Welcome to the Elite Road Warrior Podcast Episode 076 show notes!
This week on the podcast is an honest conversation with Justin Pugh about life on the road.
What You Will Learn In This Episode:
- “I wasn’t living in a way that made me a good example for my son”
- If they are a good customer, they know you need to be at your best (healthiest)
- You have to develop good habits
- It’s ok to say “no”
- SAY “NO” MORE
- You can’t “fake healthy” on the road
- Be consistent – the road is an extension of home
- Take a step back and focus yourself
- do you recognize you?
What you eat plays a huge part in how you sleep
- Anchor Moments – when you say “I need to change”
Host – Bryan Paul Buckley (00:03): Episode 076 of the Elite Road Warrior Podcast.
Host – Bryan Paul Buckley (00:08): Welcome to the elite road warrior podcast, where we believe you can leverage the road to transform your work health and home life while on business travel to ultimately master the business, travel life. If you’re a road warrior and a great chance you’re on the road right now that this podcast is for you.
Host – Bryan Paul Buckley (00:34): Welcome to the elite road podcast. I’m your host, Bryan Paul Buckley, fellow road, warrior husband, and one father of five and enjoying a little break from the road right now, but always, and I mean always committed each and every business trip to becoming and remaining an elite road warrior. And I’d love nothing more than for you to join this master evil plan and jump on this road trip. Well, when I met our guest, I clicked with this guy’s energy, his passion, but also his desire to improve in his life. And I’m honored to interview him today and you’re going to enjoy this conversation. Here’s the backstory in adjectives of Justin Pugh, operation enduring freedom, veteran father disgruntled, but hopeful Colts fan second amendment Democrat, lover of technology, and a man of faith. In a moment, I’ll be asking Justin the following questions. Why were you not more willing to slow down on the road? What was your breaking point moment to make a change in your life? How has elite road word content influenced you? What would you say to a road warrior who needs to make some changes? What would you say to a company with business travelers to maximize their business travelers and so much more
Host – Bryan Paul Buckley (02:04): Well, I am virtually live right now with my friend, Justin Pugh. How are you and where are you right now?
Guest – Justin Pugh (02:10): A pleasure to meet back with you. Again. I am actually at home in boiling Springs, South Carolina, and I am doing quite well. My friend, thanks for having me. Host –
Bryan Paul Buckley (02:21): Absolutely. Thanks for making me just kidding. It was not that way. all. It only took me numerous times to pressure you into this. So, but Hey, I gotta unpack this before we go anywhere on this interview. So I loved in your bio that you’re disgruntled, but hopeful Colts fan. So tell, tell me about that.
Guest – Justin Pugh (02:37): Hey, look, man. You know, um, we’ve been through a lot, you know, I come from an era, you know, Peyton Manning is my favorite football player. And you know, you, you’re talking about a decade and a half of straight dominance, and then you go to some terrible general manager that beats up your young, fresh, new paint man and runs out of town. And now we get 38-year-old Phillip Rivers for the next year and a half. Do you know what I mean?
Host – Bryan Paul Buckley (03:04): Well, at least you got something to look forward to talking to come on, man talking to a Bears fan. So I think we both have a misery loves company when it comes to that such, sorry to bring that up at all for the listeners who have one of those teams in your city, we get you, we feel you and we are so, so Justin, do you remember how we met for the very first time? It was kind of sounds like a dating thing, but that’s not the case, honestly. How do we meet
Guest – Justin Pugh (03:31): I said, I come into my bio that my bio sounded like a match.com advertisement. Anyway, no, I met you. I met you at, Connected Solutions Groups, retreat in the Outer Banks in North Carolina. I want to say October of 2019. Right and that was one of the more transformational moments from, you know, just being a, being a visitor and a customer, of Mike Pittman and his team, but meeting you and having you and seeing you at, during your session, during your, uh, during your particular session. I was impressed. I was really taken aback.
Host – Bryan Paul Buckley (04:15): Why was that? It’s easy to say that. And Justin, I do appreciate that, but I mean, you weren’t planning to be in there. So all of a sudden you come in here to listen to some guy that’s, you know, we had just kind of visually seen each other through the course of a couple of days, but then all of a sudden you’re in there. So what was your first impression? What struck you about anything dealing with elite road warriors?
Guest – Justin Pugh (04:34): So my role had dramatically changed when I’d gotten to the Outer Banks. I was probably three months into being the new sales executive for the Verizon group at Ingram Micro. And so my travel schedule went from being sedentary, you know, eight to five office guy to an 85% travel schedule in less than 90 days. Wow. And so by the time I’m to you, I’d already gotten pretty much the, I mean, they’ve got me on the ground pretty much running fast. By the time I’ve gotten to the Outer Banks, you were probably my sixth or seventh week on the road in a row. And so everything you talked about within the first 20, 30 minutes had touched me in a way that not only made me emotional but by the time you finished and wrapped up with your final story about you and your wife and your family story, I was practically in tears. So, you know, it was just a transformational moment for me from being a traveler to hear your story to then triangulate it with mine, just made that, that, that should impactful for him.
Host – Bryan Paul Buckley (05:43): Well, and I appreciate you saying that. And the irony is at the moment, Justin, I mean, we just talked for a couple of minutes afterward and there was another session that needed to happen and you got a book and we just, you know, we talked for a few minutes, but then we saw each other actually six weeks later, the opposite coast in LA. So let’s talk about that for a moment. Cause that’s obviously when you started sharing with me some of the changes that you had made from, you know, obviously more than just an emotional moment and you move on and go from there.
Guest – Justin Pugh (06:10): Yeah. So, I’m glad you brought that up because we met again in LA, at Mobile World Congress for some of your listeners who don’t know, but what Mobile World Congress, one of the largest tech affairs in the world, and I met Bryan Paul at one of his booths that you were attending. And, you know, by that time I was 15 pounds heavier. Um, I was about, at that time again, probably on my six weeks on the road, more depressed, more anxious, busier. I, at the time I didn’t have the training and again, I went from being an eight to five guy to being in an airport 7 hours out of the day, on a typical day. So it was difficult to transition and not having anybody either. And again, not to any fault of my own company, but to not have that internal support, as well as the external support at home with my family. I was a man on an Island. I was a man on an Island.
Host – Bryan Paul Buckley (07:10): And you’re not an Island guy if I remember that correctly. So therein lies the problem. I’m a city boy. And there you go. You and me both, you know, that’s a little small town in Chicago, so Hey, I do remember one of the things that you had mentioned to Justin was just talking about, you know, needing to talk to your boss and just say, man, I gotta, I gotta pull back a little bit on the road and the hesitancy to have that conversation, but then yet how well it went, you remember that moment?
Guest – Justin Pugh (07:34): I do. And in fact, it was right at the Middle World Congress again, that week was difficult for me. I have my first week in LA for a week at a time nonvacation. I rented a car, so, and I was also traveling from LA into Irvine for separate meetings as well. And by the time I left LA, I was completely stressed out. I mean, completely done. I didn’t have anything. I just had nothing left in my tank from that week, from anxiety to the travel, to just how busy I was. I had tapped myself out in that Monday. I went to my boss and I said, you know, Hey Michelle, I cannot do this. I need about a week off. And she did. And I was very frightened at that time. Cause, keep in mind I was, and I’ve been in, I haven’t been in the job, you know, six months.
Host – Bryan Paul Buckley (08:32): Sure. Sound like you’re seasoned in that role.
Guest – Justin Pugh (08:35): I’m new to them in the role. Right. And here I am asking for a vacation, you know, you signed up for 80% travel. Why is it an issue now? And so I was afraid and I went to her, I was transparent. I said, Michelle, I need a break. I’m no good to the business right now. And she said, Justin, I need you to have a break too. And that was transformative for me. Yeah.
Host – Bryan Paul Buckley (08:55): And good for her and, man, I’m proud of you. Cause I know you and I had that conversation that needs to happen. You know, at least an awareness, you know, especially in companies, sometimes they’re there, and they’re doing their deal. You’re doing your deal. And if there’s not that level of communication, that’s there or a company asking about that. You know, therein lies the problem of burnout, and the goal of elite road warrior is to eliminate burnout and exceed results. So in other moments, too if I can take you back, Justin, it really, really hit me was just interactions that you had in this, this feeling of disconnect that you had had with your son because you were with them all the time. And then all of a sudden, boom, you know, you’re hardly around in some of those moments and how he felt about that. Would you be willing to unpack that for a moment?
Guest – Justin Pugh (09:35): I would, you know, I’ve got, one of the things is as parents, you know, our kids don’t think this, but we always say it. I know you better than you know yourself. Right. We tell our kids all the time and it’s true, but it’s also true the opposite way as well. Our kids know us sometimes better than we know ourselves. And I didn’t know myself at the time and it took my son to tell me that, are you okay? My dad is sleeping a lot. You’re sleeping in on a Saturday morning. More often, Hey Dad, you’re eating more unhealthy. And I was just not living right in a way that made me a good example. As a father, I was drinking more. I was eating more for comfort. I stopped working out. Ah, I’ll get it Saturday. I’m too tired. And so your kids see that in you, they see they did, they get concerned.
Guest – Justin Pugh (10:34): And then of course, naturally it removes that barrier of security that you’re supposed to be giving them. And then it allows them to kind of FreeWheel themselves. And so you start seeing your habit kind of leak and manifest themselves into their lives. Procrastination, disorganization, anger, lack of focus. All of those things came, became a guiding kind of almost a cloud over my whole family. And if it starts a path, so if I’m losing, if I’m gaining weight and I’m eating unhealthy and I’m not getting enough sleep, I’m the head of the household, everyone else is going to be doing the same thing. Why is dad like this? So I had to change and I think everything, and I know you’re headed this direction. Believe it or not. Everything came to a head in April, April this year, April 2020 is my body and my mind and professionally I’d said enough, this has gotta stop, changes have to be made.
Guest – Justin Pugh (11:41): And so I had that moment like you had like your wife had that, you told us and, in the Outer Banks that you said, something’s got to change. Those words have never left me. Bryan, I’ll tell you that right now, those words have never left me. Something got to change. And I made that change. In fact, if I can be very transparent, that change manifests itself all the time, it always happens in some big blow up. Right. You know you and your wife have a big argument or you and your spouse have a big argument or you and your son or your daughter, or even you and your colleague. I have a big blow up. And it happened in April. And I had to take a step back to realize, okay, it’s time to get yourself focused. And so, your book, your advice, some of the things I needed to do sleep better, exercise more, be more focused, pay more attention to your family. Take that extra time to yourself, to reenergize. I had to start doing those things, right. I really did.
Host – Bryan Paul Buckley (12:45): Well just that man. So first of all, I’m proud of you, you know, and, uh, this is a journey. You know, people don’t become elite road warriors immediately. Oftentimes we’re the existing road warrior or the exhausted road warrior. And then we become the experimental road warrior. And so there’s a process to get there. And so I’m really proud of you. And I think it’s so important. So many things you said that just really stood out to me. One is that this is a process. And number two was, you know, sometimes we get a mirror from people. There are the last people. We want to be a mirror and that’s our family, you know, whether it’s a spouse or significant other or a child. And sometimes that’s the hardest to do that. So being willing to hear that, even though it’s so difficult to hear my, as you referenced that something’s got to change, what’s my beautifully angry wife, you know, who told me those words and you want to talk about a humbling moment, you know, a come to Jesus moment. And those are what those are. I also remember too, Justin. You had mentioned something about you, you know, you were gone so much that your son had even grown and you didn’t even realize that. And that kind of was a hurtful moment. Would you be willing to unpack that for a second?
Guest – Justin Pugh (13:47): Yeah. I mean, he had grown as a man, you know, he, he was in college, you know, and I was traveling so much that I just wasn’t there to attend to some of that growth, becoming a man and his language was changing and he had real concerns. Is that the time, you know, I didn’t know that my son wanted to come. He wanted to know leave school. He wanted to drop out. And again, I wasn’t attentive to those things. And you know, he, he stayed an extra semester because his exact words were, I didn’t want to bother you with it. Wow, wow. Right. Instead, I spent $2,000 more of your money because I didn’t want to bother you with it. You know what I mean? And so we’ve got to take a step back sometimes and realize that those things are those moments.
Guest – Justin Pugh (14:34): We have to be attentive and when you’re going, going, going, going, going, and you’re not taking, and I’ll be honest, Bryan, I even now think about it when I think about my travel schedule. And I think some of your listeners will very much agree with me and probably align with this is we use it as a way to getaway. Very true. Right. We use it as a way to getaway. And I found that I was using, you know, getting away from that situation or that particular issue at home or whatever the case we use it to getaway. And I find that, like you said, if we recenter ourselves, travel becomes, this is what I have to do in order for me to get back home, to be with the family and to feel that love. But I want to, I want to pick up on something that you said about that “come to Jesus moment” because I want to tell you what mine was really, really quick. Right? I was in Virginia and I was in Alexandria. We’d just gotten, I forgot where I was traveling in from. All I know is that I’d injured my toe pretty bad. When I got to Alexandria, I, I put my toe, I, you know, guys, it’s a hotel. I couldn’t find anything else. So I put my toe, I put my foot inside the ice bucket. Okay. I couldn’t find anything else though. So forgive me.
Host – Bryan Paul Buckley (15:54): I feel bad for the next guy
Guest – Justin Pugh (15:56): For the next guy. Anyway, I couldn’t find anything else. I put my foot inside this ice bath and inside the ice tub. The next morning I woke up, I’m getting ready for, I’m getting ready to get to the meeting to go downtown and meet the next customer. I look in the mirror. I look in the mirror, I’m brushing my beard, getting ready, Bryan. And I didn’t like what I saw, my eyes are bloodshot and keep in mind, after a shower I’ve been up for probably three or four hours, probably had two cups of coffee.
Host – Bryan Paul Buckley (16:23): And this one you’re supposed to be looking good, man.
Guest – Justin Pugh (16:26): I’ve got on. I’ve got on cologne. I’ve got my clothes on. I said, man, I’m, I’m dialed in, but I don’t look good. I don’t like what I see in the mirror. I am 20 pounds heavier. I’m 208 pounds. My typical way guys like 190, right? That’s my fighting weight. I’m 208. I’m tired. My foot hurts. I’m disheveled by my beard. I hadn’t probably shaved my beard in probably, you know, probably two or three weeks. And at that point, I knew that was my coming to this meeting. You look bad. And I felt that way at my customer. I mean, I probably the worst decision I made was looking in the mirror that morning. Cause the rest of the day was just a lack of confidence the entire day. Do you know what I mean? And that’s what that does to you. That’s what not attending to your thoughts and following your six habits. That’s what they do to you. It beats you down and life will beat you into submission and you look up off the mat and you’re like, where the hell am I? What happened to me?
Host – Bryan Paul Buckley (17:23): Well, and that guy, that guy follows us around in every single hotel. I’m like, how does he know where I am? But he follows me in every single mirror. And to your point, unless we do something about it and have something’s got to change moment. You know, whether it’s the words of your son, waking you up a little bit, or these little moments that come along the way. And that’s the reason why Elite Road Warrior Group exists. That’s why, you know, the session you heard on the six energy habits or the Elite Road Warrior workshop, a live workshop, or an online consultant coming into a company. And really having those moments where we can think about our lives in our road lives and who have we become? Is that what we want, who we want to be?
Host – Bryan Paul Buckley (18:03): And do we feel like our sons don’t want to interrupt us, or our wife has to be in tears to say, something’s got to change and I mind you, it doesn’t have to get this bad, right? Justin. I mean, a lot of people who are listening to the interview may be nowhere near where we ended up, but unless there’s some intervention, whether it’s from the company or a spouse, a family member, a child, or our own selves, we’re headed down that busy. Can’t stop now, beat down. Can’t take this and into burnout. I can’t get going which is the exhaustion cycle. Would you agree?
Guest – Justin Pugh (18:35): I would agree. We’re all headed that way. Right? We’re all headed there and it doesn’t have to be that way. Right? You can identify where you are now. If you’re feeling yourself tired, if you wake up in the morning to getting to the airport and you’re finding out, you know, you’re drinking three or four cups of coffee before you get on the plane, take a step back. If you haven’t exercised, gone for a jog, you know, a month, you need to start doing those things. If you haven’t, like you said, connected with your family or taken that three or four-day vacation that you’ve been talking about, or, you know, forever, you need to. And, you know, fortunately, you know, Bryan, I worked for Ingram Micro, a very progressive company, a very, you know, bleeding-edge type company. They believe in, in making sure that the associate that, that the frontline is taken care of. So when we come to them with these concerns, they’re very receptive to making sure that there’s change because we, they know that if their road warriors are not healthy, we don’t have a business.
Host – Bryan Paul Buckley (19:39): Absolutely. I’m thinking of inconsistent results.
Guest – Justin Pugh (19:42): Inconsistent results. And in fact, that’s exactly what I gave in April. Like April was one of our most successful months. And I still felt like I wasn’t my, I wasn’t my best because I was at my worst from a mental perspective because of the undiagnosed and the untreated issues from my road life back in the first half of the year.
Host – Bryan Paul Buckley (20:12): And would you say oftentimes too Justin it’s, it’s maybe it’s our pride. We don’t want to admit that we’re not Superman on the road, that we can’t be this high-performance car, always going 100 miles an hour and you know, we’ll sleep when we’re dead or sleep is the enemy, or I can eat it, whatever I want and that it’s never going to catch up with us. Is there a sense of pride or ignorance or what would you say is the, is the catalyst to this?
Guest – Justin Pugh (20:34): You know what I think, I think it works twofold. I think there’s a sense of pride on our side, for me, it was, I don’t wanna let the business down. I don’t want to let down the business. Now I told these guys I’m going to go out here and I’m going to bring back a lot of business. So you go out there and you grind and you grind and you grind because you made a commitment to people, right? And so you now feel yourself being a part of something much bigger, much larger. So you have very well-intentioned, right? We all have very well intentions What happens though, is that those intentions spin out of control for ourselves. And on the opposite end, you’ve got your executive director or your VP of sales doing the same thing, pushing you. Hey, Hey, I just got another lead from another customer.
Guest – Justin Pugh (21:15): Hey, go to Detroit. Hey, you know, I got another opportunity for you at the retail affair in New York. Hey, good. There, I mean, I had, you know, an incident where I almost went to three cities in New York all in one day by plane. I almost did that. Right. It’s the insanity of it all thinking about that, right? So it’s not necessarily, it shows that ignorance. We all make a lot of money. All of us, if you’re an elite warrior, you are probably earning, above the middle-class average. So we’re not, we’re not dumb people. It’s just that our pride, as well as the people at the high end, that’s pushing that we’re putting business before people. And it should always be people first. Cause if people aren’t healthy than your business will also, that business unhealth will follow as well. So I think now more than ever, we should take this, you know, this proactive approach and making sure that we’re always keeping in, you know, your six energy habits in mind when we’re trying to develop good habits on the road so that we don’t fall into the trap where, you know, I can sleep when I’m dead. Yeah. But you’re dead,
Host – Bryan Paul Buckley (22:34): Minor yet important detail.
Guest – Justin Pugh (22:36): Exactly. That’s a small detail. So yeah, Bryan, you know, we, we just need to keep vigilant of our own selves, put ourselves first and then the business needs, we’ll take care of it after that,
Host – Bryan Paul Buckley (22:47): You know, and that’s so good too, Justin, cause of the reality is, I mean, a lot of us who are road warriors, we’re good at what we do. We love it. And which is also the problem, you know, we’re killing it on the road, but then I hear often from guys. Yeah. And then I’m getting killed at home, you know, I’m important on the road, but then I am visible at home. You know, I’m in complete control of my world and making decisions on the road. And I feel kind of out of control in my own world at home. And that’s hard, you know, especially when we are in control and we’re killing it and important to come back to, unfortunately, the people that really matter the most, if we have a family or friends or a spouse or significant other to be able to make that transition to be there.
Host – Bryan Paul Buckley (23:26): And oftentimes there’s either a letdown, we’ve been doing it so long, a bad way. That is just kind of the new norm or it’s just one of those things where like, I don’t even know how to make changes, man. I don’t have control when I’m by myself on the road. How in the world can I make any changes at home? And I think to your credit, I appreciate you saying that the premise of the six habits framework gives us at least some context to be able to nuance. You know, some of these changes we need to make on the road. So let’s kind of unpack some of these with you. Whether, whether you look at it from the old Justin to the new Justin, you know, getting back to travel, as far as, you know, things that you’re going to do differently or things you didn’t do well and things that you were improving on now. So let’s talk a little bit about just maybe you mentioned sleep, so let’s go there for a minute. You know, what was the quality and quantity of your sleep before and what do you want and need it to be back on the road to be an elite road warrior?
Guest – Justin Pugh (24:18): We all know sleep is one of those things that doesn’t come very, uh, it doesn’t come easy to the word war year. Most of the time, our business meetings leak into nine, 10 o’clock and it normally involves a nightcap and normally involves an after nightcap with another group of people. And so before you know it, you’re back at the hotel at one o’clock in the morning, right. And then you’re back up at 5:00 AM to check those emails so that you just, so you’re not checking them in your eight, at your 8:00 AM meeting. Um, and of course that same day is a marathon meeting from eight to four. And then after that, we all want to go out to dinner and do the same thing all over again the same night, but four nights in a row. Right.
Host – Bryan Paul Buckley (24:55): And then you wake up the next day, sharp as a bull.
Guest – Justin Pugh (24:58): Yeah. Oh, man. You’re sharp. Right? You’re ready. Um, no, you’re not actually. And so one of the things that I found myself doing was I just gave me, told everybody before the night started, Hey guys, I got hard, like this. Let me do. I got a hard stop. Hey guys a hard stop at 11 o’clock, I’ll see you guys at 8:00 AM. And I noticed that, Hey, you know, the VP of sales didn’t mind doing it. I noticed that the executive director didn’t mind doing it. So why shouldn’t I just say, Hey guys, I’m tired too? Been a long day. I’m going to call it a night. Now the new, the old Justin didn’t do that because the old Justin said if the customer’s up, I’m going to be up. The customer is going to party all night. I’m going to party all night. And that’s just not the way it works, guys. You know your customer, if they’re a good customer, should know, Hey, he needs to be my best advocate. My squeaky wheel and the inside of the business. I need him healthy too.
Host – Bryan Paul Buckley (25:52): And he probably feels the same way as you too, Justin.
Guest – Justin Pugh (25:55): So look now the new Justin I’m in bed by 10 o’clock every night. And of course, you know, naturally, you know, when you’re on the road now, you know, you want to be sharp. So you give yourself a good timeframe to be in bed. Like I’m going to have all my emails done. And honestly, I’ll tell you this, Bryan, I would take it back as, as if the road is an extension of the home. It’s consistency, right? It’s consistency. I get it. If you can’t, if it’s different, if you’re flying in from, you know, LAX and you’re getting there 1130 at night, right. But if you’re getting there at one o’clock in the afternoon and you’ve got time to structure your day, Hey, eight o’clock guys, I’m going to be back at the hotel, talk to the kids till 8:30, you know, talk to them until they’re getting ready to go to bed until nine.
Guest – Justin Pugh (26:41): Get my last bit of emails. No done by about nine 30, 10 I’m in bed by 11. And then I’m up the next morning, the same routine that I do every morning, 7:30, get up, drink my coffee. I call my significant other. Talk to my phone on the way to school. You see it’s. So it’s all about following that pattern. Um, and it’s also a part of that, of course, is the fuel part too, because which to eat before you go to bed, plays a huge part in how you sleep. Right. It’s serious. So when I’m on the road, I don’t go and get Uber eats and get the next pizza that I can find, you know, Hey, I’m going to find a, if I have to order out, let me find a Mediterranean place that has a good Mediterranean salad that I can take advantage of some white with some salmon or something healthy that will help me digest easy that the next morning I wake up sharp, prepared, ready to take a shower and get my day started. So it’s very important that, you know, again, you say, use the right word. It provides us a framework, those six energy habits, especially when it comes to fuel and sleep, that really catapult you into the other parts of the six energy habits that you’ll also need, uh, on a more consistent basis.
Host – Bryan Paul Buckley (27:51): Okay. So let’s and you brought up a good point. So let’s talk about it for a second. How many people? Well, two things. One is, I don’t know anybody. If they don’t work out at home, start working out on the road or somebody who doesn’t think they’ll be at home doesn’t start eating healthy on the road. That’s a different conversation. But to your points, when you’re more tired, what are your chances? Like you said that you’re gonna eat healthier or that you’re going to get up to go workout,
Guest – Justin Pugh (28:15): Almost none.
Host – Bryan Paul Buckley (28:16): Exactly. And that’s day one ones on day three or day four. So, but you do all of this because you want energy and energy to perform your best on the road. Hence they’re called six energy habits. And I think what I’m hearing from you and correct me if I’m wrong, Justin, and feel free to, you know, to riff on this, you want to perform at your best. But if you’re looking at going, okay, well, I’m going to miss this next drink or my fifth one with this Joe customer who I really don’t like, and it looks like he’s already checking his watch and wants to go, but it’s an excuse for me to stay up late or and if that’s why I stay up late until then, therefore I wake up the next morning, more tired, more stressed. And then that has its own problems. It’s really, if our mindset shifts in order for me to perform at my best, I need to have energy, and whatever I need to do needs to be able to create energy movement creates energy. Food is fuel. Fuel creates energy, rest creates energy. Am I hitting the right theme? Are you agreeing with that?
Guest – Justin Pugh (29:13): You absolutely are. Again, all these six energy habits feed themselves, right? They feel in themselves. So you need the fuel, right? The fuel to help you get through the day you need the rest that helps you perform the next day. Right? And now, of course, it helps you to overtime, as you develop those habits, you develop those good habits. Then you perform better. You develop into a better person, right? And then of course that allows you, putting it all together, to connect better with people like you, with your family, with your customers. I’ve noticed that one of the things and this could be on there. This is people, right? The way you introduce yourself, the way you walk through a door, you can tell, you know how that meeting is going to go based on your own energy. This is not going to be a very good meeting because I don’t have the energy to show it.
Guest – Justin Pugh (30:06): And honestly, you can’t fake and you cannot fake not having anxiety. You can’t fake not getting sleep. You can’t fake not being overweight. People see those things and all of those things. And again, I’m not saying that those things are bad in and of itself, right? You know, so I’m not, you know, weight shaming, anybody. What I’m saying is, is that it’s important that we have to develop good habits so that we can always perform at our best. Even as parents, even as professionals. I’m no good to myself. If I got to sleep in until one o’clock every Saturday, I wasted my entire day with my kid. I’m a good dude, myself. If I’ve got to take three or four naps on a Monday because you know, I’m not, I’m not getting enough rest or not getting the right fuel. I’m no good to myself.
Guest – Justin Pugh (30:53): If, of course, I’m on a tight connection from Atlanta to Detroit. And I got to get from Terminal A to Terminal B. And I’m all, I’m, I’m all the way at, uh, at gate 35. And in Atlanta, I gotta be able to run to get to that next terminal. You know, I’m telling you, and it takes a toll on you folks, and you gotta be able again, Bryan, you’re on the right. You’re on the right track here, full circle, full circle. We want to make sure that we’re always using these guidelines, these, these, these frameworks to help us build better habits. And then we can kind of tweak them ourselves as we get better over time.
Host – Bryan Paul Buckley (31:29): So then Justin, what would you say to a road warrior who’s listening right now who needs to make some of these changes?
Guest – Justin Pugh (31:38): You gotta look at yourself in the mirror and you gotta say something has to change. I know you’re there. I know that was there, Paul. I mean, Bryan, you know, you were there, Bryan, we both were, you knew, you knew you were there. And in fact, we were there at the same time. We didn’t know it.
Host – Bryan Paul Buckley (31:52): That’s true.
Guest – Justin Pugh (31:54): And it was so right now is the recognizing that I am there. That’s step number one, step. Number two is if you’re not a business owner and you have to answer to somebody, it is now going to your leadership in saying, I need a break. And here’s why, and if you have good leadership, they’re going to say, okay, Justin, I need you healthy. Go get that break. If they’re bad leadership, and you have to re-evaluate the way who you’re working for, they’re going to tell you something, uh, something different. But the second step is to ask for help. The third step is to take that time that you have, right? And you rest you rest. And whether it’s a week, take two days to just rest. I mean, yesterday, I’ll be honest, guys, look, Bryan, and try to get you on this podcast for the last year and a half.
Guest – Justin Pugh (32:45): But it’s taken almost two, three days to get me on it because the last thing I wanted to rest, and then the last thing I would say. That was progress, right? And honestly, honestly, I am a, I am one of the one, one of the things I’m working on. And I know I noticed the sidetrack is saying no better. Is say no more. It’s okay. It’s okay to say no guys. I promise you. Now the final step in the process is to develop a plan. Right? Okay. I’ve gotten my rest. I know that. I look like crap. I feel like crap. I’m treating my family, like crap. I’m feeling like I’m cheating my body. I’m not treating myself right. I am not gifting myself with anything. Good. And now you ask herself, what do I have to do to refuel my body? What am I going to put back into me?
Guest – Justin Pugh (33:35): That’s going to help me be better. And a part of that is the next morning I’m gonna get up and just go for a walk. Let’s go get, Go for a walk. It’s just little steps. And Bryan, I want to say this really quick to all your listeners. It is hard. And the hardest part is the first day. Think about it. Every part of our, every experience about everything we do from the first day of school, think about how hard that first day was. Even as parents. I remember in, in Bryan, you know, I don’t care to admit this. I think I cried when I dropped my son.
Host – Bryan Paul Buckley (34:11): Oh, of course. First day of school.
Guest – Justin Pugh (34:13): Right? Either they’re, they’re, they’re pathetic. They’re small. They’re sad to these new people, right? Everything is new on that first day. It’s hard on the first day, but boy, you get them to the second day and they don’t. Even when I walk you in its school anymore, you can go, you can go, dad. I’m good now. Right? That’s cause it’s easier now, right? It wasn’t such a leap. So that first day will be difficult. That first walk you take, or that first jog you take, or that first salad you eat that first 24 ounces of water you have to drink. It’s always the hardest one, but the second and the third and the fourth one, they get easier, easier, and easier if you stick to it.
Host – Bryan Paul Buckley (34:52): But it has to start with that first day and that just because, and, and to use the were vernacular, we call that the anchor day. And if you think about your first day, your business trip, the first day, when you come home, it’s the behaviors that you do on your first day. If you eat healthily on the road your first day, you’re more likely to do that the rest of the week. If you, if you rest well, if whatever your connections are with your family, it makes a huge, huge difference. I really, really do appreciate your honesty on that. Let me ask you the flip side of the question. What would you say, Justin, to accompany with business travelers to help them maximize their own business travel?
Guest – Justin Pugh (35:29): Wow, that’s a that’s a good question, boy. Um, I didn’t expect that when that wasn’t guys that weren’t in the, in the prepared script, by the way, he didn’t let me see that question. No, that’s a good one because I think it starts at the very top, right. You know, our leaders, they say to, you know, that, you know, I had one executive director who said, look, I’m on the road 300 days out of the year, I’m on the road. Wow. Um, that wouldn’t work for me, of course. Right. So it starts with leadership displaying good work-life balance first. And then of course sending that message throughout the entire company and showing through real policies that we care about. Work-life balance. I can tell you right now, I work for a company that cares extremely about work-life balance. That’s great. Okay. All right.
Guest – Justin Pugh (36:21): A large part of the reason why there’s no real policy change at the very top is cause a lot of leaders don’t know. Right? So I would say that, any company has to make sure that they are open to suggestions from their travelers. You have to get feedback from them. Maybe even create a travel feedback forum. So after your, your, you know, your, your road warrior, you know, sends their expense report and their, you know, their weekly report or their trip report, maybe send a survey back, how are you doing? How is your mental health, how was your travel experience? Was there something about traveling that we need to change? How was your expensing experience? So making sure that you’re monitoring how your travelers are traveling, that’s number one, step number two is helping them travel better, right? Maybe we get someone like Bryan Buckley in our company that helps train our road warriors on how to be more organized, how to be more focused, how to eat better, how to sleep better, how to perform better on the road.
Guest – Justin Pugh (37:31): Because performing on the road is totally different than performing at a desk eight to five, Monday through Friday, I can tell you that right now it’s totally different. Right? And then last but not least, I think it’s all about accountability as well. Right? So now that we’ve given you all these tools to be better on the road, you don’t have an excuse to get on the road, you know, haggard and tired and out of shape and whatever the case might be. So now it’s about accountability. Hey Justin one of your customers said that, that you came into a meeting, you know, you just look tired, man. You know, you know, is there something that I can do for you? And it’s not just accountability by saying, Hey, Justin, your info, because the customer called and put to look bad, a customer called and was concerned.
Guest – Justin Pugh (38:17): I want to take care of you. Do you need a break? And then you hold as a leader, you hold yourself accountable and saying, I should have known that because maybe I should have talked to him throughout that week while he was on the road. So maybe while your, while your road warriors on the road, maybe an evening touchpoint at the end of the day, Hey Justin, I’m gonna send you a quick text. How are you doing today? And if that’s too cumbersome for some leaders, maybe it could be something as quick as, again, as a text message. As you know, maybe a quick email, whatever the case might be. There are multiple ways that we can create layers of accountability to make sure that everybody is making sure we’re all being healthy on the road. Um, so I hope that answered your question a little bit
Host – Bryan Paul Buckley (39:06): And I love it. And Justin, I absolutely, and I wanted to catch you off guard because you’re going through a transition. You went from the first transition of, of working from a desk than to be on the road all the time. And then a transition of, eh, I feel like I kind of need to change a little bit. And to all of a sudden, now you’re realizing something’s got to change and you’re making those changes right now. And I’m so proud of you for that. But I also love your, you hit on the three specific areas where we help with companies or we help with road warriors. It starts with awareness. We need to be aware of what we’re doing. And then it moves into application. I need to do something about it. And then it moves into accountability where we’ve got that ongoing conversation and to your point where you don’t feel like you’re going to get in trouble, or you feel like you’re weak or not performing well, if you’re giving an honest answer, knowing you’re going to get hit over the head by giving the answer, the honest answer. But knowing that there’s that true authenticity because they truly care. And one of the phrases I hear often, and I tell companies this all the time from road warriors personally. And they say this if you invest in me personally, I’ll invest more professionally and of really caring about me as a person that I’m going to produce more professionally. So, man, I love what you said, Justin, do you have any closing thoughts for us?
Guest – Justin Pugh (40:23): I do. Um, there’s a quote in your book. um at the very end at the afterward. I’m gonna read it really quick here. It says, so road warrior when your road career’s done, how would you look back on it? What if you ended today no more trips. What would you regret? Did you sacrifice your health and your home life at the cost of overworking? What can you change? How, what can you change now? by implementing the six energy habits of move fuel, rest, form, develop and connect that will transform your work health and home life on the road from now on. And if there’s anybody out there who’s listening, um, that you’re struggling with, you know, you’re you want to perform, you mean very well. You know, Bryan, and I know that that you mean well and you want to do well. Nobody gets up in the morning flies to Detroit to suck.
Guest – Justin Pugh (41:15): You know what I mean? But, but you need to make sure that you’re taking care of yourself first. And it starts with making sure that you answer those questions. What does all of this mean? If you have to be rushed to the hospital at 11 o’clock at night when you get home from an anxiety attack and you’ve got to put your family through all that stress. So now is the day. Today is your anchor day use today to look in the mirror, have that Virginia moment that I had. You don’t look good. Something has to change. Have that moment that Bryan had with his wife, when his wife told him, all right, you’re paying more attention to this job and not of this family and it has to change or I’m outta here. And so before you lose everything that matters the most to you look yourself in the mirror and have that anchor moment where you say tomorrow is day one, I’m going to make that change. And it starts with, you know, you know, first acknowledging it, getting the help, making your leadership, aware, developing your own plan, executing it and developing yourself into that elite road warrior that we all know that you can be. That’s all I got Bryan
Host – Bryan Paul Buckley (42:25): Well Justin, what a gift man. I really do appreciate the organicness of this conversation and the willingness to be vulnerable and to kind of share your journey with us. I truly hope it’s encouraged road warriors. Those who take care of the road, warriors and companies, and ultimately our family and our friends who are really the most important to us and benefit from this conversation. So Justin, thank you so much. Guest – Justin Pugh (42:48): My pleasure, Bryan, thank you.
Buckley Family (42:53): You’re listening to our dad on season two of the elite road warrior podcast brought to you by the Buckley kids. This is Tray. This is Cole. This is Caleb. This is Kaitlin. This is Austin. Make connecting with your family a priority on the road.
Host – Bryan Paul Buckley (43:13): The road can be hard. It can be difficult to be both productive and effective. It’s a challenge to stay healthy and in shape in a battle to stay connected with those you love back home, but it doesn’t have to be this way. The elite road warrior book, six energy habits that transformed your business travel life is now available. If you’re a road warrior and just tired of where you’re at in your business travel life, or, you know, you have more in you than this book is for you. The print version, digital Kindle version and audiobook is now available on Amazon. Pick up your copy and continue your journey on becoming an elite road warrior.
Host – Bryan Paul Buckley (43:50): I’m like the thing Justin, for his time, his honesty and man, his challenges as an elite road warrior
Host – Bryan Paul Buckley (44:02): You can find this episode’s content in all the links of the show notes at eliteroadwarrior.com/076. You can also access the free resource 10 business travel guide in the same location at eliteroadwarrior.com/076. And if you’re not connected with me on LinkedIn, reach out to me at Bryan Paul Buckley. And if you’re on Instagram, you can find me also at @eliteroadwarrior. If you’re interested in changing your company’s travel culture, reach out to me at eliteroadwarrior.com. And if you’re a company with business travelers, consider bringing an elite road workgroup, we can help you in one of three ways. We can help you by having you come to the Chicago land area for a day and a half workshop. We can come to you on onsite consulting for leadership training, then also training the road warriors. And we could also help you with ongoing online training for accountability. You can find us at eliteroadwarrior.com and as always wherever you are, do something, anything just, not nothing to master the business, travel life, leverage the content from this interview to become and remain an elite road warrior today. You got this