Mike Hardy Blog

Mike is well-rounded, and loves a challenge. Read about some of his past adventures below.

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Warrior Week

February 16, 20248 min read

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

This is about a lesson I learned regarding marriage and family.
A lesson that I've learned the hard way, and will continue to learn my entire life.
It is a never ending and ever-evolving lesson.
The concept and responsibility of marriage is a powerful one.
The two shall become one, the Bible reads.

About 5 years ago, I enrolled in a program called Warrior Week, and it was one of the most intense weeks of my life - both physically and emotionally.
This program was targeted toward married businessmen, to help reframe and build (or rebuild) life's Core Four areas; Body, Being, Balance (relationships), and Business.

I had noticed that very few men have stability and are healthy in all areas of their life.
Most are a train wreck in one or more areas.
This concept spoke to me, so I enrolled in Warrior Week.

The first day was quite a shock to the system, and was beyond exhausting physically.

We started out by being blindfolded, loaded onto a bus, and driven up into the mountains. Thus began our journey with what we affectionally called “The Grinder” for the remainder of the week.
This program is modeled somewhat after Buds Training for Navy Seals.
I come to find out later that the coaches of Warrior Week spent extensive time working with a few Navy Seals to replicate the activities for the Warrior Week program.
With the benefit of hindsight, I can say with certainty that I underestimated the intensity of the program.

At the end of the first day, after being thoroughly worked over on the Grinder with all manner of physical challenges, we were then loaded back onto the bus and driven to the beach.
It was hard to believe that the day wasn't yet over - we were approaching 1 AM.

“Get wet.”

Orders are barked at us.

"What have I gotten myself into?" I think once again, as 16 men, exhausted from the Grinder, run stumbling into the ocean on a cold, dark, night.

“Get sandy” the lead coach yells with an authority that is not to be challenged.

The water temperature is in the mid 60’s.

Get sandy means all of you, from head to toe, face included all covered in sand.

“Get wet. Get sandy. Line up. Face down in the sand. Roll. Push-ups. Roll.

Push-ups. Roll.”

We are just getting started.

“Get wet.

Get sandy.

Get wet.

Get sandy.

Line up. Push-ups.

Roll.”

Over and over.

I am shivering uncontrollably.

One of the guys is having health issues and we hear that he is headed to the ER.

We see him walking back with assistance to the van with one of the coaches.

This evolution goes on for what seems like an eternity.

I didn't know it at the time, but one of my most profound life lessons is moments away.

It's been said that one new idea or one new relationship can change the trajectory of your life.

This one idea changed the trajectory of my life with my wife and my family.

The lead coach has us all line up, and points to a buoy out in the darkness.

“Line up. When you hear my siren, you will run into the water, swim out and around the buoy, swim back and line up in front of me.

You will do this with your swim buddy.

It pays to win.

You do not want to lose.

If you do not finish with your swim buddy, or if another pair is between you and your swim buddy, you will do it again.

If you are in the bottom half of the class, you will do it again.

Am I clear?”

Sixteen men in unison yell, “CLEAR, COACH” as we await the siren.

Keep in mind, we are dressed in all black, the required Warrior Week gear, with combat boots that are less than ideal for swimming.

I decide that I will not be in the back half of this group.

I am a respectable swimmer, but not great by any means.

I am however, very competitive - I will dig deep.

The swim buddy adds a unique twist, but I’m determined. The dreaded siren sounds off and sixteen shivering men run frantically into the water to swim into the night.

It is immediate chaos. The group of men run with reckless abandon down the beach and hit the water.

It is shockingly cold. I swim out looking to find a pace that works.

My boots filled with water are much heavier than I expect.

My breathing is out of sorts. I suddenly have a moment of panic.

Where is my swim buddy?

He was close by just a few seconds ago.

We had an eye on each other.

This is not good.

Do I stop and look?

I stop.

I call his name. Is he struggling?

The internal conflict is heavy.

I will not lose.

Wait, this is a team race.

My mind is racing.

We will not lose.

Do I swim slower and let him catch me?

Do I stop?

Or perhaps I swim out around the buoy and almost to shore then wait?

I swim slower.

What if I am behind him?

We were given the orders to line up without any time to strategize.

Discussion was not allowed prior the siren.

Quite frankly, I was just focused on myself and winning the competition when the instructions were being given out.

I think I see my swim buddy, and swim forward calling his name…

It is not him.

I stop and look back.

I see a guy stopped.

I swim back some… It is not him either.

He is looking for his swim buddy as well.

I decide to swim to the buoy and reassess.

That would be logical, right?

I head to the buoy.

It appears that I am still in the front half, so that is a positive.

Sure enough, at the buoy, we find each other.

We keep close, and swim together heading back to shore.

We are required to exit the water together and line up together.

We find a good pace, one eye on each other and one eye on the shore. We finish together and exit the water.

The night's darkness makes it hard to tell if we are in the back half or the front half.

As we exit the water and run to our finishing line up, I realize that we are in the safe zone as we are the second group out of the water.

I am beyond exhausted, bent over and shivering, but grateful.

We made it.

We are safe.

The rest of the guys exit the water and are lining up.

According to former Navy Seal David Goggins, when you think you are done and your body is telling you that you cannot go on, you are actually only at 40% of what you're truly capable of.

I learned this lesson more than a few times over the next few days with my Warrior Week brothers.

As it turns out, we were not done for the night just yet.

We did this same exercise with our respective Alpha, Bravo, and Charlie pods, swimming as a unit out into the night, around the buoy, and back to shore, making sure to finish together as a unit.

I am part of the Alpha pod.

We finish together as the lead group, after a bit of chaos. But we made it.

We finished up the day at 2AM exhausted and stumbled onto the bus to head back to sleep for a few hours.

I have learned that when I am exhausted, there is a distinct receptivity to learning deep, impactful lessons. The openness that exists in my mind, body, soul, and spirit to absorb a lesson is orders of magnitude greater than during the usual day to day interactions of life.

Believe it or not, after all that, I still almost missed the lesson. And I would have if it were not revealed to me by the lead coach.

Before climbing on the bus, my coach asks, “What is your lesson?"

I take a stab at mumbling something about teamwork and the importance of forward thinking.

“Wrong.”

“Listen” he says.

“Your wife is your swim buddy.”

“Stop leaving her behind.”

“Your family is your Alpha Unit.”

“Don’t ever forget this lesson.”

Within that 5 second conversation, over a decade of my marriage was summarized in one interaction.

My lesson was now firmly anchored.

During this evolution, I realized that I spent about 2-3 times the energy swimming on my own, swimming back, stopping, looking, swimming off, swimming back, on and on to eventually finish together with my swim buddy.

When I got married, I made a commitment to do life together as one.

We started this journey together, and we are going to finish together.

The decision to swim together, grow together, explore together, experience together, is on me.

We are committed to each other to live this life as one, as a team. I do damage to our relationship if I swim off without a plan or communication.

When I invest in me, but not us, I am swimming off on my own.

This goes for my family as well.

I learned that this is who I am called to serve first… my wife and my kids.

When I do not keep this in mind, not only do I exhaust myself swimming back and forth, but I also end up missing the opportunity to help my wife and kids learn and grow.

It’s been said:

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

Pick a pace that works for you both, as husband and wife together, and attack the adventure of life and family as a team.

Always remember that you wife is your swim buddy.

Keep her close, in your sights always, offer encouragement often, and work, learn, live, and love together on this journey called life.

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About Mike

Mike Hardy is a true renaissance man – he’s an Ironman, student pilot, real estate investor, sought after speaker, leadership expert, fund manager, and a business coach for mortgage and real estate professionals.

He has spoken at national conferences and events such as Todd Duncan’s High Trust Sales Mastery, with an audience of over 30,000 people, and has been quoted on Fox Business News and interviewed by USA Today.

Mike is an authority in the real estate and mortgage business, often sought out for his unique insights into such issues as the comparison between the 2007 and 2022 housing markets. He is currently the Managing Partner of California & Nevada business for Churchill Mortgage, leading a top 1% nationwide $100 million origination team, and overseeing 30 employees managing $500 million. His teams help more than 1,200 families annually with a purchase or refinance.

As the Principal and Co-Founder of CYRUS Opportunity Zone Fund, Mike lends his expertise to helping investors harness the power of tax free investing through OZs. CYRUS was launched in 2019, and is currently developing 100+ cash flowing units in addition to multiple fix and flip projects.

Mike is a husband of 25 years, a father to 4 kids, and is actively involved in philanthropic efforts throughout his Southern California community. He loves using his experience to add value to people's lives through speaking and interview opportunities.

Mike's Areas of Expertise

  • Mortgage & Lending

  • Opportunity Zone Investing

  • Leadership & Development

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CYRUS

Opportunity Zone Fund

Principal

CYRUS OZ Fund was founded in 2019 with the vision of tackling the daunting housing shortage in Southern California and beyond through the beneficial treatment afforded by OZs.

Taking advantage of the massive tax benefits available through 2017's Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, CYRUS Opportunity Zone Fund helps investors with capital gains defer the taxes due immediately, while also growing the initial investment in a completely tax free manner. To learn more, request the fund pitch deck, or schedule a call with Mike, click below.

Churchill Mortgage

Managing Partner

California & Nevada

Mike brings his vast leadership capabilities to Churchill Mortgage PSW Division, leading 30 employees that help over 1,000 families each year. His group is in the top 1% of production nationwide.

One of Mike's areas of expertise is in helping Loan Officers break through to a new level of production while maintaining a healthy work-life balance. He also works to educate real estate professionals, investors, and families on the similarities and differences between the 2008 and 2023 real estate markets, and has been interviewed numerous times for this topic.

If you'd like to learn more about Mike's work with Churchill or how you can join his award-winning team, please click below.

55 Capital

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Mike is the founder and principal of 55 Capital, spearheading 10-20 real estate projects annually, comprising of both short and long term projects.

Over the last 10+ years the fund has executed on over 120 projects, all with positive investor returns.

Mike utilizes his proficiency and experience in the investment world to teach wealth building and investment strategies for real estate and mortgage professionals, and to provide one-on-one business and performance coaching to high level achievers.

If you are interested in requesting to participate in these private deals, please reach out to Mike below.

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