My name is Joey Klein, and I am the founder of Inner Matrix Systems, a company that focuses on training high achievers inside the art and science of personal mastery. We do that by employing our proprietary training systems inside of training, aligning, and rewiring emotions, thought strategies, and the nervous system to create the real-life results and outcomes that people are looking to achieve for themselves.
What has been one insight or lesson that has been most helpful in your career?
Investing in an individual’s actions, as opposed to what they communicate, has been instrumental for what I’ve been able to create. I find that individuals, even if they’re well-meaning, may or may not be able to fulfill on the things that they are saying that they want to be up to.
That goes along with knowing what our guiding principles are that will guide us in life. If we know what the principles are that we’re aligning with and that we’re striving to embody, it gives us a roadmap for how to manage, not only in good times but also at times when it gets a little challenging.
What has been your favorite mistake? A mistake that in retrospect led to a great lesson and progress.
A mistake that I made for some time was in the arena of thinking that something had to be perfect before I executed it. When I look back to when I wrote my first book, it was a five-year plus process getting that book written and then published. I was so obsessed about it having to be perfect that I didn’t execute it as efficiently or as effectively as I could have. I missed out on influence that I could have had in people’s lives, the positive impact that we could have had, and company growth that would have occurred sooner had that happened more quickly and more efficiently.
Did I create a better book because I spent an extra three years on developing it? Maybe, but it probably was not significant for what it was meant to produce or that which it was purposeful for. It would have been more than good enough had it been launched and written two or three years prior.
When I look at what I learned by putting the book out, people read it, and I got feedback on what people liked, what they didn’t like, what they understood, or what people didn’t understand. By getting all of that feedback, I was able to rewrite the book, which we’re launching at the end of this month – June 25th. The new book is lightyears better than the first book, which turned out doing well, and people found it to be very beneficial. We sold something like 40,000 copies. But if it weren’t for executing on that book and getting the feedback and seeing how it hit the mark and how it didn’t hit the mark, I would have never gotten to where I could take all that feedback and create the book that was just written.
That’s just one example of where I’ve learned this lesson – to execute. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t have to be extraordinary. We just have to get started, and we have to execute. Then it’s through the process of execution that we learn to ultimately hit the mark. If we fail to execute, because we’re waiting for something to be perfect or extraordinary, we often never get to extraordinary because we get into that place called failure to launch. There’s a lot of credence to pivoting to it being good enough and, “I’m just going to put this out here and try it,” because it’s the process of trial and error that creates excellence, not getting it perfect out of the gate.
Project forward ten years. How will your industry or field be fundamentally different then? What opportunities do you see?
When I look at the arena of coaching, personal development, training, etc., the industry is poised to grow and grow significantly. Although they have a place and are supportive many times, our more traditional methods and models are not hitting the mark in terms of getting the results that people are looking for.
When you create a training system that teaches people internal training methods around training emotions, thought strategies, and the role of the brain and the nervous system inside of the level of happiness, fulfillment, and inspiration that we’re able to access, people can access the kind of love-based states that we all want to experience, as opposed to getting caught in things like sadness, anxiety, fear, disappointment, overwhelm and stress.
People are struggling with answers on how to hit the mark for themselves in terms of the level of fulfillment that they want to know in their life. They also struggle with understanding how to optimize that skill set to be able to continuously access creative thinking and critical thinking in the mind. We’re becoming more and more aware of how necessary that is to perform at an optimal level and execute, whether it’s in our business or career, but also our personal lives, with our family and friends. Training these internal capacities is necessary for these results that we all want to have in our lives – better relationships, more career success, etc.
Science is now catching up with meditation and mindfulness and understanding its importance in acquiring some of those outcomes and goals. Things that were fringe at a point in time, like meditation, mindfulness, or internal training, are becoming increasingly mainstream. Scientists are showing evidence of the results that happen if we’re training these things properly. As traditional methods continue not to hit the mark because they’re not operating inside of the latest science, people will be seeking more of this out to stay competitive, continue to perform at a high level, and know general health and well-being in their life.
What are some bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?
Oftentimes when I look at the recommendations people get to manage stress, overwhelm, or any painful emotion that we don’t know how to get out of, we’re often told to just de-stress. People say, “Just go take a vacation. Go relax.” It’s like a Tylenol, we might feel better for a week if we go on vacation, but everything is still right there waiting for us when we get home because the stress is produced by the way of being we’re engaged in that we cannot see.
When going to a coach, consultant, or individual who trains in terms of internal dynamics, it’s important to qualify the person and make sure they have a system of training that hits the mark repetitively over time.
It’s kind of like losing weight. If we want to lose weight, we could do something extreme like liposuction or just stop eating. But what’s really necessary is a lifestyle change; we have to change our nutritional routine, and we have to exercise regularly in the right way. Then we can lose weight and stay fit and trim and healthy for a lifetime.
It’s the same thing when we’re looking at internal development. If we get inside the right lifestyle routine and the right methods and training system, we can maintain wellness, and access results that we may never have thought were possible. But if we go to quick fixes, they do not fix the problem and can cause other challenges that we have to deal with on top of that which is going on.
In the last two years, what have you become better at saying no to?
I’ve gotten good at saying no to the wrong client. I used to think that if I got good enough in the area of personal development or internal training, I would be able to support anybody regardless of what’s going on, and that was an arrogant and ignorant stance. I’ve learned that there is a give and take; I can show up and give people the right toolkit and the right training and show them the right things to do, but then there has to be a willingness to show up and execute those methods and those trainings on the other side to get results.
I’ve gotten much better at checking in and qualifying, “Is this person actually a high achiever?” The way I look at high achievers is they would like to see their lives be different, but then they’re also willing to take action toward creating new results. That sounds obvious as something that would need to happen to create a life change or change the conditions of life that we have or the results that we’re getting. Still, I find that there’s a good number of people out there who aren’t interested in changing the conditions of their life. They’re happy with where it is. And if that’s where someone’s at, that’s okay; I’m just not the right fit for them.
On the other side, some individuals want to see something better in their life, or they want to see a different career result, but they’re not willing to take action toward it. If I want something different, but I’m not willing to do new or different things and take action toward it, obviously, we can’t get the result.
I’ve gotten good at qualifying who’s right for further training and who maybe isn’t right for it right now. I’ve been able to get much better results and enjoy my work a lot more and be more impactful in getting bigger results for more people because I concentrate on working with the right person.
What is the one book you recommend most often and why?
One of the books that I consistently recommend is Dale Carnegie’s book, How to Win Friends and Influence People. It is still a bestseller because it focuses on foundational keys to success and the principles and ideas around treating people well and building strong relationships. Although that seems like an obvious thing that we should all be up to, we’re not necessarily good at it unless we have the proper training.
I think we can all look at how we can get better at treating people well. When we have vibrant relationships in our lives, and we focus on that as the foundation of whatever we’re building, that seems to be the key and necessary to make all things work. Whether it’s relationships, family dynamics, culture dynamics within the company, creating a successful business, etc., it all hinges around vibrant relationships. So, the better we can get at building relationships, the better off we’re going to be.
What advice would you give a smart and ambitious recent college graduate? What advice should they ignore?
The advice I would give people is to focus on developing skills initially, not making money. So often, the expectation when somebody graduates from college is to make $80,000 or $100,000 a year right out of the gate. If you focus on developing skills and developing high talent within a specific space you generally enjoy, that will translate to making money later. But, more important than making money is that we know fulfillment in our life.
None of us will like the thing we do all the time – that’s not what I’m speaking of when I say find something that you enjoy. When I say find something that you enjoy, it’s something that you could see yourself doing long-term so you can develop a high level of skill and aptitude within that area. Fulfillment comes by consistently growing and being a little challenged, which happens as we develop high skill within a particular area. Then that gives us access to monetizing that skill and making money down the road, providing the kind of lifestyle that we want to live. So, focus on skill, not money.
As for advice to ignore, similar to what I said previously, especially in the beginning, don’t think that you have to like what you do all the time. I see this theme where people have the idea that they’re supposed to live this life purpose, or they’re supposed to love what they do all the time. That is a recipe for failure. Yes, we want to find something that we overall enjoy doing, but we’re not going to like it all the time.
If I look at what I do today, I have found a way to bring fulfillment to what I do instead of looking to what I do for fulfillment. Therefore, I know fulfillment a majority of the time. Now the thing that I enjoy doing most, I do 10 to 20% of the time, and the other 80% of the time is doing the necessary things to make that 20% possible. Especially when you’re initially exploring things, it’s so important to try things out but don’t necessarily look for happiness and fulfillment right away. Look to build skill and gain experience.
What is your favorite quote, one you aim to live by?
I like Bruce Lee’s quote, “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” The reason that is a quote that I consistently anchor to is it reminds me that mastery and excellence are not created by being a generalist. It’s not developed and created by doing a lot of things and getting okay at them, and trying a lot of different things out. It’s about picking something that you’re going to be great at and then doing those 10,000 kicks, executing over and over again so that you create a mastery within that space. That’s what translates to creating something extraordinary, creating mastery within oneself and within an area of life. And that’s what translates to living an extraordinary existence as opposed to getting by.