Carlos Hidalgo is a 25-year business veteran. Over the span of the last two plus decades, Hidalgo has held corporate roles, started his own entrepreneurial ventures and served in non-profits.
After leading his first agency to three consecutive Inc 5000 awards, Hidalgo left that agency to pursue various entrepreneurial pursuits which include, consulting B2B organizations, executive coaching and the writing of his latest book The UnAmerican Dream.
You can follow Hidalgo on Twitter @cahidalgo or on Instagram at carlos.susanne
Josh: What is up everybody, Josh Tapp here again and welcome back to the lucky Titan and today we're here with Carlos Hidalgo and this is an interview I've been looking forward to because Carlos and I have had some scheduling issues, we've had to go back and forth but I wanted to make this one happen because Carlos has a really awesome entrepreneurial history, a corporate history and he's been in the marketing space for 15 years, is that correct, Carlos 15 years?
Carlos: The agency space for 15 years, I've been in marketing for 25, yeah,
Josh: yeah so he's been in marketing for 25 years so he has great tips and tactics but what's been cool is to watch it, he's come into kind of more of a coaching role, and helping people structure their lifestyle, build their lifestyle and so I really wanted to talk about that today, because a lot of you have been mentioning to me that you're having a hard time determining how much you should work and kind of that, that work life balance, which never seems to actually exist so I'm excited to talk through a lot of that with you today, Carlos so first off, Carlos say, what's up to everybody, and we'll hop in.
Carlos: Hey, everybody, thanks, Josh, for having me on the show, glad we could get this scheduled and so thrilled to be here with you and
Josh: I'm appreciative. I really, I really am excited for this one. So Carlos, the first thing I want to ask you is, is what was kind of that pivotal moment for you that took you from marketing, from real, being 25 years of marketing to saying I want to help people with their lifestyle, what was that pivotal moment for you?
Carlos: Yeah, it was, for me, it was getting back to what I was put on earth to do, discovering, rediscovering my purpose, which started with getting back to who I was created to be my identity and that came through 12 years of pursuing huge growth in my agency, I was pedal to the metal, I bought into the hustle, garbage that's out there, that mentality that grind and honestly, it cost me dearly, it cost me my family almost cost me my marriage and in 2016, my wife and I separated for nine months, we didn't think we were going to make it my kids who were now teenagers were kind of like, oh, so now you want to be involved in my life, what's all that about and I had to really dig myself out of a pit and it was through that dark night of the soul moment where I realized, you know, what, I'm not living out who I was created to be, I'm not living out my purpose, which is helping people so I wrote a book about it called the American dream, which came out two years ago and then people started saying to me, Hey, I relate to this, can you coach me through this, and it never occurred to me to be a coach but it was through all of that, that brought me to the place where I love to help people create the life they love to live every day.
Josh: I love that and that's brilliant, because I love to hear the stories of how that transition happens because there's there's always a big, ugly background, to these beautiful, amazing lifestyles that we see, it's so interesting to hear these, especially as the host here, how you were able to transition and I bet there's 15 different stories you could share with us about what happened from being separated to getting back together and now I mean, you're in business with your wife, and that, that means your relationship is pretty strong if you've gotten to that point so I, I appreciate your story there.
Carlos: Yeah, we have it, we have a great relationship, we work really hard at it and we're having a blast being together, we talked about being in our second marriage to the same, but two very different people
Josh: and people are like, wait, what polygamous?
Carlos: Not quite?
Josh: Well, I appreciate that story. So, Carlos, I want to ask you this, especially as somebody who's been in marketing for 25 years, how have you launched the Carlos and Suzanne company, you know, with coaching, consulting, because a lot of the people listening to this are coaches, and they're saying, I want to I want to branch into this market, I want to see some success, how did you do that, especially with something like lifestyle where everybody knows they need it, but nobody ever buys it, that makes sense.
Carlos: Yeah, no, it makes total sense. You know, first of all, we just started to say, What if we were going to teach what we went through and again, I hope nobody goes through what we go through but if we were going to teach the way we live now what we embody now, which is what we call life design, what would that look like so we developed a model that, you know, we could talk about that later but then we started to say, who are we going after right and I talked to coaches, and they go, Well, everybody needs my service the reality is, that's not true the reality is, is you got to identify who is your core audience for your service and so we narrowed it down to couples, we narrowed it down to executives, and when I talked about executive, I'm not talking like, Oh, you have to be a vice president title but professionals, especially in the sales and marketing arena, because I am one, I am still a marketer at heart, I'm still a field person at heart and then my wife works oftentimes with the part the workaholic or the person who is so off track from a life design perspective, because she was on the other side and so she understands that whole aspect so we defined our audience and then the real key is, we've grown organically, we've not gone out and taken a bunch of Facebook ads and, and done a bunch of email blasts and things because we want people who want to be there so we settled for slower growth in order to get the right individual and get their commitment to what we're asking them to do, which is change,
Josh: right, I mean, you're really inspiring a whole lifestyle shift, because I know you explained this as your story and I would say the same thing for me is, it's pretty easy to feel like I've got to be doing everything, if I want to hit multiple millions of dollars or become a billionaire and that seems to be like everybody's goal in their mind is I want to become a billionaire multimillionaire, what have you but it's been so intriguing for me to interview people, like yourself have been very successful and most people will say, you know, I hit a million dollars and realize I didn't even need that much money and so I backed down, I stopped working on it and it's crazy to watch how many people decided to sacrifice a little bit of money, quote, unquote, they're still making hundreds of 1000s of dollars, but sacrificing a little bit of money so they can have way more time and have a better relationship with their family and their spouse especially.
Carlos: Yeah, 100%. You know, when I coach, one of the questions I asked people is define success for me and then define what you value, I have yet to have someone say success is $1 figure, or I value $1 figures, they talk about relationship, they talk about meaningful connection, they talk about community, they talk about an achievement, not in terms of our professional, but if I can get to this point in my life, and it's all about life design, yet, we absolutely pursue the golden ring of a million dollars, I got to get my agency to $5 million, I've done the $5 million agency thing and I arrived at the mountaintop, and I realized this is it, this is what I crushed my my ground My soul to nothing to achieve this, it wasn't worth it and so I'm not a millionaire and you know what, if I never become a millionaire, I will still say I'm wildly successful, more so now than ever before in my career.
Josh: Right? I love that that's why I consider you a Titan so I want to ask you this, Carlos, with, with all of that being said, and coming back kind of to how you're coaching consulting people on building an actual lifestyle and restructuring the lifestyle, I want to give you kind of a hypothetical, and let's work off of that hypothetical to kind of unravel your, your framework and see what how your framework works so I'm a coach who is coaching people on business, let's just say I'm an executive coach, I'm making $750,000 a year I've got five people on my team and I'm working 60 to 70 hours a week pretty easily so what what would you start, where where would you start with me, then how would you get me to where I was living my lifestyle that I liked?
Carlos: Yeah, first of all, I would ask you what's important to you, in terms of life, and you mentioned work life balance, and I know I've, I've written about it, I've also given a TEDx on it, I've arrived at the point where I think the whole thing is fallacy, number one, whoever created the term, the fact that work is first is ridiculous, right, we have life, that's what we have, we have 168 hours in a week, to do with our life, whatever we want to do, if we're working 60 to 70 hours, we're putting so much more of our time into work than anything else so first of all, I would say what is important to you and how do you define success and then Have you ever sat down and written out literally written out, what is those things that you value and I'm not talking about cars and houses and but truly like independence, freedom, creativity, spirituality, those types of things and then I would say, Okay, let's, if that's what you've written down, and that's what you believe, if you have a partner, have them do the same thing and where are you too aligned because if you're working 60 to 70 hours, somebody's paying the price on that are those values aligned with how you're living, if they are awesome, are they aligned with how you and your partner want to live, if they are awesome, the reality is, most times they're not and so if we can then say, Great, so how do we get back to those things that you decide, designed or defined that you value, how do we get back to that, and what I find most often is we have to get back to who we were created to be our core identity as an individual and so many times when we are young, we get pushed far off course, whether it's an event, something someone said to us a parental issue, the way we were taught, etc., which then puts us on a path to pursue a false purpose and so you may be raking in or pulling down $7.5 million a year and still be super miserable and now there's a better way to live life.
Josh: Right, well and I have to ask this question especially it's been kind of stewing in the back of my mind, this whole time as you look at people like Tony Robbins, for example, who, you know, hyper successful, I think he's a billionaire now, billionaire coach, basically and you look at him, it appears like he's got it all together, but he's also had some issues with his family or what have you not to bash on him, you know, it's just kind of how it is, what about those people who say I want part of my value system is I love my family, I want to be with my family but I also want the recognition and the status and the things like that that come from becoming a billionaire, hyper successful, where's the balance between that and how do you still live that lifestyle?
Carlos: Well, I think you have to come to terms with you're probably going to get there slower, it's not wrong to want those things but if you're in a marriage, if you're in a partnership, there has to be the discussion of Hey, are we both on board with us and if we are, what agreements are, so we're aligned, then what agreements are we going to put in place to get us there so I coach one client right now where he has a line in the sand of 50 hours a week and it's one of the things we talked about in each session is how are we doing with that, 50 hours, that was his his line and saying, not mine and so we talked about that thing, he's willing to go slower to get that growth, and try to do pedal to the metal but if we're not willing to have that conversation with our other half, then we're not sacrificing anything, we're just really selfish.
Josh: Right, well, where do you think that comes from, I mean, that desire to have to work more, because it's almost like we feel like in order to achieve the success, because we're being told the hustle grind, I really don't like that, because it feels like kind of more of a side gig thing but it's the working 120 hour weeks so that you can stay on top of your workload, where do you think that comes from and why do you think people actually feel like that's what it requires to become hyper successful?
Carlos: Yeah, I think it's an addiction, first and foremost, and that addiction is used to cover up things that we don't want to necessarily deal with and so work is a very convenient, I actually call it the noble addiction, because nobody's ever going to fault you for being a hard worker so I think what's happened in our society and going back into the 80s and I know this, because when you write a book on this stuff, you start to do research on the going back into the 80s, where it was all about economic prosperity and, you know, the, the, you know, building of well, we adopted this idea that this was the American dream, well, it's not, it's actually quite un American, I'm a son of an immigrant, my father came from Cuba in 1960 and left a lifestyle of wealth is great, my grandfather was one of the richest men in Cuba, and came here not knowing the language with a suitcase and built something now where, you know, he's 76 years old, and he said, a wildly successful business but he didn't kill himself for that there was a while there where he did, but he's even started to see the light and so I think it's this idea that if we're not working, we're not valuable, if we're not working, we're not contributing and there's also a psychology perspective, we want to be seen as the most valuable resource so if I'm not there, if I'm not showing up, or if I'm not doing this, life won't go on without me, my business won't continue and that's just not true so there's a lot of psychology that goes into why we feel we need to do the things we do, when in reality, anything north of I think it's 47 hours, we actually reach a law of diminishing returns and start to work dumber, not harder.
Josh: Yeah. I recently heard there was a study that it's a direct correlation to people who die before 85 and people who work 50 hours a week, or more than 50 hours, I thought that was really interesting to hear that study and coming back to where you're at, with the un-American dream, I love that title, first off, I want to hear what your perspective is on the American dream, I have a pretty staunch opinion on the American dream so I'm kind of curious to hear what yours is.
Carlos: I'm going to go back to what Truslow Adams, James Truslow Adams coined when he coined the term in 1931. He talked about it being a way of life, where we get to pursue and have opportunity afforded to all of us and he actually says, Now, keep in mind, it was 1931, he says, it's not the amount of motorcars that we have so he's talking about it's not measured by material possessions, the American Dream is having opportunity to go and pursue that which we want, which is why we've kind of modeled our coaching practice, to say once we identify who the identity, then we can identify our why we align that with our gifts and talents, and then the opportunities or events to go out and do whatever we want in this world and I would say once I started to switch the paradigm from saying, it's all about how many hours I work, how big my agency becomes the paycheck, I bring home to now I'm going to go fulfill my purpose, I will say my agency is more profitable than it's ever been, I make more money than I've ever made, that's not been my goal, it's not my motivator, and I am right now, the most successful I've ever been in my career, and I'm as happy as I've ever been in my life because I choose to be and on top of all of that I just two weeks ago, one to a full time four day workweek, also working less
Josh: that is brilliant. Well, you didn't say anything I don't agree with I love the fact that you, you pointed that out, because I think it's so interesting, especially when people talk about entrepreneurship and they talk about the risk and there's kind of this pro or con, if that makes any people who are black or white on it, where they say, I'm 100% into entrepreneurship, which I am and then you have the people who are like entrepreneurship is scary, that's risky, you shouldn't do it and what's interesting to me is what you just talked about is it's not about the material gain of it, it's the the opportunity to have opportunities, and that creative ability that you're able to share with the world and the value you can provide through all the problems you can solve I love, I love that you talked about that you touched on that point and so your book is really written all around that and helping people understand how to live the American dream, is that correct?
Carlos: It is then a lot of it is my own story of just all the things I pursued from a false identity to how I was, you know, I was walking around and demanding that the nicest hotels wearing suits and couplings and not that there's anything wrong with that it was wrong for me, because that's not who I am, and so I talked about all of those things and my wife has a really poignant chapter in the middle of the book, which for my money is the best chapter, where she talked about what it was like to be on the other side of somebody who was just hell bent on growth, and everything else took a backseat so that's what the book is really about.
Josh: That’s brilliant. Well, I'm gonna have to go pick up a copy, that's everybody, make sure you go get a copy of that he's not even really here to promote the book but go make sure you go check that out and well Carlos, I want to ask you, we were coming to the end of the interview here and I want to ask you a couple questions just to kind of wrap this up.
Josh: So the first one is where can people gain access to you at Suzanne?
Carlos: Yeah, just go to our website, carlosandsusanne.com and that's susanne.com, you can find information about the book, our coaching, speaking, etc., probably the best way to get in touch with us.
Josh: Awesome. So that's carlosandsuzanne.com everybody that will be provided in the show notes, we'll be able to see those but I want to ask you one final thing, Carlos, just before we wrap this up. So if you could leave us with one final parting piece of guidance what would that be?
Carlos: I would say that life is far too short to spend it in an office or spend it away from your families or your relationships, we as human beings are designed and wired for deep, meaningful connection and we will not find that in our work we know will not find that on our social media platforms and certainly not on our phones so start to rethink about the way you're living and if you have an inkling that life could be better, let's set up a time to talk, I'm not here to pitch you, I'm just here to help guide you.