051 – Mike Brown – The Exit Mindset

051 – Mike Brown – The Exit Mindset

From piloting fighter jets in the highest level of the Navy to exiting the multimillion-dollar oil and gas company he built, Mike Brown shines as a high achiever. But after ticking all the boxes of accomplishment and still feeling empty inside, he realized he needed to give more meaning to his life than wins…

In this episode, Mike reflects on his journey to find significance in self-acceptance, self-love, and fulfilling relationships with the people that matter to him most. He shares how he applied his military training to business decisions and created wealth for himself and his family, along with some tips for exiting your company at the right time.

These days? Well, Mike is slowing it down and enjoying the ride. He is growing as a father. He’s taking the time to do the things he loves doing.

He doesn’t know what his ‘next big thing’ will be… But he’s OK with that, too. Listen to this episode to hear Mike’s story.

Time Stamped Show Notes

[00:00:00] Welcome to the show with guest Mike Brown

       [00:01:55] Naval Academy, F-18s, and forming an oil and gas company

[00:05:01] There’s more to success than just winning…

       [00:07:42] Achievement will not win you love and acceptance…
       [00:09:24] Mike has a profound moment as a father at tee ball
       [00:11:59] Competitiveness vs. positive peer pressure

[00:14:35] Mike’s squadron strategy applies to business, too…

      [00:18:45] Create a plan for all the possibilities… But don’t get stuck on it!
      [00:20:24] ‘Honor the threat’ and drop your attachment to outcome
      [00:24:16] And never underestimate your opposition!
      [00:25:36] Making your exit at just the right time…

[00:29:30] Life isn’t much different when you acquire more millions…

      [00:32:30] The first exit is only a foundation
      [00:35:30] What would Mike tell his 25-year-old self?

[00:37:35] Where can you find out more about Mike?

[00:38:50] Wrap-up—thank you for listening!

3 Key Points

  1. You can have it all and still have nothing. Mike reached the top and felt… Well, he felt lonely. There’s more to life than achievement—and it’s up to you to give yourself acceptance and approval and meaning.
  2. Create a plan for every thinkable scenario… But don’t get attached to that plan. Something will always go wrong in any ‘mission,’ and the minor hiccups become less stressful when you can anticipate them… But be prepared to change it with the unpredictable.
  3. Don’t get stuck on outcome bias! You may wind up underestimating what you’re up against—and that’s when you will find yourself in a panic when what you didn’t expect comes to fruition.



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