043 – Bill Schuffenhauer – From Homeless to Medalist

043 – Bill Schuffenhauer – From Homeless to Medalist

Bill Schuffenhauer, a leadership, employee engagement, and personal development speaker and coach, shares how he shifted his mindset to become a 3-time Olympian and silver medalist despite an extremely challenging start. Bill now sees his journey in a positive light and explains how he shifted his mindset to push past his tragedies. Now, he helps leaders and corporate teams transform and succeed by finding their bigger “why” – and he’s never been happier. Listen in to learn why mentorship is so important and get inspired to write your story and finally live your dream.

Time Stamped Show Notes

[02:00] – Bill’s journey as a homeless child with drug-addicted parents

  • 02:40 – He knew he was meant for bigger and better at a young age; he became passionate about track and field
  • 03:30 – He surrounded himself with good athletes and coaches; he became a decathlete and was supposed to go to the Sydney Olympics when he blew an ankle
  • 04:20 – Bill gave up on himself until someone suggested he try bobsledding; he didn’t know anything about it at first
  • 05:30 – His original intention was to make the Olympics – the sport didn’t matter so much as long as he went, so he did since he had nothing to lose
  • 06:40 – He took all his focus and turned it to bobsledding; 1 year and 3 months later he made the Olympic team and won a silver medal

[08:00] – On mentorship when he was young

  • 08:10 – He had a combination of mentorship and self-drive; he looked to people that were inspiring and motivating, including a kid next-door who he thought had it made
  • 09:15 – By changing his environment he changed his story; he is grateful for those who supported but proud of himself for taking the action

[10:25] – On handling the emotion when he hurt his ankle right before the Olympics

  • 10:35 – He had already been on a roller coaster; he hadn’t changed himself so nothing else was really changing
  • 11:10 – Once he changed himself, everything fell into place; so he was on a high cloud when the injury happened
  • 12:35 – He decided he wasn’t going to let the tragedy define him; then he was introduced to bobsledding

[13:12] – On his mindset

  • 13:20 – He uses his childhood story as a positive because it made him the person he is today
  • 13:45 – He took his skillset and mindset and took it to bobsledding to succeed; he used his failures as opportunities to grow and succeed

[14:15] – On moving from track and field to bobsledding

  • 14:30 – He wasn’t a winter person at first and wasn’t used to the team dynamic; he researched the sport and successful athletes and applied what he learned

[16:00] – His motivational speaking, mentorship and coaching business

  • 16:15 – His platform launched globally; people resonate with his story but he realized that he needed that transformational piece
  • 17:45 – He got mentors to learn how to help people transform and succeed; he had to distinguish what was “normal” for him that wasn’t for others
  • 19:00 – He became a student of his own success

[19:05] – On transformation

  • 19:30 – He helps people find their “why” and find what they already know to apply it in their life
  • 20:10 – Ongoing education and execution is what will change the game, not one-off motivational speeches or moments
  • 21:05 – Be consistent in reshaping your vision and sticking to your goals

[21:45] – On going from athlete to coach

  • 21:45 – He finds coaching to be even more rewarding; he’s honored to help people achieve success in their own life and write their own story

[22:55] – Some takeaways

  • 23:00 – His methodologies work across the board and in any situation or industry; he likes to simplify and clarify things as much as possible
  • 24:05 – He uses modeling and surrounds himself with high-level coaches, speakers, and mentors
  • 25:00 – He thinks he could’ve accomplished more had he been more connected to people who were models

[26:10] – On working with corporate teams

  • 26:25 – He wanted to become an executive after the Olympics and he did, but he didn’t see these groups apply clear success principles with their team
  • 27:10 – He appreciates his clients and learns a lot from them; he is continually growing and adding to his own story

3 Key Points

  • Your tragedies or downfalls don’t define you.
  • You can write your own story.
  • Be consistent.


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