Click here for Tony Mayo's podcast

The ancient sages knew the easy answers were the least useful. Executive coaches know that, too. This answer only takes 4½ minutes with Tony Mayo, the Business Owner’s Executive Coach.

Just click here to listen now or subscribe on your device using Apple’s Tunes, Android, and other podcatchers to have this and all new episodes placed on your device as they become available.

Thanks to MusicOpen for providing public domain recordings of Beethoven.


Hello. I’m Tony Mayo, the Business Owner’s Executive Coach … with one quick idea you can use in your business today.

Thales of My-LEE-tus is generally considered the father of western philosophy. He’s also thought to be the very first scientist, perhaps the smartest person in the ancient world. A student once asked Thales two questions: “What is hard?” and “What is easy?” The sage responded, “What is hard is to know thyself.” “What is easy is to give advice.” And advice isn’t just easy to give. It’s very easy to deflect, devalue, disagree with. We do it almost reflexively, without thinking, to protect an image of ourselves, and –most of all– to avoid admitting that what we had been doing may be wrong.

Coaching, real executive coaching, is much more about …the hard part, helping you to know yourself. What matters to you. What you’re capable of. What you really want. This insight, knowing thyself, helps you choose appropriate goals and communicate effectively.

Sure, I’ve been in business for 40 years. I’ve seen a lot. I’ve tried many things. So, I do give out advice. I’m not stingy with that. —but tips and techniques aren’t the real value of an experienced coach. They’re just …a bonus.

One of my clients put it beautifully. She said, “With Tony, I do my own best thinking.” And, that’s the way I want it. Another client said, “My biggest improvement, after working with Tony for six months, is that I live in a different world. When I go to the office, I see different things. So, I take different actions and get better results. I’ve changed from ‘trying to fix what’s wrong’ in my company to focusing on what’s possible …and working toward it.”

If you’re stuck, confused, upset, unsure, —particularly if it’s a …familiar kind of Stuckness— maybe even a “Groundhog Day” level of stuckness, don’t look for an easy answer, a tip or a technique, advice, or a …“Life Hack.”

Do the hard work. Get help with knowing yourself better. Look inside …to who you are, what you can do, what you want, what’s really going to make a difference for the people you love. Thales was right. Knowing thyself is harder, but it lasts longer and works better than mere advice.

Thanks for listening to this podcast. I hope you enjoyed it, that you
apply it, and …share it.