Tech entrepreneur. Husband. Father. Athlete.
Mike Lindsley lives a full, busy life.
“I credit my background in athletics for giving me the foundation to balance so much in my life,” he says.
Mike played football at Missouri State University and the schedule of a student-athlete — practicing and playing 20 to 25 hours a week, taking a full course load and working jobs during spring semester — taught him how to juggle multiple obligations successfully.
“That process gave me a foundation for my work ethic,” he says. “It showed me what I am capable of in terms of effort and success.”
It’s an approach that still influences him today in his professional and personal lives — and the reason this disciplined yogi and CrossFit competitor is our latest Driven Spotlight.
Gregarious and engaging, Mike describes his superpower as his ability to see people for who they are and find common ground.
“I find it easy to engage with people and ideas without judgment,” he says. “You can drop me in the middle of a room and I’ll walk out with friends.”
This talent, honed through his experience in athletics, has played a critical role in Mike’s professional life.
Mike co-owns Scottsdale, Arizona-based Blue Fox Group, an IT solutions firm that he purchased from his dad nearly 20 years ago. The business began life as a telecommunications provider, but after Mike and his partners purchased it, they expanded into a full-fledged IT services supplier.
“This is the only job I’ve had,” Mike says. “It’s been a grind but with the relationships we’ve built, we’ve found that a lot of our customers have similar challenges we do. That allows us to be real with them — admit where they can get better and how we can help them improve. I love being able to have such an impact.”
For much of his life, Mike charged forward through goals and challenges like a bull rushing a matador. But in recent years, he has come to understand the importance of mental preparation in achieving growth and success.
“My ability to take a step back and focus on my mindset has been a huge change for how I approach my life,” he says. “When you take time to set your intentions for the day and focus on what matters first, you learn to better understand how you can thrive and succeed without burning out.”
An accessory to this shift in mindset is presence. As an outgoing, sociable guy, Mike says a focal point of self-improvement this year is to be more present.
“Being more present leads into greater patience with those around me and seeking to understand rather than to be understood,” he says. “It all goes into being a better leader and teammate — making time for the people in my life.”
Throughout his life, competition has driven Mike to reach — and exceed — his limitations.
“As a kid, I may not have been the best student, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t compete,” he says. “It didn’t mean I couldn’t be successful or achieve more.”
That mindset continues to fuel Mike to this day in all his roles from father and husband to business owner and athlete.
“A lot of what we do is effort,” Mike says. “When we put in the work and see the steady progress we make in ourselves and our lives, it keeps driving us to be better.”
That’s a lesson he especially hopes to teach his young son, Wells.
“I want him to know that regardless of what others think, he can always keep pushing — working harder, reading more — to achieve success.”
Mike’s fitness routine mirrors his approach to the rest of his life: focused.
He begins his days with a morning activation routine focused on preparing his mind and body for what’s to come. He starts with Warrior Yoga from Mark Divine of Unbeatable Mind to stretch, move and get in touch with his breath.
He follows the yoga with 20 to 30 minutes in an infrared sauna and a meditation exercise from the mindfulness app Headspace. Afterward, he takes a cold plunge into his pool for three to eight minutes, focusing on his breathing.
“My mornings are key to my day,” Mike says, “because they help with inflammation and remaining calm.”
In addition to his morning activation, Mike works with a trainer to create CrossFit workouts of varying intensity. He works out for 90 minutes a day five days a week. His trainer factors in lower volume days with higher intensity days to give Mike time to recover and keep cortisol levels balanced.
“I suffered injuries from being competitive early on in CrossFit,” he says. “Now, my workouts are programmed more toward myself and my age.”
With his busy life, Mike says sticking to his routine isn’t always easy. But that’s why he focuses on remaining disciplined.
“Discipline drives behavior,” he says. “I didn’t want to do my morning activation today — but I did it. And I felt better for it.”
That disciplined behavior leads to results and becomes routine.
Without hesitation, Mike emphasizes the importance of routine for men seeking motivation to achieve their goals.
“Establish a routine — and stick with it,” he says. “You know what’s right for you and what’s not. But if you stay the course with what you do, good things tend to happen.”
The older I get the less inclined I am to lean into what's trending on the internet. But needless to say, there may be an opportunity cost to not embracing the future, or even remaining on the sidelines so long that you have to catch up.
The mission of The Driven is to help equip you with the tools to live smarter, better lives. Today, I want to challenge you to lean into learning the basics of artificial intelligence-powered chatbots, specifically, Chat GPT. Launched in November of 2022, Chat GPT was the leader of AI chatbot tools and is truly a groundbreaking tool that is changing the way we communicate and create.
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