happy to say I’m a part of the outlier project. So I was like, oh my gosh, where did she leave me that message? Was it an email? Was it on LinkedIn? Like she told me exactly. And when she told me. I was at an event and you know how crazy it can be when you’re at in the middle of an event. And then it just like left my mind. And so I woke up in the middle of the night going, I never changed that on LinkedIn. I got to change that. And I was like trying to figure out. And so I’ve made a note. I will change it today. But I love that you have, you know, I think in order to be successful and to be resilient, it does take being flexible. But what is your definition of resilience?
(39:08 – 40:48) Scott MacGregor: I mean, resilience is the ability to bounce back when, you know, life it’s always going to be adversity. And, you know, I look at adversity, I guess, a little bit differently than most. I think adversity is a gift. I really, truly believe adversity is a gift. I’ve experienced tremendous adversity throughout my life. And what it does, it’s just like going to the gym. When you go to the gym, you’re essentially tearing down your muscles to build bigger muscles to make you stronger, to make you able to lift heavier weights. That’s what, you know, adversity does to us. It just makes us stronger. Because there’s always going to be a bus that’s going to round that corner that’s going to hit us. It’s just a matter of, you know, is it going to be, 9-11, is it going to be a recession? Is it going to be a pandemic? Is it going to be you lose a key client or you lose a key person on your team? There’s always going to be those things that are going to come. And it’s just how well prepared you are for them. So looking at adversity as being a gift makes you a lot more resilient. and looking back over your life and rather than lamenting over the things that, you know, you don’t want to go through them again. You don’t wish them on yourself or anybody, but you realize that they really did make you stronger.
(40:48 – 41:00) Amberly Lago: That’s so good. And Scott, what do you think, if you could say the number one most important thing for getting through adversity would be, what would you start with? What would you say that’s the most important thing?
(41:02 – 42:16) Scott MacGregor: I think gratitude. You’ve got to be grateful for the life that you live. You’ve got to understand. I spoke at the retreat about a certain medical condition that I have. And I realized that sometimes people focus on special occasions. So I Googled special occasion and it said, a special occasion simply means an important day. And I thought, that is so stupid. Every day is an important day. There’s no such thing as, oh, this is an important day. Every day that we have, every moment that we have, is special. So it’s always keeping that in mind. The four books that I’ve written, thanks to all my friends who have donated chapters to them, are books of gratitude for life lessons learned. Um, so, uh, I really believe. In flexing that gratitude muscle, because that’s what gets you through is focusing on the positive and never letting yourself be a victim. You can’t be a victim.
(42:17 – 43:07) Amberly Lago: I completely agree. And gratitude is what really turned my whole mindset around in my life around when I was stuck in the hospital was just focusing on gratitude instead of focusing on, you know, what if they’re going to amputate my leg or what if, you know, my husband leaves me because he doesn’t love me anymore. Like the things that went through my head, but when I was grateful, it changes. And it’s something I still practice because the, the nerve disease that I was diagnosed with, um, a lot of people are like, wow, you still, you’re in pain every day. Like you wake up and I’m like, Oh, you should see what I look like when I wake up and start to walk. It is. And I could immediately go into a pity party. And sometimes I do, and I have to step myself out of it. And how I do that is with gratitude. Um, so I didn’t know you were diagnosed with something. Are you okay?
(43:08 – 43:15) Scott MacGregor: What’s going on? So I have never spoken about this on a podcast, but I’m happy to talk about it.
(43:15 – 43:22) Amberly Lago: Uh, uh, I would love if you share it, if you’re comfortable with that, we keep it, we keep it real here.
(43:22 – 47:57) Scott MacGregor: The reason why I don’t talk about it a lot is I don’t want to be labeled as Scott MacGregor fill in the blank. So I’ll tell you, try to condense this and tell you a quick story. So about 14 years ago, I was barely 40 and I was sick. I was like unbelievably sick. There was something going around. So I went to the emergency center just to get checked out. And they were like, almost immediately said, yeah, you’ve got swine flu. And I’m like, okay. But before I left, I said, you know, I have this kind of feeling in my peck, like a little bit of a soreness. And I think it’s from working out. And they said, OK, yeah, that’s probably what it is, but let’s do an EKG. So they did an EKG. And this doctor said, there’s just this little spike on your EKG. I’ve never seen it before, but I think I remember it from med school. Luckily, one of the top electrophysiologists in the world was at Yale. His name was Dr. Mark Marib. So they scheduled an appointment with Dr. Marib. And he said, Scott, it is a miracle that somebody in an emergency center would even recognize this. Wow. And what he told me next kind of changed my life a little bit. I was diagnosed with one of the most rare and misunderstood heart conditions. It’s called Brugada syndrome. The other name for it is SUDS, which is Sudden Unexpected Death Syndrome. Oh my goodness. So there’s no symptoms and there’s no cure. The only thing that you can do is have a defibrillator implanted in your chest with wires that go to your heart in case you have an incident it will hopefully get you back to life. So I was a single father at the time of two teenage boys. My wife, their mom had moved 1300 miles away. So I was raising them by myself. And so that was what I did. I had the defibrillator implanted. And that diagnosis, I think, Amberlee, it crystallized to me that we all know this, tomorrow isn’t promised, today is all we might have. Like that’s it. So, you know, because of that, my life’s been dedicated to trying to make an impact because I understand that at the end of the day, nobody’s gonna talk about the businesses that, you know, Scott MacGregor started. They’re not going to talk about the house I live in. They’re not going to talk about the cars I drive. It’s all going to be about the impact that I made. So, you know, every day to me is a special occasion. Today’s a special occasion. Tomorrow’s a special occasion. The day after that is a special occasion. So I live my life. I don’t want to hold back. You know, I remember growing up and I, you know, special occasions were pretty rare for the MacGregors because we didn’t have a lot of money. So, you know, when we had a quote unquote special occasion, like my mom would put the paper plates away and she’d bring out the Chinette, we wouldn’t have, you know, water, we would have sparkling cider. My dad would maybe wear his, you know, good suit. And I just thought, like, I don’t want to hold back on anything. I want to pop the champagne whenever I want to. I want to break out the good China. I want to, you know, do things that I love with people that I love. Life’s too short. Every day is a special occasion. So that diagnosis and living with something that is so odd and unusual, like Brugada syndrome, has definitely shaped the way that I wake up every day. I’m happy that I wake up every day. Um, and I’m like, well, today’s what I’ve got. So I’m going to get after it.
(47:57 – 49:38) Amberly Lago: Oh, thank you for sharing that. I got, I got all emotional when you shared that because, um, recently my, my dad, well, he’s my stepdad, but he’s like, really, it was a dad to me. He texted me every morning and he had a pacemaker and he, Uh, he had a heart condition. It was a miracle that he was alive. He’s had, he had like four open heart surgeries and, um, he just recently passed away. Um, my mom found him and was doing. you know, see our CPR on him. And so he was the kind of person that lived life to the fullest and really reached out to everyone every day, texted people every single day to check on them. So I can see how this has shaped you. And, you know, my husband sometimes will be like Amberley, slow down. Like you don’t have to do all that you’re doing. Like, you don’t have to work this hard or do this much. And I said to him, I said, there’s no way I can sit on the couch with my leg propped up, focusing on the pain that I’m in. I was like, when I am focused on making an impact and helping others, It helps me so much. It’s fulfilling to me and it gives the pain that I have purpose. And so I think when you’re diagnosed with something, it really shifts your whole perspective on every day. But I had no idea. Thank you for sharing that. I think that everybody’s going to take away from that, that every day is a special occasion and to be grateful for exactly where you are and what you have and what you can do. So thank you, Scott, for sharing that.
(49:38 – 49:43) Scott MacGregor: Yeah, you’re welcome. You’re welcome. That’s an exclusive.
(49:43 – 50:18) Amberly Lago: Well, you’re amazing. Really, truly such an incredible person. I’m so grateful for you. Thank you for taking the time to be on the show. I want people to be able to get your books, check out your retreat, join the outlier project, just learn more about you. So tell people the best way, and this will be in the show notes as well, y’all. So make sure you check out the show notes and get to know Scott because he is such an incredible person. I’m so grateful for you and all that you do, but tell people the best way to find you and connect with you.
(50:19 – 50:42) Scott MacGregor: Best way by far is LinkedIn. So it’s the social media platform that I’m by far the most active on. So reach out to me on LinkedIn. I love to get to know new people. You certainly can, you know, reach out to me on Instagram. I don’t know. I haven’t cracked the code on Instagram. I suck at Instagram. So I’m still trying to figure that out.
(50:42 – 50:43) Amberly Lago: You’re so funny.
(50:43 – 51:45) Scott MacGregor: But definitely, you know, connect with me. Send me a message on LinkedIn. Um, it’s the best way to get ahold of me. If you want more information on the outlier project, it’s the outlier project.com. Um, and we’d love to, uh, get to know you. We’re really. Uh, focused on helping people live their version of an extraordinary life because anybody can be ordinary. Uh, but we all have the power to choose to be extraordinary and it’s, it’s a choice. You’ve lived an extraordinary life Amberly, because you made the choice. And I think sometimes people don’t understand that it is a choice. And anybody can live an extraordinary life. It’s just who do you surround yourself with? Who do you inspire yourself with? And I’m just so blessed to have friends like you that are way ahead of where I am that can help inspire me and make me a better version of myself.
(51:45 – 52:26) Amberly Lago: Uh, well, I, I think you’re way ahead of me and I look to you and get so inspired by all that you do. You really, you’re incredible and the impact that you have and y’all I’m telling you, like, get to know him because he will become like somebody that you look up to that. I consider you to be such a good friend and you are always there for me. And I want you to know, I am always in your corner and. always have your back and there for you. And I just appreciate you coming on the show so much. Um, so y’all get to know him. Those links are in the show notes. Wanted to say thank you again, Scott, for, for being here today.
(52:26 – 52:46) Scott MacGregor: Thank you. I mean, it was an absolute honor. Um, you know, I very rarely tell Meg, Hey, I’m going to be on a podcast. Uh, but I was like, Hey, I’m going to be on Amberley’s podcast. She’s like, Oh my God, I love Amberley. So, you know, it was, Uh, this, this is cool. This is really, really an absolute honor.
(52:46 – 53:33) Amberly Lago: Thank you. And I can’t wait to meet your wife in the flesh. And hopefully that will, I know I can already tell, but, um, anyway, I just, I love you and I appreciate you. And, um, I appreciate all of you for tuning in to the true grit and grace podcast, take a snapshot and you can tag us on social media. I love when I see that in your story, and I always share that. And you know what? Make sure you subscribe and download the episode so you can always stay in touch and hear upcoming new episodes. But thank you for tuning in. And Scott, thank you again for being here. I appreciate you. And we’ll see you next week. Thanks, Amberlee. Thank you.