Wyatt Graves shares his inspiring story of starting multiple successful businesses despite facing many challenges and setbacks along the way. As a self-described “regular small town guy” from Louisiana, Wyatt dove headfirst into entrepreneurship from a young age and has learned invaluable lessons about resilience, optimism, and helping others achieve their potential.
Here are some power takeaways from today’s conversation:
- Wyatt’s early influences that drove him to entrepreneurship
- Starting his first business in real estate and buying a childcare center
- Major setbacks including the 2008 recession and flooding of his properties
- The importance of intentionally reflecting on the past and visualizing the future
- His philosophy of changing people, environment, and community to achieve goals
- Building a culture of personal development within his expanding companies
[23:05] Overcoming Adversity in Real Estate
After acquiring his first childcare center in 2001 and building a real estate business, Wyatt was hit hard by the 2008 recession. As a self-employed entrepreneur, he struggled to retain his properties and renegotiate loans. Despite a difficult period from 2008-2010, he began recovering with the market’s rebound from 2013-2015. However, in 2016, record flooding damaged many of his properties, including his schools, pushing him into another crisis. Uninsured for the flood damage, Wyatt relied on determination and resilience, managing to continue moving forward despite these formidable challenges.
- [35:58] Harnessing the Power of Dreams in an Over-Connected World
- People often struggle to take time for dreaming and introspection, largely due to the distractions of our over-connected world. It’s not inherent to human nature to switch off from constant notifications, emails, and calls, and allow oneself the luxury of dreaming. Yet, it’s a vital practice. By setting aside time, perhaps by a river, in a park, or at a restaurant, one can envision their future – what they would be celebrating if the next year turned out to be the best of their lives. This exercise is about more than just daydreaming; it involves journaling about what excites you, what makes you passionate. People tend to identify themselves based on their past, but the reality is that identity is a recurring narrative we tell ourselves. The challenge is to shift this narrative from being based on our past to being focused on who we aspire to be.
[46:02] Developing Employees for Success
Wyatt aims to foster a workplace culture that supports employees’ personal aspirations, not just their daily tasks. He envisions the company as a platform for employees to achieve their life goals. To realize this, he offers access to an online personal development course portal, weekly coaching sessions, guest speakers and individual coaching. He also utilizes dream manager programs and brainstorming sessions to help employees crystallize their visions. The objective is to equip employees with resources and support to use their jobs as stepping stones towards their ideal lives, regardless of their tenure.
Willpower Doesn’t Work by Benjamin Hardy
The Dream Manager by Matthew Kelly
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