Seeking Wisdom: Comfort Is The Enemy of Growth

Seeking wisdom

Real talk: Last week we got some awesome but very constructive feedback from one of our marketing mentors, Mike Volpe, CMO at Cybereason and former CMO at Hubspot.

I’ll be honest — at first, it didn’t feel great.

But here’s the thing, feedback isn’t supposed to feel good. And growth isn’t supposed to feel comfortable.

It’s supposed to level you up and make you better at what you do. And that doesn’t come easy.

On this episode of Seeking Wisdom, DC and Dave sit down to have a spontaneous and unfiltered conversation about our meeting with Mike. They shared their thoughts and experiences with growth, the mindset you need to have, and how to absorb feedback and use it to propel yourself forward.

If you’re ready to level-up your career and grow professionally, I think this episode will give you the wisdom to get there. ?



P.S. If you’re serious about this, I’ve got a deal for you. Hint: it involves a private coaching session with DC and Dave. Listen to the podcast to learn more.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

01:20 – DC’s advice to Dave on how growth really feels, the fight or flight feeling (and why you need to ignore it), and why you should always sleep on feedback before acting

06:40 –  A growth lesson from CrossFit: “the beatings will continue until there is progress” and Dave’s thoughts on why you need (and should be asking for) those beatings

08:02 – Dave’s qualifier on getting tough feedback from Mike Volpe: it’s going to hurt but if it’s from someone whos already seen the story, and done it before, how can you not be open to that?

08:33 – DC’s two favorite growth quotes from Lou Holtz’s commencement speech, The Most Powerful Speech: The Three Rules to a Less Complicated Life: “you’re either growing or you’re dying” and “don’t overcomplicate it”

11:12 – The Drift mantra: always be learning and if you’re not learning seek out the hard feedback from everyone else

13:28 – A $750,000 offer to the Seeking Wisdom community: a 30-minute, no agenda, private coaching session for 25 (randomly selected) people who email “I’m in” to

15:58 – How to score a free trip to Hypergrowth and hang out with the speakers (pst: it might have something to do with subscribing to the Seeking Wisdom podcast)

3 Key Points:

  1. There are two major keys to true growth. Number one? Hard feedback has to come from someone you trust. And number two: You need to let feedback marinate before you take action. Seek feedback from mentors that you trust — you’re more likely to listen. Then when you get feedback, sleep on it. Give yourself time to fully understand it before making moves. Try and figure out why you were getting the feedback you were getting, where it was coming from, and if that perspective correct. And then, and only then, develop a plan for how you can take action on feedback.
  2. For everything in your life, you’re either growing or you’re dying. While this may sound a bit harsh, it’s vital to growth. Momentum is everything and growth only occurs if you’re constantly pushing your boundaries and capabilities.
  3. The struggle will continue until there is progress. Simply put, unless you internalize the feedback you’re getting, and make a plan of action, you aren’t making progress towards getting better. Be proactive and ask for feedback regularly and always dig deeper into the specifics.

Connect With Us

Follow David and Dave on Twitter.
Come follow the podcast at seekingwisdomio.
Learn more about Drift at

Episode Transcript

DC: And we’re back. This is David Cancel. And you’re listening to the Seeking Wisdom Podcast. Over here, listen to that music, listen, nod your head. Over here, in front of me is the young nephew, DG, aka Dave Gerhardt. He just got a beating. It’s good for him.

Dave: I just got a beating.

DC: Nothing he could say would make me happier.

Dave: So sorry if I’m low energy for one second. I just got a beating. I walked out of an hour long beating. It wasn’t from DC.

DC: Not me. My hands are clean.

Dave: So anyway, we’re back. I’m excited. This is the official, official, official, official last podcast in this office. The room is feeling real real empty.

DC: Yeah if you hear an echo. If you hear us echoing, it’s because all the shelves are now empty. Everything is packed in boxes. We’re ready to move.

Dave: We have no lights. We have nothing today. This is just like … this is like two years ago-

DC: This is OG.

Dave: … on Seeking Wisdom. This is OG Seeking Wisdom. This is when there was no listeners.

DC: Okay. This is for the old G, the old gangster listeners who are listening right now. We’re taking it back.

Dave: Yeah. So you know what? I actually … I wanted to just do one where I didn’t have any prep notes with you. But I just thought of the topic.

DC: What?!

Dave: Yeah yeah, ’cause I thought of the topic, which is actually-

DC: Cool.

Dave: I just got a beating.

DC: Yes.

Dave: Okay?

DC: Who gave you that beating?

Dave: Mike Volpe.

DC: Okay.

Dave: Shout out to you Mike. Love you, still love you.

DC: He’s in shock Mike.

Dave: Yeah I know.

DC: He’s stuttering now.

Dave: It was nice. It was a good beating, but you have this mindset, and I think you’ve started to retrain my mindset a little bit where I used to get … would be defensive. Right? You’re in those meetings taking a beating from somebody and you get defensive.

DC: How does growth feel man?

Dave: Exactly.

DC: Feels good?

Dave: So this is what I wanna talk about. I wanna talk about … We can call this How Growth Really Feels. Right?

DC: It’s how … I wish I could take a picture of DG’s face right now.

Dave: I just saw a ghost. But I wanna accelerate. Seeking Wisdom, our job is to accelerate other people’s learning, so I want you to try to get this out of you and explain this mindset ’cause it takes a while. It takes a while. But it’s something that I’ve seen you do. I’ve seen Elius do. I know you had to beat on him for a couple years.

DC: A decade.

Dave: A decade for him to turn around. But I think this could be a really valuable episode in explaining how you think through that and the whole mantra of “Don’t get defensive. It’s an opportunity.” So I wanna kick it over to you and just talk about that.

DC: Sure. So the way I always talk about it on here is that growth is not supposed to feel comfortable. That’s an easy theoretical thing to say when you abstract it out and you think about it. Oh yeah yeah, I get it. It’s not supposed to feel comfortable. But when you’re actually going through and you’re getting feedback, and you’re feeling like you’re getting beat up. You’re feeling like you’re under attack. Your natural thing is either to pull away and not listen, or to get defensive and to fight back. This says nothing about you. This is just natural thing. Right?

When someone’s coming at you, it’s to … You’re not going to listen to them. You’re gonna put the shields up. You’re gonna fight back or you’re gonna run away. Right? It’s fight or flight. And the thing that I’ve painfully figured out over the years is that, that is the exact moment, when you’re getting feedback, and this is the qualifier, from someone that you respect and someone that you trust.

Dave: Yes.

DC: Trust is the key.

Dave: So this does not count for the internet trolls.

DC: No no no no.

Dave: Okay.

DC: I listen to them too ’cause I like it. They give me a different kind of energy, the haters out there. No. When you’re listening, getting feedback from someone that you trust and that you respect, from a mentor, from a peer, from a role model, it’s not gonna feel good. You’re not gonna wanna hear. You’re gonna wanna get defensive. You’re gonna wanna do what Elius did for half a decade, which was to explain himself to try to convince you and say, “No no no, you’re not getting it. I’m just gonna … let me tell you why you’re wrong.” And to fight back that way.

Instead, that is the exact magic moment that you need to sit there and absorb it and listen, and not say anything. And just hold it in as it’s so hard.

Dave: Take notes.

DC: Take notes. Take notes, and feel it. And absorb it, and then step away from it, detach yourself from it to be able to learn the lessons that someone is trying to pass down to you.

Dave: So if you are me in this situation right now, would you … I got a bunch of notes. Would you let it marinate the rest of today? Sleep on it?

DC: Key. Key.

Dave: Don’t do it now?

DC: Magic key. Key, as DJ Khaled would say.

Dave: Major key.

DC: Major key.

Dave: Yeah.

DC: Is sleep on it.

Dave: Okay.

DC: Don’t take immediate action.

Dave: Okay.

DC: Because you don’t know what you’re taking immediate action on.

Dave: ‘Cause you’re still in the heat … It’s an emotional thing. You’re still in the heat of it.

DC: You’re still in the heat. You don’t know what to do. You don’t wanna be reactionary. You don’t want it to be a delayed reaction, just like you fighting back, you just taking action and doing it out of when you have that emotional energy. Let it marinate. Sleep on it. And then, try to figure out why you were getting the feedback you were getting. Where was that feedback coming from? Was that perspective correct? Could you see that person’s perspective? And then, only then, develop a plan for how you can take some of this feedback and take action on it. Sometimes you’ll get this feedback, and you won’t know how to take action on it. And you might have to get it again a year from now, and again six months from now. And then you’ll be able to take action. But in this case, where DG just got a beating from Mike Volpe … Thank you. Shout out.

Dave: Sent in the hitter.

DC: Yep. He’s giving you very tactical feedback. This is not just …

Dave: It’s not a philosophical like should we do this thing or that thing?

DC: No, or it’s not about how you should change as a leader. It’s more real tactical feedback. In that case, I think tomorrow you could look at that and say, “All right. Here’s how I could think about using some of the stuff.” And some of it might not be useful.

Dave: Or a trick that I’ve learned from you, which is like I might have a list of ten things that he gave us right now. Right?

DC: Yep.

Dave: But there’s probably on … We can’t do all ten.

DC: No way.

Dave: We can’t do ten. But tomorrow I’m gonna wake up and I’m gonna know what one or two things that we should do. What are the big rocks out of that? So now I could be emotional. I could be, “We gotta go to all ten. We gotta change everything. We gotta do this.” Right? But tomorrow, I’ll be at the gym. When my subconscious is there, it’ll be clear what’s the one thing you gotta come do for that.

DC: Yeah. I have this old … You made me think of that when you said the gym. I have this old crossfit related screenshot on one of my iPads.

Dave: Yeah?

DC: I forgot that it was there. I saw it the other day. And it said … it basically shows someone doing burpees in a box. And somewhere in this crossfit box, aka gym, there’s a sign that says, “The beatings will continue until there is progress.”

Dave: Wow. I love that.

DC: That sums it up.

Dave: That’s so true.

DC: If I find the image, we’ll link it up.

Dave: That’s true. And I actually … I get more concerned if I’m not getting those beatings, ’cause then it’s like, “Whoa, the people who should be giving them to me either don’t care or what I’m doing isn’t impactful enough where people care enough to give you beatings on it.”

DC: Exactly. Exactly. So you need that feedback. It’s not comfortable, as we’ve always said. You gotta lean into it. Maybe the 51st time that you’ve heard this here on the Seeking Wisdom podcast, it will sink in into your head.

Dave: That’s why we do it.

DC: It will get into your thick skull. My skull’s thick. It’s taken me years for it to get in. But the reason that we talk about this. We repeat. We kind of … It’s because it’s these simple things man. We over complicate life. This thing is simple. Business is simple.

Dave: Simple.

DC: Life is simple, but we over complicate it. We over analyze it. We over talk about it. It’s simple stuff.

Dave: It’s simple. And I think about if you think of what happened, I’m going through … I’m in a situation where he was ten years ago. He’s already seen this story. And so, if you think about a qualifier. Shit. Well who better do I have than to listen to this guy? Right? And so I think that is the key on the feedback piece, which is it’s gonna hurt, but if it’s from somebody who’s already seen the story and had done it before, how can you not be open to hearing that? How can you not be open to taking those lessons?

DC: Exactly. He’s been there. And the context has changed, but he has experience from having been there.

Dave: Sure sure.

DC: I was listening to a magical speech by the great coach of Notre Dame, ex coach Lou Holtz.

Dave: Yeah.

DC: And Lou Holtz … Look him up. You will thank me later. Get a little Youtube clip on him giving a commencement speech.

Dave: Sure. Sure.

DC: And he was saying-

Dave: How did you find that, by the way?

DC: Jim Kelliher-

Dave: He sent it to you? Wow.

DC: … our CFO, sent it to me the other day in the morning.

Dave: On the internet.

DC: Yeah yeah. He loves the fighting Irish. He’s super Irish.

Dave: Yeah yeah yeah yeah. I can see him being [crosstalk 00:08:57]

DC: He’s the Mayor of Ireland.

Dave: He is, actually.

DC: And he was quoting from there. And he was saying … He sent me a quote. It said, “You’re either growing or you’re dying.”

Dave: Yep.

DC: Which is something that Lou Holtz says, which I love. I should get that tattooed across my back.

Dave: You’re either growing or you’re dying.

DC: Growing or you’re dying. He’s like, it’s that simple. It’s like everything else in life. The plant is either growing or it’s dying. The grass is growing or it’s dying. The person is growing or it’s dying. There’s no such thing as standing still. That’s fiction. You’re either growing or you’re dying. That’s it.

Dave: Damn, I love that.

DC: And he said … He was talking, Lou Holtz was talking, about … and I’ll get back to the where we got here. But Lou Holtz was talking about that he had retired. He had done something that had never been done before at Notre Dame. And that is, for nine seasons straight, he took that team to all the Bowls. The Fiesta Bowl, The Orange Bowl, The every Bowl in the world. And that has never been … that had never been accomplished before Lou Holtz, and it has never been accomplished since Lou Holtz. And he said the number one regret in life that he had. He’s only had one regret in his life-

Dave: Yep.

DC: … that haunts him to this day, was that when they got to that winning streak of nine, that they stopped.

Dave: He let off the gas.

DC: He let off the gas. And he said he retired. And he said he still regrets it to this day, because he said you’re either growing or you’re dying and we were dying, because we just wanted to preserve. We just wanted to keep the winning streak alive. And we were not willing to take chances. We were not willing to grow. And that’s when we started to die. And I look back at that every day now and say that was the biggest mistake in my life. So you’re either growing or you’re dying, Lou Holtz said. But Lou Holtz also says in that speech. He talks about that it’s simple. Don’t over complicate it. He talks about being nice to people.

He talks about having trust. He talks about commitment, he talks about family. He says it’s simple. Right? It’s very simple. Stop over complicating this stuff. Stop reading a bunch of nonsense. Read the good stuff only. Listen to Lou Holtz. You’ll thank me later. Send me a thank you note in the form of six star review only.

Dave: I don’t now how to … where do we go from there? That’s why we do this podcast. That’s everything. But I also think the feedback thing ties back into the mantra that we have, which is always be learning. Right? What do you want. Oh, he’s texting me. DC’s having me look at my phone. What do you need? What are you looking at?

DC: Keep going brother.

Dave: Okay. DC has my … He has my-

DC: This is shady. Right?

Dave: He has my phone up right now, which is fine. But I was gonna say that … He kept pointing at me. I thought he was gonna read this paper, which is this special Seeking Wisdom promo that I was gonna show you.

DC: Yeah man.

Dave: But it goes back to the mantra that we talk about on Seeking Wisdom, which is always be learning. And if you’re not always learning, the best way that I found out to learn has been to get the hard feedback from everybody else.

DC: Keep getting it.

Dave: DC is looking for some magical quote. I’m trying to think about what he could be looking for right now.

DC: I’m looking for that Lou Holtz quote.

Dave: I know you are.

DC: And I’m gonna change people’s lives.

Dave: I thought you were gonna find … I’m thinking you’re gonna find somebody else.

DC: No. I’m looking for that Lou Holtz quote.

Dave: Did you find it?

DC: It’s called “The Most Powerful Speech: The 3 Rules to a Less Complicated Life. Lou Holtz” H-O-L-T-Z. That’s on Youtube. You all listening to this owe me something for turning you on to this.

Dave: Yes.

DC: Because this is as good as it gets. This is gold. And this man here-

Dave: Wow, he found it.

DC: … he’s a hero. I found it. All right. I won’t play the speech, but you go open Youtube right after this. After you leave Six Stars.

Dave: I’ll put a link in it. Ill put a link to it.

DC: So commitment.

Dave: Commitment.

DC: Trust. Goals.

Dave: Wow, this hasn’t even been watched that many times. There’s gold out there waiting for everybody.

DC: I give the people the gold here.

Dave: You sure do.

DC: I just give and give and give and give. And all I ask for is that Six Star review.

Dave: That’s it.

DC: But everybody hooks back.

Dave: That’s easy. Who will be the 500th?

DC: I don’t know. Everybody’s got … You know what they have? You know what the listeners have?

Dave: What?

DC: Excuses. You know what else they have?

Dave: Excuses.

DC: Something I like to call alligator arms.

Dave: Oh. They can’t …

DC: See they have the … if you think about a T Rex, you think about a T Rex dinosaur and alligator, they have short hands. So they’re hands are so short, they can’t reach the keyboard and type Six Star review.

Dave: Which is actually, you can do it all from mobile, so even if you have alligator arms, you should be good.

DC: You could probably Siri this thing.

Dave: You should. You should be able to grab it with a short arm.

DC: Siri doesn’t work, but maybe it works in this case and you can leave a Six Star review.

Dave: All right. So yesterday, I came to DC. I said, “I wanna give the Seeking Wisdom community an offer. I wanna give them something amazing.”

DC: Yep.

Dave: Okay? Selfishly, there’s something in it for me.

DC: Okay.

Dave: And number one is the thing that is amazing about a podcast is the connection that we have. The thing that has been frustrating about a podcast is we actually have no way to continue … the Seeking Wisdom is a one way conversation unfortunately.

DC: Yep.

Dave: We don’t have a way to have conversations with our listeners. And since we’re all about conversations-

DC: There’s no drift in-

Dave: … at drift.

DC: … podcast app.

Dave: There’s no drift in Apple podcast. Now, they’re knock.

DC: Yeah. No Six Star reviews. No drift in podcast in Apple podcast.

Dave: No way. Yeah. So there’s no way for us to actually have conversations with you all. So I want you to do me a favor, and I want you to email And if you want to be in the know and get the latest and greatest from us, and we have a whole bunch of new shows dropping, you’re gonna go there at, just say, “I’m in.” Email me, “I’m in.” But that’s not the offer. DC hit me with an offer.

DC: Okay.

Dave: He said, “That’s cool. That’s cool you could get peoples email address.”

DC: Whatever.

Dave: “You could email them.” But he said, he said, “I wanna pick 25 people exclusive. Were gonna pick 25 people, so if you email”

DC: Of those people.

Dave: Of the people who email, we’re gonna pick 25 of them.

DC: Yep.

Dave: And we’re gonna do a private 30 minute Zoom call with DC and I.

DC: With me?

Dave: Yeah. Private.

DC: Okay. This crew better step up.

Dave: Private. This is like a coaching session.

DC: Yeah yeah.

Dave: No agenda. It’ll be all questions.

DC: What do you think the value, MSRP value, on this? This is like a … at least 25 grand for me, and five grand for the nephew.

Dave: Oh. I’m good with that, five grand, so thirty grand.

DC: This is thirty grand value that we’re giving you.

Dave: We could charge thirty grand.

DC: Easy.

Dave: We could charge thirty grand for this.

DC: Easy. So we’re giving you thirty grand value.

Dave: Yeah, thirty grand value for-

DC: 25 and 5, that’s good.

Dave: … for emailing

DC: Yeah.

Dave: We’re gonna do it. It’s gonna be on Zoom. And you’re only gonna be able to see it.

DC: Shout out to our brothers that Zoom.

Dave: You’re only going to be able to … yeah, that’s a good shout out. You’re only gonna be able to see it though if you’re one of the 25. That’s either live or recording. This is not-

DC: How do we pick those 25? Random?

Dave: This is not something that we’re gonna take … Yeah, we’re gonna randomly pick ’cause we want everybody to do it. It’s not something we’re gonna take the content and re-use it later. This is like literally-

DC: We’re not recording this.

Dave: This is literally, if you all could be here in person, we’d do it in person, but we have a global audience, so we’re gonna do it Zoom call. We’re gonna sit in our new office on the couch, Zoom call, whatever you guys wanna talk about.

DC: Yep. Anything you wanna ask.

Dave: But you came with one deeper. So that’s 25 people.

DC: I always boost it up.

Dave: That’s 25 people. For two of those people, do you remember what we’re gonna do?

DC: Yeah. So for two of those people … so every time we come up with something, I gotta raise it up. I think this is-

Dave: Yesterday, I called it … Yesterday, I said it was a bomb. And DC, he said, “No.” He said, “That’s a …” What did you call it? A level up? I forget … yeah.

DC: Yeah, yeah. He’s like “DC, drop some more bombs.” I said, “I don’t drop bombs. I drop level ups.” These are called power ups, they’re called a power up, power ups.

Dave: They’re called power ups. He said it’s a power up.

DC: It’s a power up pill. What I said was, “Okay, that’s good enough. 25, even though we’re giving them 30 grand in value, each of them times 25 …”

Dave: So my idea was okay.

DC: We’re giving away 75 … nope, how much is that? How many people? 25?

Dave: What? 25.

DC: We’re giving $750,000 of value away like that. Almost a million dollars.

Dave: That’s good math man. It’s pretty good.

DC: But I said let’s level it up even more. And what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna pick how many? Two?

Dave: Two.

DC: We’re gonna pick two people-

Dave: Listen up.

DC: Out of the number of the people who subscribe.

Dave: Pull over.

DC: Pull over now. Subscribe. And we’re gonna pick two of you. And no matter where you are in the world, we’re gonna fly each both of you to Hyper Growth, either Boston or San Francisco-

Dave: Your choice.

DC: … you choose. But it gets even better.

Dave: What?

DC: Because I always up in goals.

Dave: Okay.

DC: Gets even better.

Dave: As if paying for a flight …

DC: Yeah, we’re gonna pay for the flight.

Dave: All access.

DC: We’re gonna pay for the ticket. We’re gonna bring you here, but we are gonna give you a special gold VIP badge. You know what that’s gonna give you access too?

Dave: I have a feeling.

DC: You’re gonna get to hang out in the back of Hyper Growth with the speakers.

Dave: Come on.

DC: We don’t even sell that.

Dave: I don’t even get to do that.

DC: No.

Dave: I’m putting the damn conference together.

DC: We don’t even sell that. We won’t even sell that with a $10,000 ticket. All right?

Dave: Okay.

DC: So between that and the 750 we’re giving out, I can safely say we’re giving away a million dollars in value today.

Dave: Yes.

DC: And all we ask is go sign up for that email, then leave a Six Star review.

Dave: Picture yourself sipping a latte in the lounge with just some of the-

DC: With Jocko.

Dave: … next to Jocko, some pretty damn famous people that I’m not gonna tell you about yet.

DC: Yeah. We can’t announce the … We’ve only announced six of them right now so far. But the list is deep. You’re gonna be VIP in the back.

Dave: In the lounge.

DC: Drift team members won’t have VIP badges.

Dave: No they won’t. They will not be able to get back there.

DC: DG doesn’t have a VIP badge.

Dave: I don’t have that. I just tell them, “Go over there.” I don’t get to go there. All you have to do, email That is all possible. That is it.

DC: All right.

Dave: What’s the sticker value on that?

DC: I don’t know.

Dave: We’re giving away a million dollars worth of gifts.

DC: A million dollars worth of gifts today on Seeking Wisdom, all you need to do is drop your little email, send a little email, over to-

Dave: Seekingwisdom-

DC: At-


DC: Done.

Dave: Easy.

DC: All right.

Dave: All right.

DC: Don’t forget the Six Star review. I’m watching.

Dave: We’re out of here.