Transcript:                    David Brower:  Here’s part two with our interview with Brian Bergford. Well, it has to be, I would think, a couple of things. One, it has to be organic, and number two, they have to shake a bit of fear just to raise their hand. All of a sudden, “Uh-oh, I raised my hand, I’ve got skin in the game. Now what am I going to do?”

Brian Bergford:             Precisely. And it really does. I think for … I’m going to obviously generalize here, but for guys in particular as a group, not every individual obviously, but as a group, that can be a little bit of a tough thing because when we’re doing that, it takes a certain amount of strength to say, “I’m going to humble myself in this situation and look for coaching because my mission is more important that my ego or trying to keep that intact.” And recognizing that the most elite performers in the world all have mentors and coaches, “Hey, I maybe should have that as well, particularly if I want to kick it into high gear.”

David Brower:              Well I’m wondering too, when you help people kick things into high gear and they start to accelerate their growth personally and professionally, I’m thinking they’ve got to be able to accept some balance along the way, too, right?

Brian Bergford:             Yeah. And give me a little bit more about how you’re thinking.

David Brower:              If you have a high gear professional life, you’re competitive in some kind of athletic competition, somewhere along the line, your family has to take equal parts in that, your personal life to go fishing with your uncle has to take a piece of that, you know what I’m saying?

Brian Bergford:             Yeah, and I’m really glad you brought that up because it’s not something … not necessarily a question that gets asked a lot, and to me, it’s very obvious in a way that if you have a hard charging individual that has an engine that revs pretty high, finding that balance if you will, I tend to like the concept of work/life integration because I think balance is a little bit … the day and age we live in, to call it balance to me is outdated even though I used that terminology until, frankly, very recently. Because everybody has a different balance point depending on their family situation, but also personally, I have never, ever personally been guilty, ever, of pushing so hard and not taking time … no, I’m being facetious of course because I’ve been very guilty of that. It’s just the way some of us are wired, and it’s not healthy.

Brian Bergford:             We have to take the time. Every time I have gotten into a place where I wasn’t practicing certain disciplines in my life, whether it be meditation, different spiritual disciplines, anything to kind of reconnect with yourself and slow down, and to replenish, and to serve the people around you and make sure that you’re not getting so far one way that the teeter totter is just so out of whack, we’ve got to keep things in perspective, and I think that’s one of the most challenging things, and to have somebody looking from the outside … it’s the same way for me, I’m so in my life and what I’m doing that it’s easier for my coaches to see something that’s going on with me because I’ve got blind spots just like everybody else.

David Brower:              Sure, but you obviously model what you do. You’re in the spotlight not reluctantly, you’re in the spotlight because you want to be, and you want to train these people, you want to bring these people along, you want to pay it forward actually, I would say, from all the experiences that you have been through, and to be able to model that with people and be authentic about that, that’s a rare opportunity that not a lot of people get, and hopefully, I would think that the people that come to you pick up on that, and that’s probably one of the attractions.

Brian Bergford:             Absolutely, and it’s a great thing for me as well because if I’m speaking with a client, I have moments occasionally where I tell them something, and I’m like, “Ugh, I haven’t been doing that this week.” I’m talking about this, and then I have to kind of call myself out and own up to that fact, but it’s great because when I’m teaching other people, there’s such a cadence to that that it keeps me very honest and grounded in that, and it helps me as well, it’s a gift to me as well.

David Brower:              That is a gift. Absolutely right. I love one of the things on your website, it says, “Learn more about how Bergford Performance Systems can help you inspire, ignite, and sustain optimum performance in your life.” That means professionally and personally, that’s integration of everything. Inspire, ignite, and sustain optimum performance. How can that not be a goal of almost everybody, man? Those are … that’s a t-shirt right there, you know what I’m saying?

Brian Bergford:             Absolutely. There’s such an importance behind this concept of not only being able to create something in our lives, but have it be something that is sustainable and we can keep it going, and that’s where taking care of ourselves and the people around us and making sure we recharged and we’re replenished is just an indispensable deal, and frankly, it’s a discipline that we really, really have to stay on top of because there’s, again, so much we might be able to accomplish in the short term, but we have to … really, as leaders, that’s part of what we do. It’s in our DNA, it’s certainly in our job description, and we have to take the long view and say, “What is the road map here? I can’t just be looking ahead for the next mile marker or mile marker ten, I’ve got to be looking at the entire journey as much as I can.”

Brian Bergford:             And again, taking that 50,000 foot view and seeing the road ahead, and making sure that I’ve got what I need on the journey and that I’m taking breaks and I’m refeuling at the right times and getting recharged and all of that. It’s so important, and a lot of it comes back to planning, that we can get into the operational part of our day to day so much that we keep going, and going, and we’re not necessarily setting aside time to plan, but the best executives and CEOs and athletes are great planners. And the more planning we do, the more we can get done and still have plenty of resources and time to fill up and fill others around us.

David Brower:              Absolutely right. What a gift you have, man, to touch so many people in so many different ways, from being a competitive swimmer, a great communicator, teacher, coach, mentor, your dog training, you are a very blessed young man, I tell you, it’s pretty cool to listen to you and learn about your gifts.

Brian Bergford:             Thank you, and I feel very blessed to have been on the journey I’m on. One of the pieces that’s so interesting to me is the fact that obviously life does not go how we plan it. It goes how it goes, and the fact that there’s a purpose for every piece of that journey if you can see that, if you can have the perspective of, again, everything is happening for me not to me, and every little insight we get, the different facets of our life that enrich and add different dimensions to our expertise, and we can draw from different arenas and disciplines to be able to serve at the highest level. So everything in my path, some of it was very pleasant, and some of it was as opposite of pleasant as you can possibly get, it’s all factored into who I am, and the unpleasant things certainly created some painful situations for me, but it also gave me the opportunity to step up to the plate, build new muscle, and have a level of drive and hunger that I wouldn’t have had without that.

Brian Bergford:             And the pleasant things, it’s just awesome the different things I’ve been able to do, the different opportunities, whether it was in my dog businesses or coaching people or in athletics, again, it just adds that dimension. All of it, though, I believe we can be tremendously grateful for the gifts that we have gotten, from our great moments, our not so great moments, because of the lessons we can take out of that if we’re intentional about it and we’re paying attention to, “Who do I want to be? Who do I want to touch? Who do I want to help? And how can I use this to be more effective at it?”

David Brower:              And if you can celebrate the hiccups and the valleys with the peaks and the highs and learn about gratitude along the way, man, it will change your life. I’ll tell you what, I even have a gratitude tattoo, how about that?

Brian Bergford:             I love that. I think we all need to get a gratitude tattoo because the way our brains are wired, skepticism and negativity doesn’t take any level of talent, it’s just a natural state of the mind identifying the negative aspects of things because, again, our minds were designed to keep us safe first and foremost, and that’s just the way it was set up, so to find the greatness in whatever situation we find ourselves, we’ve all been through crazy things, there are plenty of people that are listening to this that have been through things that I couldn’t even comprehend or imagine in any way, and yet they have found a way to come through that and become stronger, and they’re still grateful. And that’s the inspiring thing, when we watch movies about everything coming easily to somebody and they’re just successful their whole lives, and they walk off into the sunset, there’s no movies like that because it’s horrible. Who cares? It’s the men and the women that get … Mike Tyson, there’s one thing he said that’s really, really smart in particular, which was, “Everybody has a game plan until they get punched in the mouth.”

David Brower:              Oh wow.

Brian Bergford:             Yeah. I love that. It’s probably my favorite quote ever because it points to this item, and if we can learn to focus on what’s great in our lives and have gratitude, we’ll always experience a wealth in our life and an appreciation. And if you have a grateful heart, it’s very difficult to be depressed, and sad, and angry, and all the other things that people tend to struggle with. There’s no way you can be tremendously grateful and experiencing that and simultaneously be highly depressed, it’s impossible.

Brian Bergford:             And I think if we all had a gratitude tattoo … it brings up a point, though, to keep things in front of us in our environments, just little reminders. It doesn’t have to be crazy, it can be something very simple that’s just a personal reminder to us that when we see something, it can be a bracelet, it doesn’t even have to say anything, it’s just like, “That is to remind me to be grateful for what I have.” And not just intellectually think, “Yeah, I’ve got it awesome.” But to get in touch with the people and the things and the experiences in our life that we absolutely adore, and feeling that every day because if we don’t prep ourselves that way, our mind is going to go the other direction pretty quick.

David Brower:              Absolutely. We have to have things to celebrate, and that doesn’t just mean the balance sheet.

Brian Bergford:             I absolutely agree with that, 100%.

David Brower:              Brian, it’s been such a kick, man. Really enjoyed talking to you. Folks, you can get ahold of Brian in all kinds of ways. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn. The website is, that’s B-E-R-G-F-O-R-D You can search him on InterTube … YouTube rather, InterTube, I’m going to the river. LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Brian Bergford, just throw that name out there. Brian Bergford. B-E-R-G-F-O-R-D, and you will find him everywhere and anywhere, and my friend, thank you so much for all you do, all you’ve done, and all you will continue to do. You are obviously touching the hearts and souls of many people and many dogs.

Brian Bergford:             And I appreciate that very much, and for anybody out there that maybe has something that they’re really shooting for this year in particular, over the next six, twelve months, or a couple years, that they have something dynamic they want to shoot for, or maybe they’re facing a really big challenge, they can also email me at, and maybe just let me know their biggest challenge or their biggest vision at this point, and I’m happy to connect with them and grab a few minutes on the phone and maybe work out a basic plan.

David Brower:              That would be great. One of the things, too, that many people think about, don’t always have the opportunity to excel at it, is being a great listener. You have to be a great listener in order for people to be vulnerable with you so that you can really help them go to where they feel they need to go, or with that said, go to a place they haven’t even thought of yet.

Brian Bergford:             Absolutely. It’s interesting because in my coaching, I do a fair amount of talking, but I do a ton of listening, to your point, that’s such a smart thing to bring up because it’s everything. If I can understand where people are coming from and I can really hear what’s on their heart at a deeper level than what they’re really looking for, then we can get to the heart of the matter and the truth and move forward in a powerful way.

David Brower:              And then it’s exciting for everybody, including you, because there’s a huge payoff there for everybody involved. Brian, that’s cool, man. Continued success. It’s been a real pleasure, and again, you can email Brian at, correct?

Brian Bergford:             That is correct.

David Brower:              All right, man. Hey, I’ll talk to you, neighbor.

Brian Bergford:             All right, David. Take care. It was great being with you. Have an awesome rest of your day.

David Brower:              I will, you too.

Allan Blackwell:            Your 20 Minute Podcast with David Brower has been brought to you by Audible. You can listen to any of David’s podcasts anywhere podcasts can be found, including IHeartRadio, the Spotify mobile app, and at Until next time, thanks for listening.